People across Canada can expect to receive a public test message from Alert Ready sometime today.
The messages will be sent to televisions, radios, and compatible wireless devices. Each province and territory will experience this at different times throughout the day, with the exceptions of Alberta, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, and Quebec.
“In 2020, the Alert Ready System enabled government authorities to deliver 180 emergency alerts, with 21 emergency alerts issued so far in 2021 to Canadians,” stated Martin Belanger, director of public alerting at Pelmorex, in a press release. “Pelmorex receives alerts from authorized alert issuers and makes those alerts available to alert distributors which include television, radio, satellite, cable and wireless service providers.”
The need to test the system is crucial, and it provides an opportunity to:
Demonstrate and educate people on what an emergency alert will look and sound like when there is a life-threatening situation.
Validate the performance and reliability of the system to ensure it operates as it is supposed to as stakeholders have their own individual role to play in the Alert Ready process.
As stated on the Alert Ready website, alternate forms of the alert are available for visually or hearing impaired persons, but it’s not available on all devices. It’s suggested that they contact their wireless provider in this case.
Alert Ready is Canada’s emergency alerting system, and they deliver life-saving alerts to all Canadians. While these warnings are important, Canadians do have the option to opt-out of receiving them.
As mentioned in a press release from Pelmorex Corp., some people might know these as “AMBER Alerts.” Still, these messages are also used to warn the public of other emergencies like terrorist, environmental, fire, biological, hazardous, and civil emergencies.
The system was created in collaboration with a number of different partners. The partners include federal, provincial, and territorial emergency management officials, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Pelmorex, the broadcasting industry, and wireless service providers.
As today’s message is a test, it’s important to note that these messages will be identified as that, and they’re being sent to test the functionality of the system only, so there will be no required steps to take for safety. Alert Ready is asking people not to call 911 in response to the messages.