Alert Ready system being tested today

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Be prepared for your phone to blare out a warning this afternoon.

Today is the national test day of the Alert Ready system, which has been put in place to warn Canadians about potential dangers. They include natural disasters, biological and terrorist threats, and civil emergencies.

The test will run at 1:55 p.m. in B.C.

During the test, you’ll hear an alert tone — which can be heard below — and hear or see this message on radio, TV, as well as compatible wireless devices:

This is a TEST of the British Columbia Emergency Alerting System, issued by Emergency Management British Columbia. This is ONLY a TEST. If this had been an actual emergency or threat, you would now hear instructions that would assist you to protect you and your family. For further information go to This is ONLY a TEST, no action is required.

Here’s a sound you should be hearing this afternoon:

The test will “determine the system’s readiness for an actual emergency,” as well as address issues before it’s officially implemented.

For you to receive the alert on your wireless device, it has to be a smartphone that is able to use the LTE or 4G network. Your device must also be Wireless Public Alerting compatible, have up-to-date software, be connected to an LTE network when the alert is issued, and be within the emergency alert area, the province says.

A second test of the system was conducted in November, after problems were found the first time around.

This test is another opportunity for you to ensure your device is compatible, as well as raise awareness around general emergency preparedness. The jarring tone should be a reminder to stock up on emergency supplies in case of a real disaster.

“What they should have is at least enough food and water — water especially — for 72 hours or even longer,” Carmen Ewles with First Aid & Survival Technologies says. “The provincial government is now saying that people should actually be prepared to be on their own for up to a week.”

She adds light and heat sources are also vita.

“Blankets, flashlight, light sticks, some kind of a heating source where, I’m told by the fire departments not to use candles because, of course, that is a fire risk.”

You’ll also want to consider getting yourself a crank radio, which will help keep you informed if you don’t have power and your cellphone dies.

-With files from Sonia Aslam

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