April 30, 2018 1 year 5 months ago

Watch your phones next week for emergency alert testing (Update: Quebec and Ontario on May 7)

GATINEAU – Wireless and broadcasting service providers will conduct a nationwide public alerting test next week during Emergency Preparedness Week, which is from May 6 to 12, the CRTC announced today.

(UPDATE: The Commission announced on May 4 that testing will be completed in Ontario and Quebec on Monday, May 7 at 9:55 AM in Quebec and 1:55 PM in Ontario.)

This means every compatible mobile device connected to an LTE (long-term evolution) network in the targeted provinces and territory will receive the test alert, which will also be distributed on television and radio in the same regions.

Since April 6, 2018, all wireless service providers must now distribute public emergency alert messages on their LTE networks. The public alerting tests are an opportunity for Canadians to become familiar with how public alert messages will be delivered to their mobile devices, including the tone and vibration cadence that will distinguish them from regular text messages.

These emergency alerts are for things like forest fires, Amber Alerts, floods and other life-threatening situations. As for the tests, Canadians may be required to acknowledge receipt of the emergency alert in order to allow for their wireless device to resume normal functioning. In the event that they cannot acknowledge the alert, the alert sound and vibration will continue for eight seconds.

The alert messages will be identified as tests and will be carried out according to the following schedule:

May 7th

•          Ontario 1:55 PM (EDT)

•          Quebec 9:55 AM (EDT)

May 9th

•          Yukon 1:30 PM (PST)

•          Northwest Territories 1:55 PM (MDT)

•          Alberta 1:55 PM (MDT)

•          British-Colombia 1:55 PM (PDT)

•          Saskatchewan 1:55 PM (CST)

•          Manitoba 1:55 PM (CDT)

•          Newfoundland & Labrador 1:55 PM (NDT)

•          Nova Scotia 1:55 PM (ADT)

•          Prince Edward Island 1:55 PM (ADT)

•          New-Brunswick 6:55 PM (ADT)

To learn more about test alerts and to find out if a cellphone is capable of receiving emergency alerts, visit Alert Ready.