At 1:55 p.m. (Pacific time) on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, a test of B.C.’s wireless alerting system will be conducted as part of the national Alert Ready system to improve public safety in the event of emergency.
This is part of a biannual test of the national Alert Ready system, which was launched in B.C. on April 6, 2018. This testing is designed to assess the system’s readiness for an actual emergency and identify any adjustments that need to be made. A scheduled test in May 2020 was cancelled across Canada due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the test, an alert will be broadcast on radio and television stations, as well as on compatible wireless devices. The test message will read: “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 www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca. This is ONLY a TEST, no action is required.”
The National Public Alerting System (NPAS), publicly branded as Alert Ready, is a collaborative initiative between federal-provincial-territorial governments and industry partners. It provides a standard alerting capability to rapidly warn the public of imminent or unfolding hazards to life.
- To receive alerts, mobile phones must be connected to an LTE cellular network (the device must be turned on and cannot be set to do not disturb or airplane mode), be alert compatible, be within the alert area and have up-to-date cellular software. Alerts will be broadcast automatically, at no cost to the user.
- Currently, in accordance with a 2014 Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) decision, all radio and television broadcasters in Canada are mandated to broadcast public alerts. On April 6, 2017, the CRTC mandated wireless service providers to be capable of sending wireless public alerts in Canada by April 6, 2018.
- British Columbians may wish to participate in a short online survey following the test to help determine the reach of the Alert Ready test. This survey is administered by Public Emergency Alerting Services Inc.:
- Survey link in English: https://peasi.com/emergency-alert-test-survey.html
- Survey link in French: https://peasi.com/enquete-de-test-dalerte-durgence.html