Emergency Preparedness Week is set to take place from May 6-12, and during this time, Canada will test its Alert Ready system for wireless devices for the first time, along side TV and radio in regions across Canada.
Earlier this month, all wireless providers in Canada complied to the CRTC’s request to support public emergency alert messages on LTE networks.
According to the CRTC today, “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.”
The tests will take place on May 7th and May 9th at specific times. The schedule is below:
- Ontario 1:55 PM (EDT)
- Quebec 9:55 AM (EDT)
- 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)
The CRTC says Canadians “may be required to acknowledge receipt of the emergency alert in order to allow for their wireless device to resume normal functioning,” noting if they do not acknowledge the alert, sound and vibration may continue for 8 seconds.
Canadians will not be able to opt-out of the wireless emergency alert system by design. Wireless alerts from Alert Ready will be handled by Pelmorex Corp., the parent company of The Weather Network.
In order to receive these public wireless alerts, a users must have an LTE-capable device that supports wireless public alerting (WPA) and be connected to LTE network coverage. For Apple users, that means an iPhone 5 or newer should support the new emergency alert system. You can check if your device is compatible here.
If your device does not support LTE, the free iOS app Alertable—which is linked to Canada’s Alert Ready system—can send you emergency alerts over a Wi-Fi or 3G data connection.