Emergency alerts in B.C., similar to this alert from the U.S. National Tsunami Warning Centre, will be available on compatible smart phones beginning April 6, 2018. — File photo

Emergency alerts coming to B.C. cell phones

Province to roll out wireless warning system April 6

  • Apr. 3, 2018 10:30 a.m.

Beginning Friday April 6, emergency alerts in British Columbia issued through the national Alert Ready program will also be sent to compatible wireless devices, such as smartphones, to ensure more people have the information they need to act quickly in an emergency.

“Accurate and timely information in an emergency situation can save lives and livelihoods, and we need to deploy every tool available to alert people of potential public safety threats,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “As technology improves, we are always looking for new ways to broaden our reach and reduce the time it takes to communicate critical safety information. Wireless alerts will help us achieve both of those objectives.”

Calls for better emergency alert communication followed a tsunami warning for some areas of the Vancouver Island and B.C. coasts in the early morning hours of Jan. 23.

Related: Vancouver Islanders ponder need for tsunami siren song

Wireless alerts will be publicly tested for the first time in B.C. on May 9, at 1:55 p.m. PDT, alongside routine television and radio tests. Emergency Management BC (EMBC) is the sole agency responsible for issuing emergency notifications on the Alert Ready system in the province, and will initially issue such alerts for tsunami threats only. The Province is considering expanding the use of Alert Ready beyond tsunamis to include other hazards and emergencies in the future.

Wireless alerts will contain instructions for a safe response. In order to receive alerts, mobile phones must be connected to a cellular network, be alert-compatible and within the alert area. They will be broadcast automatically at no cost to the user. Wireless-compatibility information is available at: www.alertready.ca.

“Wireless alerts are a welcome addition to our current alerting tools,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness.

She noted that these alerts will complement the Provincial Emergency Notification System (PENS), social media and, at the community level, sirens, subscription-based text message alerts and other mechanisms. “As the Province continues to refine its emergency management system, it is equally important that all British Columbians take their own steps to prepare by understanding the risks where they live and work, creating an emergency plan and assembling an emergency kit,” Rice said.

— Ministry of Public Safety release

Just Posted

Oak Bay Police melt dozens of guns into metal cube

Set of rare dueling muskets could go to museum

VicPD seek missing 82-year-old man with long grey beard

Arthur Shaw was last seen Dec. 6, those who see him should call 911

Victoria looks to suspend taxi obligations as ride hailing services arrive

Ten ride hailing companies are set to come to Greater Victoria in the new year

Victoria Police Department taking too long to respond to emergency calls

A new report says VicPD is not meeting its 911 response targets

VIDEO: Harbour Air makes history with first electric aircraft test flight

Successful flight marks first of its kind in the world

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Tavares scores twice as Maple Leafs earn 4-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver sees two-game win streak snapped

UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP

The Island is located about five kilometres east of Vancouver Island

The Grinch who Stole a Hedge: Security camera captures Chilliwack tree theft

RCMP arrives as person calmly walks away with tree in downtown area

The Russell Troupe finds a comfort zone in small Island community

Family gathering with two parents and five kids a common scene around Chemainus

Salmonella outbreak in Canada linked to rodents and snakes

92 cases of salmonella across six provinces, including B.C.

Meng Wanzhou wins right to more documents involving arrest at Vancouver airport

Defence lawyers allege the Huawei executive was unlawfully detained, searched and interrogated

Most Read