Mobile test alerts in BC today

By Greg Fry
May 9, 2018 - 9:56am Updated: May 9, 2018 - 11:57am

KAMLOOPS — Don't panic when your cellphone goes off at 1:55 p.m. today.

Wireless alerts will be tested for the first time as part of a federal-provincial government initiative to improve public safety in the event of an emergency.

The new technology was launched through the national Alert Ready program in B.C. on April 6 and Emergency Management BC is responsible for issuing the emergency notifications.

Initially, the province says the alerts will only be used for tsunami threats though it's considering expanding it to include other hazards and emergencies.

The emergency alerts will be issued, alongside routine and radio tests, to wireless devices such as smartphones.

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."

In order to receive the alert, mobile phones must be connected to a cellular network, be alert-compatible and within the alert area. This will broadcast automatically, with no cost to the user

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