Ontarians to receive emergency alerts this week as part of a nationwide test
On Wednesday, people across the country, except for those in Alberta and Quebec, will receive emergency alerts as part of a nationwide test.
Alert Ready, Canada’s emergency alerting system, has scheduled the tests to ensure the program works in the event of an actual emergency. Only authorized government agencies can issue alerts.
In Ontario, the alarms will sound at 12:55 p.m. through television, radio and LTE-connected and compatible wireless devices.
There may be alternative alert formats for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or partially sighted, Alert Ready says, although not every alerting authority or device is able to receive or produce such formats.
“Broadcasters may use text-to-speech software to create an audio version of an alert message,” the website reads. “Emergency alerts may be read to the recipient if your device supports this feature. The vibration feature that accompanies emergency alerts is available to alert Canadians.”
The system advises those who need it to contact their wireless provider for more services that may be available.
The next scheduled test will be on Nov. 15 of this year.
Emergency alerts can be issued in the event of fires, a significant decrease in air quality, drinking water contamination, tornadoes, flash floods, earthquakes and more natural disasters, among others.
In February, an emergency alert was issued just southwest of Ottawa as police searched for armed suspects in Lanark County and Sharbot Lake. Residents were told to shelter in place and lock their doors and windows.
Several partners, including federal, provincial and territorial emergency management officials, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Pelmorex, the broadcasting industry and wireless service providers collaborated to develop Alert Ready.
This article was reported by The Star