Emergency alert test issued in Ontario
Published Wednesday, November 15, 2023 11:06AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 15, 2023 1:22PM EST
A test of Canada’s emergency alert system was performed on Wednesday across most of the county.
In Ontario, the test was issued at 12:55 p.m. TVs, compatible wireless devices, and radios all broadcasted the notification.
Alert Ready, the system responsible for issuing the alerts, allows authorized government agencies to light up most smart phones and TVs when there is a perceived threat to life.
Those emergency notifications can include national security threats, environmental warnings, and more commonly, Amber Alerts.
Wednesday’s test included messaging displayed on compatible devices, accompanied by a distinctive tone.
“This is a test of the Ontario Alert Ready System. There is no danger to your health or safety,” the notification read. “If this was an actual emergency, you would now see instructions for protecting yourself.”
For those who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or partially sighted, Alert Ready said alternate formats of the notification may have been issued. “However, not every alerting authority or device has the capability to produce or receive these formats,” according to the system.
Alert Ready was developed by federal, provincial and territorial emergency management officials, as well as Environment and Climate Change Canada, Pelmorex, the broadcasting industry and wireless service providers.
“Together, these partners work to ensure Canadians receive alerts immediately and know when to take action to stay safe,” the operators of Canada's emergency alert system said.
Alberta and Northwest Territories did not take part in Wednesday’s test.
Two surveys will follow the test: one to improve the accessibility(opens in a new tab) of the alert system and a general public survey(opens in a new tab) to improve the system overall.
Members of the public are asked to not call 911 for information about the test.