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

Update: Lightning sparks blaze above Summerland

Firefighters are battling the small fire from the area that occurred Tuesday shortly after 7 p.m.

UPDATE: Smoke rising from Okanagan Mountain Park hills

Lightning may have sparked a fire in the hills across from Peachland

Lightning strikes across B.C. Interior

Residents are being asked to go inside until last rumble of thunder

UPDATE: Several fires burning in Lower Similkameen

At least one fire near Keremeos was caused by lightening

Half-priced cat adoptions at the Kelowna SPCA

Adult cats are 50 per cent off until July 29 at the Kelowna shelter

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Lightning sparks wildfires in Vernon

Tuesday night storm causes wildfire in BX and residential fire in East Hill

Crash closes Highway 5A in both directions

A collision has shut down Highway 5A about 22 kilometres south of the junction with Highway 97C

UPDATE: Crews battle wildfire near Big White

Joe Rich Fire Department responding alongside Big White Fire Department and provincial crews.

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Pike Mountain fire continues to grow – quadruples in 24 hours

Fire threatens area consumed in 2017 by a 3,500 hectare blaze

Vernon Knights hire Van Horlick

New head coach of Junior B franchise in Armstrong

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Most Read