Province to test emergency warning system

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Province to test emergency warning system

The test alert, broadcast by Canadian wireless service providers, is created to appear on all mobile devices, such as phones, tablets and smartwatches that are connected to a 4G LTE network and have wireless public alert software installed.

Officials of the CRTC point out, at least this was a test and not a real emergency.

In Ontario the trial warning was made on Monday, may 7 at 13:55 hours local time on the television, radio and wireless platforms.

"What we found over time with the advent of the internet was some people are streaming from the internet or they might have one of their sharing services like Netflix", said Sampson.

The tests were being conducted after the CRTC ordered wireless providers to implement the system to distribute warnings of imminent safety threats, such as tornadoes, floods, Amber Alerts or terrorist threats. Not connected to the network devices will not get the alert, but those who are talking on the phone, can hear their dialogue is interrupted by a sound similar to signal "call in idle mode".

If all goes according to plan, Albertans can expect to see disaster alert notifications on their smartphones Wednesday as part of a country-wide test.

A report issued last month by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission said the false alarm, which went uncorrected for 38 minutes after being transmitted and caused widespread panic across the Pacific islands state, was a result of human error and inadequate safeguards.

Mobile devices in B.C. are scheduled to be sounding off Wednesday as testing continues for Canada's new public emergency alert system, but some bugs need to be worked out first after some misfires Monday.

The emergency alert system, created to send notifications to compatible cellphones to warn of natural disasters or terrorist threats, didn't end up sending any messages during the first test in Quebec.

As well, the emergency alerts are not text - or SMS - messages, but are distributed using what's known as cell broadcast technology.

"When the emergency alert comes through your device, be sure you are able to safely read it", Schuler said.

This morning the tests for Quebec were scheduled for 9:55 AM.

Yukon 1:30 p.m.

- Alberta 1:55 p.m.

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