Last month, the province tested out its Emergency Alert system through televisions and radios across B.C. Not surprisingly, a lot of people did not hear the alarm.
So, as promised, Emergency Management BC is about to roll out a wireless public alerting system that will send emergency alerts to mobile phone users in BC and have the ability to bypass Silent modes.
The system will be issued to all compatible devices as of Friday, April 6th. The alarm will then be tested for the first time on May 9th, 2018, at 1:55 PM, PST, along with the usual T.V. and radio alerts.
“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.”
A long awaited system
According to Chris Duffy, Executive Director of Emergency Management BC, the organization has been working with the provincial and federal government for several years to work out protocols and technical issues before being able to test out this new system.
The alarm will be sent to compatible devices through the province-wide Alert Ready program. Click here to find out if your wireless device can receive this alert.
However not everyone has a cell phone or lives in an area with a strong cell phone signal. So, says Chris, subscription to local emergency alert tools and door-to-door alert teams on the ground are still extremely important.
“This last tsunami event was a great reminder for everyone to have an emergency plan and kit in place – don’t put it off, and don’t procrastinate,” stated Duffy, in reference to the tsunami scare in January 2018.
So while an all-encompassing alert system is crucial, it is equally important to have all the essentials packed and ready to go. We’ve partnered up with GetMyKit to give you an opportunity to prepare for the next impending disaster in a timely fashion.
In case the alarm bells sound for real and you need to evacuate right away, it’s important to have an emergency kit handy so you don’t lose precious time scrambling for necessities.
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