The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has announced it will be running a nationwide public alerting test next month to coincide with Emergency Preparedness Week, which runs from May 6th to 12th.
The tests are intended to help Canadians become more familiar with mobile public alert messages, which notify people of imminent threats such as fires, tornadoes, floods and Amber Alerts. Carriers have been legally required to support transmission of these alerts through their networks since April 6th.
On May 7th and 9th, every compatible mobile device connected to an LTE network will receive a notification from the CRTC’s “wireless public alerting” (WPA) system. Canadians using television or radio will also be alerted.
The CRTC first announced the test at the end of March, although this marks the first time a specific testing scheduled has been revealed.
It’s important to note, though, that the May alerts are only part of testing on the CRTC’s end; a full public rollout of the WPA system has not yet been dated.
Further, not all devices are currently able to receive the alerts, although the CRTC aims to have 100 percent compatibility by April 2019.
According to the CRTC, the tests will be carried out in the following order:
- Ontario 1:55 PM (ET)
- Quebec 9:55 AM (ET)
- Yukon 1:30 PM (PT)
- Northwest Territories 1:55 PM (MT)
- Alberta 1:55 PM (MT)
- British Columbia 1:55 PM (PDT)
- Saskatchewan 1:55 PM (CT)
- Manitoba 1:55 PM (CT)
- Newfoundland & Labrador 1:55 PM (NT)
- Nova Scotia 1:55 PM (AT)
- Prince Edward Island 1:55 PM (AT)
- New Brunswick 6:55 PM (AT)
The CRTC notes that Canadians “may be required to acknowledge receipt of the emergency alert in order to allow for their wireless device to resume normal functioning.” Those unable to acknowledge the message will experience the alert sound and vibration for an additional eight seconds, says the CRTC.