Canada’s Alert Ready wireless public alerting (WPA) system failed to alert some Ottawa residents about a tornado warning.
According to CTV News, an emergency warning issued at 5:36pm on August 1st, 2018 to all television, radio stations and wireless providers wasn’t intercepted by a number of Ottawa smartphones.
Environment Canada told CTV News that the issue was likely a result of users with improperly configured devices.
“Some phones won’t actually have triggered because it has to be configured properly,” said Peter Kimbell, an warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada, in an interview with CTV News.
“People will observe that some phones triggered and others didn’t and that is unfortunate but that’s the way it is. It is a newer technology, so the newer phones will trigger but the older phones won’t.”
Only 4G LTE-enabled devices connected to an LTE network at the time a public alert is issued can receive Alert Ready notifications.
Environment Canada told CTV News that the department is currently working on a system that will only send alerts to individuals who will be “directly impacted by a weather event.”
However, such a system is still a few years away.
Alert Ready began testing its WPA system in May 2018. However, early reports across the country confirmed that not all compatible devices received test notifications.
Source: CTV News