Around 84 percent of Canadians believe that the national public alert system should be used to notify the public about COVID-19 information.
This stat comes from a survey conducted by Calgary-based Public Emergency Alerting Services Inc (PEASI), which is a company that provides smart wireless public emergency alert systems. The survey received a total of 931 responses from across the country.
Interestingly, nine percent of respondents were against the idea of using the national public alert system concerning COVID-19. The survey also found that six percent of Canadians did not have an opinion about the matter.
‘Alert Ready’ is the federal government’s emergency alerting system that delivers critical and potentially lifesaving information. In 2018, all wireless service providers were required to carry the alerts.
The survey found that respondents identified receiving alerts for ‘stay at home orders’ and ‘closures and restrictions’ in their communications as their top priorities. A large majority also want to receive alerts for food and drug shortages and new cases of COVID-19 in their community.
Around 57 percent of respondents wanted to receive alerts about COVID-19-related deaths in their community.
The Ontario government has already been using the system to send province-wide alerts regarding the COVID-19 situation. Over the weekend, it issued its second alert urging residents to stay home.
The alert stated that people should only go out if it’s absolutely necessary, such as to pick up groceries or prescriptions. The alert was blunt and noted that: “COVID-19 can be deadly. The time to act is now.”
There has been some controversy around the alert system, especially in Ontario, after police repeatedly have had to remind the public not to call 911 to complain about the alert notification.