Company behind Alert Ready calls nationwide tests a success

By Charles Lefebvre
November 30, 2018 - 3:13pm Updated: November 30, 2018 - 8:17pm


MEDICINE HAT, AB — The company that administers the Alert Ready system says they’re considering the most recent test of the emergency alert system a success.

Pelmorex conducted its second test of the new system on Wednesday, beaming a message to phones, tablets, televisions and radios across the country.

The test plays the emergency alert sound, and flashes a message on the screen, informing people of the location of the emergency, and steps they should take to ensure their safety.

“We got confirmation from all of the wireless service providers that they did receive the alert from the Alert Ready system, and they did distribute the alert over their respective networks,” said Martin Bélanger, director of public alerting with Pelmorex, over the phone from Oakville, Ontario. “As far as more specific information, as far as the number of people that received it, that’s not something that the technology allows us to track.”

To receive the message on your phone or tablet, it must be updated to current software and be connected to a 4G LTE network.

Bélanger says based on feedback they’ve heard, more devices received the alert, compared to the initial test in May.

“Back in May, there were some issues identified around the distribution of the alert, and those were addressed by the partners at the time,” he said. “I think that’s why we’re seeing, this time around, a much more significant positive response around people having heard the alert on radio, having seen it on television, and also having received it on their compatible mobile device. That’s actually one really good example of why it’s important to test, just to be able to identify potential issues and improve the system.”

Bélanger says more tests will occur in the future. He adds the system has been used in other emergency situations, most notably the Ottawa-Gatineau region tornadoes in September, and is credited with helping save lives.

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