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Ontario is testing its Alert Ready system this Wednesday

Don’t be alarmed -- the alert will pop up on television, radio and compatible wireless devices across the country.
Nov. 15, 2023
Fatima Raza

Don’t be alarmed -- this Wednesday afternoon, Ontario is set to take part in a nationwide test of Canada’s public alerting system, Alert Ready.

The alert will come over several over television, radio and compatible wireless devices across the country.

Ontarians will receive the alarm this Wednesday at 12:55 p.m.

Who will get the test and what will it sound/look like?
All citizens in participating provinces and territories will receive the alert automatically if they hold compatible devices. No sign-up is required. To see if your device is compatible to receive alerts, you can check in with your wireless carrier or via the compatibility chart on the system website.

According to the Weather Network website, the sound of the alert will “simulate an emergency alert.”

For people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or partially sighted, the alert may be available in alternate formats. However, the system website said it is important to note that not every alerting authority or device has the capability to produce or receive these formats.

Several radio and television broadcasters may be able to share an audio version of the test alert message through a text-to-speech software.
Schedule outlines for tests across Canada.

What is Alert Ready?
According to the Alert Ready’s website, the system was developed with multiple partners, including federal, provincial and territorial emergency management officials. Environment and Climate Change Canada, Pelmorex, the broadcasting industry and wireless service providers are also part of the development.

“Together, these partners work to ensure Canadians receive alerts immediately and know when to take action to stay safe,” reads the Alert Ready website.

These alerts include but are not limited to tornadoes, flooding, fires and AMBER alerts.

Why do we participate in tests?
Many provinces and territories participate in regular testing of this system. These tests allow public safety officials to do check-ins on the effectiveness and reliability of the system.

“Tests ensure that the Alert Ready system operates as intended during an imminent life-threatening situation,” reads the Weather Network site.

Canadians are not able to opt out of these tests, given the importance the system has in keeping Canadians alerted of threats.

However, rest assured as those in participating provinces and territories will only receive one alert.