Today, a national test of the Alert Ready system is taking place. Alberta is one of several provinces taking part in the test alert. Alberta's test alert will be issued at 11:55 a.m. 

Rocky View County has issued a reminder to residents about the test alert stating that the test messages will be Broadcast intrusive (BI) and Wireless immediate (WI) and will be broadcast on all mediums. 

"Rocky View County residents are encouraged to download the Alberta Emergency Alert app on their phones. It is a program that can save lives. It will only be used if there is a threat to life or community impacts. For disasters like wildfire, floods, and severe weather like tornados, this important tool gets the word out fast," the County stated.

According to the Alert Ready website, the system is, 'Canada’s emergency alerting system. Alert Ready delivers critical and potentially life-saving alerts to Canadians through television, radio and LTE-connected and compatible wireless devices.'

Alert Ready also added that test alert messages will be identified as such.

Alert Ready explains on its website that an SMS text message will be sent by wireless service providers to notify their subscribers of upcoming tests. Receipt of the message does not necessarily mean the device is compatible to receive wireless emergency alerts as alerts are distributed through cell broadcast technology, rather than through SMS text messaging.

"These messages are intended to “test” the functionality of the system, build awareness of wireless emergency alerts, and do not require consumers to take steps to secure their safety. You may be required to acknowledge receipt of the emergency alert to allow for your wireless device to resume normal functioning."

If you cannot acknowledge the alert, the alert sound and vibration will continue for eight seconds. Depending on your specific wireless device, additional reminders may occur. There is no way to opt out of test alerts. 

"Given the importance of warning Canadians of imminent threats to the safety of life and property, the CRTC requires wireless service providers to distribute alerts on all compatible wireless devices connected to an LTE or 5G network in the target area," Alert Ready stated. "In general, the alerts respect the settings of your compatible wireless device. For example, a compatible wireless device that is set to silent will display an emergency alert but will not play the alert tone."

Other provinces that will also be taking part in the test alert include British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Quebec, and Saskatchewan, though Rocky View County noted that Emergency Management Organizations (EMOs) from other provinces will issue their own test alerts.

"In any case, only one test alert will be issued for each province or territory," Rocky View County added. 

According to Alert Ready statistics, thus far in 2024, there have been six alerts in Alberta - the highest of any province, with four of those alerts being due to a wildfire. Nationwide 22 alerts have been issued. 

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