This Wednesday afternoon (November 27) mobile phones are going to ring and vibrate in unison across the province. Or at least they should, if all is working as it’s supposed to.
On Wednesday at 1:55 p.m., the B.C. Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General’s emergency management office is scheduled to test the system it uses to issue alerts on wireless devices.
“This is part of a biannual test of the national Alert Ready system, which was launched in B.C. on April 6, 2018,” a November 25 media release reads. “This testing is designed to assess the system's readiness for an actual emergency and identify any adjustments that need to be made.
“During the test, an alert will be broadcast on radio and television stations, as well as on compatible wireless devices,” it adds.
Some emergency alerts come with unusually loud and obnoxious sounds. The province’s release does not state if this test will.
The release emphasizes that the Wednesday alert will come with a text message that clearly labels the disruption as a test.
"This is a TEST of the British Columbia Emergency Alerting System, issued by Emergency Management British Columbia. This is ONLY a TEST,” it’s going to read. “If this had been an actual emergency or threat, you would now hear instructions that would assist you to protect you and your family. For further information, go to: www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca. This is ONLY a TEST. No action is required."
The system, called Alert Ready, is used to warn the public of “imminent or unfolding hazards to life”, the release states.
Anyone within cellular coverage in B.C. should receive the test as long as their device and software are all up to date.