A wireless public alert system test will go off on Wednesday (Nov.28) across Canada.
At 1:55 p.m. for each province (2:55 p.m. in Quebec), Public Safety Canada will conduct a test of their Alert Ready system called the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination System (NAAD). Managed by Pelmorex, NAAD uses new technology that pushes the notification to compatible cell phones, television and radio.
"It's just to try to get more people reached when there's an emergency," explained Fort Saskatchewan deputy fire chief Paul Prevost.
In a real situation, people would receive the alert in case of a community-wide emergency, such as a tornado, fire, hazardous materials or public security issue. The alert starts with a distinct sound called the Canadian Alert Attention Signal. Mobile phones will also vibrate.
"If there was an emergency, it would enable emergency services like ourselves to alert people of an impending emergency that may affect them rapidly."
The purpose of the test is to ensure that the system is functioning and being sent to everyone, to increase awareness about the existence of the tests and to help people get used to receiving the alerts.
Older cell phones may not receive the alert. Locals can download the Alberta Emergency Alert app and sign up to receive the alerts in the future.