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Don't be alarmed: B.C. to test wireless emergency system today

'Alert Ready' system to send text message, radio and TV broadcast
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Alert Ready's emergency response text pops up on a smartphone during its biannual test. | Glacier Media

Smartphones, radios and televisions will be sounding off a signal this week across B.C.

But don't worry, it's only a test!

The provincial government says the biannual Alert Ready system, a national emergency broadcast test, is set to take place today, Wednesday (May 5) at 1:55 p.m.

The last test was conducted in November 2020; one was scheduled for May 2020, but was cancelled resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Launching in April 2018, formally known as the National Public Alerting System (NPAS), the signal is a test to assess Alert Ready's overall emergency-response management and to take notes to find where improvements are needed when it comes to public safety.

In past tests, some British Columbians have claimed they didn't receive an alert on any wireless device.

The test message will read as follows:

“This is a TEST of the British Columbia Emergency Alerting System, issued by Emergency Management British Columbia. This is ONLY a TEST. 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.”

For more information, or to see if your smartphone is compatible with the program, you can visit Alert Ready's website.