Smartphone emergency alert system launches

(Black Press file)

An emergency alert system for mobile devices across Canada launched April 6.

Called Alert Ready, the system allows authorities to send emergency warnings to smartphones within the affected geographical area that are connected to an LTE cell network and that are wireless public alerting-compatible. Alerts will be sent out during situations government officials consider “a threat to life,” including fires, natural disasters, drinking water contamination, terrorist threats and Amber Alerts. Officials may also issue test messages.

When an alert is sent out, people with compatible devices will hear a warning tone and receive a message similar to a text message with details about the emergency and what action to take, if any. Devices that don’t have reception at the time an alert is sent out will receive the alert after returning to an area with reception and if the alert is still in effect.

It will not be possible to opt out of the alerts, although, depending on the smartphone, the alert tone may not sound if the device has been set to vibrate or silent mode.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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