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Yukon to test emergency alert system Wednesday afternoon

The test will send alerts to compatible cell phones and interrupt TV and radio broadcasts
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(Submitted/Black Press file photo)

The Yukon government will test its emergency public alert system at 1:55 p.m. on Nov. 28.

The alert, which will clearly identify itself as a test, will differ from the previous nation-wide test in April by broadcasting on radio and television as well as compatible cell phones.

“The wireless device must be a wireless public alerting (WPA) compatible device, like a smartphone, capable of connecting to an LTE network (LTE is commonly referred to as “4G LTE”); and equipped with the latest version of its operating software. It must also be connected to an LTE cellular network at the time the emergency alert is issued or joins the network while the alert is still active,” said Breagha Fraser, spokesperson for community services.

In the event of a real emergency, such as fire, tornado, earthquake, drink water contamination, terrorist threat or any time there is a “threat to life.”

In that case, the alert would include instructions.

“We viewed the last test as a success,” said Fraser. “However that isn’t quantifiable by the Government of Yukon as we don’t have a way to track it … we expect the test on November 28 to be successful in reaching a large number of Yukoners as alerts will also be broadcasted on radio and television.”

The email said this will give Yukoners a reminder to review emergency plans and 72-hour kits.

Fraser said these kits should contain basic supplies for every member of a given household to be self-sufficient for 72 hours without power or running water. This includes food, water a first-aid kit, flashlight and extra batteries, a wind-up or battery-powered radio, extra eyeglasses or contact lenses, prescriptions or special medications, car keys, credit cards, cash, chargers for cellphones and electronic communication devices, and seasonal clothing and footwear for each family member.

Fraser said the alert hasn’t been used in a real life-threatening situation in the Yukon, but she said it was credited with saving lives during the hurricane in Ottawa in September.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com