Economy

New national emergency alert system fails first test

New national emergency alert system fails first test

Officials botched the first widespread test of Canada's new emergency public alerting system on Monday, blaming a technical glitch for the shaky rollout of the system created to deliver emergency alerts over LTE wireless networks to compatible mobile devices.

"I guess if the world ends, I'm the last to know", he quipped.

Here are the scheduled times for tests scheduled for Wednesday outside Ontario and Quebec. "There is no danger to your health or safety". For television and radio, the test emergency alert will begin with the distinct sound, followed by the message.

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In an email to The Canadian Press, Pelmorex issued a statement explaining what happened.

"A space incorrectly included in the coding prevented the Alert Ready system from sending the Quebec test message to compatible wireless devices earlier this morning", reads an admission on the Alert Ready website posted late Monday. Alerts were successful on TV and radio on Monday.

In Ontario, the test alerts were also expected to be broadcast across TV and radio airwaves, but in some cases no messages were seen on TV screens.

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The test is also a great opportunity for families to have a conversation about what their plan would be in the event of an emergency, said Sampson.

Pelmorex did not respond to questions by deadline about what went wrong in Ontario. "These tests are conducted to ensure that the alerting system is functional", the CRTC stated.

Depending on the type of device and cell phone providers, citizens are to expect to hear a tone similar to an ambulance alarm or feel a vibration for 8 seconds. Not connected to the network devices will not get the alert, but those who are talking on the phone, can hear their dialogue is interrupted by a sound similar to signal "call in idle mode".

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Emergency alert messages are issued by federal, provincial and territorial governments and emergency management officials to warn the public of imminent threats, such as fires, tornadoes, floods, water contamination and Amber Alerts. Similar to the system that caused panic in Hawaii at the beginning of the year when a message about an impending missile strike was mistakenly sent to cell phones.