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

‘Alert Ready’ system to send text message, radio and TV broadcast

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 test of Alert Ready, a national emergency broadcast system, is set to take place May 5 at 1:55 p.m.

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The test was last conducted in November 2020; one scheduled for May 2020 was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is meant to assess Alert Ready’s overall emergency-response management and to find where improvements are needed.

In previous 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 This is ONLY a TEST, no action is required.”

For more information, or to see if your smartphone is compatible with the program, go to Alert Ready’s website.

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