Heat dome “Alert Ready” warnings available this summer
British Columbia’s public safety minister says an automated alert system will be in place in June to notify residents of dangerously high temperatures like last year’s fatal heat dome.
Mike Farnworth made the comment during a Vancouver news conference with federal ministers as they outlined wildfire response and prevention funding.
Alert Ready is a tool used by governments across the country to broadcast warnings on radio and television stations, as well as compatible wireless devices.
Farnworth announced last week the tool is ready for use during floods and that it would be expanded to wildfires in June. On May 13th he added that launching the alert system in June has always been the government’s intention.
“Previously, we’ve been prepared to deploy the system for tsunami warning, civil emergencies and Amber Alerts. But now we’re online for flood dangers and the system will go further to expand wildfire threats by early June and heat alerts at the same time,” Farnworth told a crowd gathered at the HMCS Discovery Naval Reserve in Vancouver’s Stanley Park.
In response to a question about the timeline, Farnworth said: “It has always been our plan that it would be ready by June.”
The BC Coroners Service has said scorching temperatures last summer caused nearly 600 heat-related deaths.
Alert Ready is a Canada-wide system that allows government officials in each province and territory to issue public safety alerts through major television and radio broadcasters, as well as on compatible wireless devices. This system is only used during large-scale disasters or emergencies where loss of life is possible or imminent. Emergency Management BC conducts a test of the Alert Ready system twice per year. The last test of the Alert Ready system in BC occurred on May 4th.
The next Alert Ready test in BC will be conducted Nov. 16th at 1:55 p.m. During the test, the public will hear the alert tone. Along with a message on radio and TV, you will also hear or see this message on compatible wireless devices.
Example message: “This is a scheduled TEST of the British Columbia Emergency Alerting System, issued by Emergency Management BC. If this had been an actual emergency, this message would include instructions to help keep you and your community safe. For more information visit www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca. This TEST is for all of BC. No action is required.”
- Canadian Press & EmergencyInfo BC