Canada expands emergency alert system

By Jonathan Nally
Tuesday, 10 April, 2018

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Canadians can now receive emergency alerts on compatible wireless devices such as smartphones.

The National Public Alerting System (NPAS), known as Alert Ready, is a collaboration between federal, provincial and territorial governments and industry partners.

Alert Ready can rapidly warn the public of imminent or unfolding hazards, such as tornados and earthquakes, or civil emergencies.

Alerting authorities will begin to issue NPAS alerts as each government entity adds the capacity to do so.

Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale applauded the collaborative effort.

“By adding smartphones to our emergency alert system, we will be able to reach more Canadians, faster, in times of crisis. Wireless alerts will also allow us to issue more geographically targeted alerts,” he said.

“The safety of Canadians is our highest priority, and I’m proud that we’ve worked with all partners to make this capability a reality.”

Ian Scott, chair of the Canada Radio-television Telecommunications Commission, said, “For many years, the CRTC has been ensuring that the communication system better protects Canadians and allows them to get the help they need during an emergency. The distribution of alert messages on mobile devices is an important evolution of the National Public Alerting System.

“The alerts that Canadians will receive on their mobile devices, in addition to those already broadcast on television and radio, could save lives.”

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