Emergency alert test in B.C. did not work for everyone

Click to play video: 'National emergency alert system test run'
National emergency alert system test run
Not everyone got the message during a test run for Canada's new emergency alert system and, as Ted Chernecki reports, the reasons behind the misfire are not immediately clear – May 9, 2018

Emergency Management BC conducted a test today of the B.C. emergency alert system, as part of  a Canada-wide system.

But the message did not get to everyone. Many took to Twitter to say they never received it.


And many saw it as an opportunity to be creative.

Ian Lightbody with Emergency Management BC said it’s unclear why some didn’t receive a message.

“It doesn’t seem to be any consistent thread or theme in the phones that didn’t get the alert. It wasn’t a consistent carrier or it wasn’t a phone type or a software type,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

The alert is supposed to warn the public of a large-scale disaster or emergency where loss of life is imminent and possible.

A high pitch sound similar to an ambulance alarm and the following message is supposed to appear on all mobile devices as well as Canadian radio and TV during these tests.

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.”

READ MORE: 60% of cellphones received emergency alert test in Manitoba, province blames service providers

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ordered wireless providers to implement the system to distribute such warnings to all of its costumers.

If you were one of the people who did not get the message, this is what it was supposed to look like.

READ MORE: No alerts for cell phone emergency alert system test in Quebec

Another test for the warning system happened on Monday in Ontario and Quebec and the results weren’t much different from what was experienced in B.C. Quebec had no alerts registered on mobile devices but it did broadcast on TV and radio.

Story continues below advertisement

You can check your phone’s compatibility with the Safety Alert System on the Alert Ready website.

Emergency Management BC will work with Pelmorex, the company that operates the system, and wireless carriers across the province to fix the issue, Lightbody said.

— With files from The Canadian Press

Sponsored content