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Emergency alert to be sent to B.C. mobile phones on Wednesday

A emergency alert text message is pictured on a smartphone in Vancouver, Wednesday, May 8, 2019.

A test of B.C.’s wireless alerting system took place Wednesday afternoon as part of the national Alert Ready system, which is meant to improve public safety in the event of an emergency.

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An alert was broadcast on radio and television stations as well as on compatible wireless devices at 1:55 p.m.

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The test message read (in part):

“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…. This is ONLY a TEST, no action is required.”

The test is designed to assess the system’s readiness for an actual emergency and identify any adjustments that need to be made.

Members of the public were reminded not to call 911 for information about the alert.

Tests took place across the country, except in Alberta and Nunavut.

A test scheduled for May was cancelled across Canada due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Alert Ready system was developed after the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission mandated that all wireless service providers be capable of sending the wireless warnings back in 2017.

— With files from Simon Little