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'This is only a test': B.C. sending emergency alert this week

B.C. has used the Alert Ready alarm seven times in 2022.
The signal is a test to assess Alert Ready's overall emergency-response management.

An emergency alert will sound across the province on Wednesday afternoon as part of a test. 

Emergency Management BC (EMBC) will be conducting the test of the emergency alert system at 1:55 p.m. on Nov. 16.

During the test, an alert tone will sound and a message will appear across devices and stations.

"This is a TEST of the BC emergency alert system, issued by Emergency Management BC. This is ONLY A TEST. In an actual emergency, this message would contain instructions to help keep you and your community safe. Learn more about how, when and why emergency alerts are issued in BC at This is ONLY A TEST. No action is required,” the message will read.

EMBC is asking the public not to call 911 following the Alert Ready alarm as it is a test and non-emergency calls delay help for people experiencing real emergencies. 

According to Alert Ready, B.C. has issued the alert in real situations seven times in 2022: three civil emergencies, two wildfire alerts and two amber alerts. In comparison, Alberta issued 117, Manitoba put out 115 and Ontario issued 176 alerts this year.

Emergency alerts can be issued at the request of local government, First Nations or the province during high-risk flood and wildfire evacuations, extreme heat emergencies and tsunami warnings.

BC RCMP and local police can also issue the emergency alert during an amber alert or during civil emergencies, including active shooter events. 

Environment and Climate Change Canada can issue an alert during severe weather events such as tornadoes and thunderstorms. 

Depending on your phone’s settings, you may receive an early alert message without sound.

After the test, you can submit feedback through an online survey.

Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Yukon will also be conducting the test on Wednesday.