Even though there was plenty of warning that it would be happening, Canada's emergency alert system still managed to really scare unexpecting people across the country today. As the alerts rolled out, smartphones across the country received extremely loud test messages. 

Testing of the new emergency notification system was carried out across the country to prep locals in case an alert is issued in any major emergency situation. Alert Ready, the organization responsible for the messages, provided advance warning that the test would be taking place.

There have already been complaints by Canadians receiving unwanted messages on their phones, especially when it comes to Amber alerts.

There had previously been an issue with Canadians calling 911 just to complain about receiving Amber alerts on their phone, particularly in the middle of the night.

Unlike some mobile services, Canadians do not have the option to opt out of the emergency alert system, which provides warnings about extreme weather, wildfires, civil emergencies, and other dangers.

This time, however, Canadians were less angry and more frightened by the sudden jolt of noise being emitted from their cellphones. It was probably the worst for people who weren't expecting it, but even some people who knew it was coming had a fright.

"JFC this thing almost gave me damn heart attack lol #EmergencyAlert," wrote @6ixOg.

"Whoa! That scared the bejesus out of me!! #emergencyalert," wrote @timberdingy.

Despite having previous warnings about these messages only being a test, some people still took to Twitter to remind others not to call 911 and clog up the phone lines, especially not with complaints.


"REMINDER - ALERT READY TEST TODAY AT 2:55PM. Please don't call 911 or Police, this is a test of Canada's #emergencyalert system," wrote @SudburyPolice.

"I just phoned my mom to remind her of the #EmergencyAlert that’s set to go off at 2:55 pm EST so she won’t be scared when she hears it on her cellphone. If you have elderly parents, perhaps you should do the same. But please don’t call 911! It’s just a test!" wrote @PatCancilla.

The new alert system may have scared some people, but it's an important structure to have in place for providing emergency information to Canadians.

There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.

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