If you live in Ontario or Quebec, there's a good chance that you'll receive an unusual emergency alarm on your phone this afternoon. Your phone might start buzzing or blaring like an ambulance for about eight seconds. But don't panic, it's just a test for Canada's new national public alert system.
Quebec can expect their emergency alerts at around 9:55 am this morning, and Ontario's will begin at 1:55 pm. These provinces will have their alert tests on Wednesday at 1:55 pm:
- Northwest Territories
- British Columbia
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Nova Scotia
ATTENTION Quebec and Ontario! The PUBLIC ALERTING TEST on compatible LTE-connected #wireless devices, TV and radio will be tomorrow at:— CRTCeng (@CRTCeng) May 6, 2018
👉 9:55AM EDT in Quebec, and
👉 1:55PM EDT in Ontario.
Traveling within these provinces? You may be notified.https://t.co/oilmQ4LKEk pic.twitter.com/xfQAdp8X0M
Also on Wednesday, the Yukon's emergency alarm will go off at 1:30 pm and New Brunswick's will start at 6:55 pm.
The alert is the first of its kind in Canada. It's purpose is to alert Canadians about "imminent or unfolding hazards to life and property," including fires, tornadoes, floods, terrorist threats and Amber Alerts.
Millions of people will receive the test alert on their phones, and radio and TV stations will be interrupting broadcasts to run the test as well. The goal is for the alarm to activate on every single mobile device in Canada in the event of a real emergency.
The new system also has "safeguards" in place to prevent any false or prank alarms, like what happened recently in Hawaii.
For more details on the emergency alarm tests in your province, click here.