(File photo)

(File photo)

Alert ready system test coming for B.C. this afternoon

Cell phones across B.C. will ring out at 1:55 p.m. for the test

At 1:55 p.m. today, B.C. will send out a test of the Alert Ready emergency broadcast system.

The alert will go to mobile phones across the province. It will cause an emergency tone and deliver a notification on cell phone lock screens that indicate no action is required — people should not call emergency service lines to ask questions or complain about the alert as those lines need to be free to assist people in actual emergencies.

READ MORE: B.C. 911 calls surge with tips, complaints after Amber Alert issued

Cell phones must be turned on, connected to mobile networks and have up-to-date software to receive the alerts.

On May 3, the B.C. provincial government announced that the Alert Ready system would be expanded to include flood and wildfire evacuations. Previously, the system was reserved for Amber Alerts, earthquakes and tsunami warnings.

“While it’s important to remember that public emergency alerting is intended to complement, but not replace, emergency alerting already performed by Emergency Management B.C. and local governments, broadcast intrusive alerts have unique advantages with their reach and impact,” Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said.

Alert Ready was used last year to deliver 173 warnings across Canada for wildfires, tornadoes, flash floods, Amber Alerts, civil emergencies, police emergencies and drinking water warnings.

–With files from the Canadian Press

READ MORE: B.C. expanding TV, radio alerts to cover flood and fire evacuations

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