Alberta Emergency Alerts are issued to provide you with critical information about a potentially life-threatening situation in your area, including wildfires, floods, and tornadoes. Emergency alerts include information about the location of an emergency and what action you need to take to protect yourself. Alerts are sent out on TV, radio, websites, social media, the Alberta Emergency Alert mobile app and compatible smart phones.
Various organizations in Alberta issue alerts based on the emergency:
- Local authorities handle fires, floods, and hazardous materials.
- Police manage criminal events including AMBER Alerts.
- Alberta 511 handle hazardous road conditions.
- Environment Canada oversees weather-related alerts.
Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) supports all alert issuers and communities.
Types of emergency alerts
Emergencies and disasters can occur anywhere, at any time. It is your responsibility to know the types of alerts being issued and ensure you are prepared if there is an emergency or disaster.
Critical alerts mean you need to take immediate action to save your life.
- A wildfire requiring the immediate evacuation of a community.
- A poisoned water supply forcing a Do Not Drink Order.
- An armed assailant that is forcing the lock down of a community.
Advisory alerts indicate you need to prepare to act for a potential future threat.
- A wildfire that might require the evacuation of a community.
- Worsening flooding that may require an evacuation.
Twice per year, in November and May, a provincewide test alert is issued. These alerts test the system to make sure it works the way it should.
Local police services and the RCMP are responsible for issuing AMBER Alerts and alerts for any threat involving criminal activity that meets the criteria.
Police only activate an AMBER alert if all 4 activation criteria have been met.
- A child or an adult with a proven mental or physical disability has been abducted.
- The child or adult is in danger of serious harm or death.
- There is enough descriptive information to enable the public to identify the:
- child or adult
- mode of transportation
- There is a reasonable expectation the abductee could be returned, or the abductor could be apprehended.
AMBER Alerts may include the following information:
- descriptions – suspect, abductee, vehicles
- abduction details – when, where and how the abduction happened
- locations – the last possible location of the suspect or abductee
- directions – which way the suspect may be traveling
Other police initiated alerts
Police may issue an alert for other criminal activity if the following criteria has been met:
- Location – A rare or extreme police emergency event is occurring or considered imminent in Alberta and the potential threat is not contained or cannot feasibly be contained using regular police methods.
- Certainty – The event is observed and confirmed or will imminently be an ongoing event.
- Severity – The life or safety of the public is at risk. The event poses a significant threat to cause death or grievous bodily harm to the public.
- Urgency – The risk is immediate and normal police response or communication to the public will not adequately warn, prepare, and protect the public from the danger. The alert provides critical and lifesaving emergency information and instructions to the public.
Hazardous road conditions
Alberta 511 and Transportation and Economic Corridors is the primary issuer for alerts relating to hazardous road conditions which pose an imminent threat to human life on provincial roadways.
Severe weather events
Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for issuing alerts related to weather in Alberta.
Other alert information
Emergency alerts are sent to mobile devices, TV and radio without a subscription and at no cost.
- It is not possible to opt out of receiving emergency alerts.
- Emergency alert issuers do not collect, have access to, or retain any contact or personal information when issuing an emergency alert.
- Alerts are geographically targeted to a specific area and all compatible wireless devices and tv/radio broadcasts in the area will receive the alert.
- Download the Alberta Emergency Alert mobile application to ensure you receive the alerts you need.
- Your local authority may have other emergency notification systems that you can subscribe to. Check with your local government or First Nation.
Reasons why alerts are not issued
Issuing an alert depends on the factors contributing to the emergency. Alerts may not be necessary if the scale of the emergency does not warrant it, if the scene is secure, or if it might make the situation worse.
It is up to the local emergency managers to decide if an alert is appropriate for their situation.
Receiving alerts outside the affected area
Alerts may extend beyond the emergency boundaries due to broadcast equipment range. If received, verify your location using the message details or trusted sources.
Multiple alerts might stem from various apps or settings. Check notification settings or contact your service provider for assistance.