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Black Friday helped create emergency alerts

Thirty years after a devastating tornado claimed 27 lives and damaged and destroyed homes and businesses, the government is working to prepare for emergencies and protect Albertans.

MLA Sweet inside the MESA-16x92

(From L to R): Alberta Emergency Management Agency Team Lead for the Alberta Emergency Alert Tim Trytten, Edmonton-Manning MLA Heather Sweet, and Alberta Motor Association vice-president of Government and Stakeholder Relations Jeff Kasbrick recognize the 30th anniversary of Black Friday

Following the tragedy of July 31, 1987, the province created the Alberta Emergency Alert. This life-saving network warns Albertans of an immediate disaster and tells them what action to take to protect themselves and their families.

“As Albertans gather to remember Black Friday, my heart goes out to the families and communities who lost a loved one in this tragedy. Black Friday is a powerful reminder of the forces of nature and the need to be prepared. I encourage all Albertans to download the Alberta Emergency Alert app to stay informed of events in their area and ways to stay safe.”

Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs

The Alberta Emergency Alert issues alerts for weather events, hazards, Amber Alerts, wildfire and other emergencies that could pose an immediate threat to life.

“My constituency of Edmonton-Manning was one of the worst hit by the tornado 30 years ago. Learning from the disasters of Black Friday, Alberta created the first emergency alert system in Canada. Today, our government has an innovative digital system called the Alberta Emergency Alert App. Being informed is the first step in protecting you and your family.”

Heather Sweet, MLA Edmonton-Manning

“Every day at the Alberta Motor Association (AMA), we’re committed to protecting the things that matter most to our members, and this includes the safety of our communities. Since the tragedy of Black Friday 30 years ago, so much has changed to make critical information in times of an emergency more accessible and reliable. This is why we’re pleased to partner with the Government of Alberta and Alberta Emergency Management in raising awareness about the Alberta Emergency Alert app. This app supports AMA’s existing use of social media and our own app that provides on-the-go information about road, traffic, weather conditions and more.”

Jeff Kasbrick, vice-president of Government and Stakeholder Relations, AMA

Alberta Emergency Alert distribution partners include:

  • 148 radio and television broadcasters
  • 162,200 mobile application users for smartphones
  • 214,000 Facebook and Twitter followers
  • highway, municipal and private road signs
  • Amber Alert distribution by email to all government employees
  • RSS feed
  • website
  • amateur radio

In 2016, Alberta Emergency Alert issued 17 broadcast alerts, including warnings about 13 tornadoes. So far in 2017, six tornado alerts have been issued.


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