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National system to better protect Albertans

Starting today, Albertans will receive messages about life-threatening emergencies, such as a tornado, wildfire, flood or Amber Alert, directly to their cellphones.

Wireless public alerting is a national system designed to deliver life-saving emergency alert messages directly to smart phones connected to an LTE network within an area affected by a disaster or emergency.

“In Alberta, we’ve been sending public safety messages for 25 years. Today, another tool is in place that will complement our provincial system and help keep Albertans safe by delivering alerts directly to their compatible phones. If you see an emergency alert come in, I encourage you to stop, listen and take action to protect yourself and your family.”

Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs

The national system complements the Alberta Emergency Alert system, which issues alerts through radio, television, social media and cellphones for critical and emerging issues in Alberta.

National Wireless Public Alerting (or Alert Ready)

  • Is in place as of April 6, 2018.
  • Alerts are distributed through compatible cellphones, those connected to an LTE cellular network, located in the specific region where the emergency is taking place.
  • Consists of one category of alert – life-threatening emergencies.  
  • Provides basic information on the incident, what actions to take and where to find more information.
  • Is a mandatory system. Wireless Service Providers are required to issue the alert to phones in the immediate area where the emergency is taking place.
  • Provincial, territorial and federal governments are able to send emergency alerts. Law enforcement agencies are able to send Amber Alerts.
  • Is developed in partnership with federal, provincial and territorial emergency management officials, Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Weather Network, the broadcasting industry and Wireless Service Providers.

Alberta Emergency Alert

  • Has served Albertans since 1992.
  • Alerts are distributed through various means: radio, television, websites, Twitter, Facebook and the Alberta Emergency Alert App.
  • There are two categories of alerts: critical and information. Critical alerts are for imminent and life-threatening danger, such as floods, wildfires, tornadoes or Amber Alerts. Information alerts are for awareness and to encourage preparation for events such as severe storms, traffic disruption or air quality warnings.
  • Can provide detailed information including maps and links to additional resources.
  • Albertans need to download the app to receive alerts directly to their phone.
  • App users can select what alerts to receive and for what locations in Alberta.
  • The Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) and Alberta communities can send alerts. Law enforcement agencies are able to send Amber Alerts.

Even with this new system in place, the Government of Alberta, through the AEMA, will continue to provide the infrastructure, user training, and support for the Alberta Emergency Alert system. In Alberta, emergency alerts will continue to be issued by trained local officials, and seamlessly passed from the Alberta Emergency Alert system to the national system.


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