After much public criticism during November’s catastrophic atmospheric rivers and flooding, the B.C. government is extending its Alert Ready system beyond tsunami warnings and Amber Alerts to include imminent threats from floods and wildfires.
On Tuesday, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said the expansion of the system that issues public safety alerts through TV and radio broadcasters, as well as mobile devices, is because of an increase in the frequency of threats due to climate change.
“While it’s important to remember that public emergency alerting is intended to complement, but not replace, emergency alerting already performed by Emergency Management BC and local governments, broadcast-intrusive alerts have unique advantages with their reach and impact,” Farnworth said.
B.C. floods: Province preps emergency alert system
Farnworth was on the defense last fall for his government’s handling of the record-breaking rain and flooding that stranded hundreds of people, destroyed a major highway, and ruined homes and farmland in key agricultural areas.
The system is ready to be deployed for flooding, and will launch for wildfire threats by early June.
As part of the change, the province will conduct a test at 1:55 p.m. PT on Wednesday.
B.C. floods: The devastation and the road to recovery
The test message, sent to major broadcasters and compatible phones, will read: “This is a TEST of the British Columbia Emergency Alerting System, issued by Emergency Management British Columbia. This is ONLY a TEST. If this had been an actual emergency or threat, you would now hear instructions that would assist you to protect you and your family. For further information, go to: http://www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca. This is ONLY a TEST, no action is required.”
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.