Alert Ready: emergency alerting system

What is Alert Ready?

Alert Ready is the new national public alerting system designed to deliver critical and potentially life-saving alerts to Canadians through television, radio and other media.

How does Alert Ready work?

The Alert Ready system was developed by federal, provincial and territorial emergency management officials and broadcasters to ensure that you receive alerts immediately and know when to take action to keep yourself and your family safe.

What types of alerts are issued through Alert Ready?

Government officials developed a specific list of the types of alerts for events that are considered a threat to life and should be "broadcast immediately."

Why is it important?

Broadcasters use Alert Ready to inform their audiences about severe weather alerts. The system also helps to ensure that more Canadians know about severe weather alerts and can make choices about their safety.

What should I do when I hear a severe weather alert?

Be on the lookout for severe weather in your area. Take shelter if threatening weather is approaching.

How are you dealing with technological difficulties?

We continue to work closely with our partners to find solutions for the few shortcomings of Alert Ready. The following software solutions have been implemented over the last year:

Improved audio voice quality

Pelmorex Media - the operator of the alert aggregation component - has implemented an improved text-to-speech system, which will improve the audio quality of our messages. Radio and television broadcasters, as well as cable and satellite television providers, control how messages are displayed on the television screen or played on the radio.

Too many "broadcast immediately" alerts

Several strategies and procedures have been implemented in our warning production system to reduce the frequency of the "broadcast immediately" alerts. During recent testing the number of repetitive "broadcast immediately" alerts have been significantly reduced.

Alerts repeating after the alert ends

The validity period will now be clearly indicated in all of our alerts.

Who is involved with Alert Ready?

This system was developed in collaboration with many partners:

  • Public Safety Canada, the lead Government of Canada organization for coordinating across all federal departments and agencies responsible for national security and the safety of Canadians;
  • Federal, provincial and territorial emergency management officials who are responsible for public alerting;
  • Environment Canada, the official source for weather alerts and warnings in Canada--Environment Canada is the organization that issues the largest number of alerts to the public and hence will be the most frequent user of the Alert Ready system; 
  • Pelmorex, owners of Weather Network/Météomédia, which runs the "pipeline" through which any and all emergency messages, not just related to weather, travel to the broadcasters;
  • Television and radio broadcasters, who have implemented systems to air alerts for life-threatening situations by interrupting scheduled programming.

Is there a difference between the new Twitter alerts and the Alert Ready system?

Although both systems disseminate Environment Canada weather alerts, there is a significant difference between the two. Environment Canada’s Twitter-based weather alert service tweets a wide range of weather alerts issued by Environment Canada’s meteorologists instantly to Canadians using the Twitter platform. Alert Ready is a national public alerting system that issues only certain Environment Canada weather and other alerts of life-threatening situations to television and radio broadcasters to disseminate to their viewing or listening audiences.

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