Wireless Carrier Compatibility

To determine your cell phone’s compatibility, select your Wireless Carrier:


In addition to television and radio, Alert Ready sends life-threatening emergency alerts to cell phones and wireless devices that are compatible with Wireless Public Alerting (WPA). For emergency alerts to be received on a wireless device, three conditions must be met. The wireless device must be:
  1. A wireless public alerting (WPA) compatible device, like a smartphone, capable of connecting to an LTE network (LTE is commonly referred to as “4G LTE”); and
  2. Equipped with the latest version of its operating software; and
  3. Connected to an LTE cellular network at the time the emergency alert is issued or joins the network while the alert is still active.

Alert Tone

If you hear this distinctive tone on television, radio or on your wireless device, please pay attention and take action right away.

Notice for the visually and hearing impaired: Alternate formats of the alerts may be issued, however, not every alerting authority or device has the capability to produce or receive these formats. Broadcasters may use text-to-speech software to create an audio version of an alert message. Emergency alerts may be read to the recipient if your device supports this feature. The vibration feature that accompanies emergency alerts is available to alert Canadians. Please contact your wireless provider for more services which may be available to you.


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Frequently Asked Questions

We have made it fast and easy for you to find helpful answers to your questions.

Top Questions and Answers
Will I receive an emergency alert if my wireless device is off or set to silent?

A compatible wireless device that is turned off will not receive an emergency alert. If when the device is powered on and the emergency alert is still active and the user is still in the alert area, then the wireless device will display the alert.

A compatible wireless device that is set to silent will display an emergency alert, but you might not hear the emergency alert sound. The emergency alert sound will usually play at whatever the current volume setting is on the wireless device, so if your wireless device is set to silent, no sound will accompany the emergency alert message. However, this behaviour can differ depending on your wireless device and in some instances the alert sound may override your user settings.

How do I sign up to receive alerts / How can I get these alerts?

There is no sign-up or opt-in required. Emergency alerts will be automatically sent through broadcast channels such as television and radio, as well as to compatible, LTE-connected wireless devices.

Compatible wireless devices are:

  • A wireless public alerting (WPA) compatible device, like a smartphone, capable of connecting to an LTE network (LTE is commonly referred to as “4G LTE”); and
  • Equipped with the latest version of its operating software; and
  • Connected to an LTE cellular network at the time the emergency alert is issued or joins the network while the alert is still active.

 

My provider is not listed. How do I know if I can receive these alerts?

For information regarding public alerting services and device compatibility, please contact your wireless service provider.

Android devices certified by a Canadian wireless service provider

Ability to receive an alert: Consumers should check their specific device against their wireless service providers’ list of wireless public alerting compatible devices. If your device is not on the carrier list, it is not Wireless Public Alerting compatible.

In addition, consumers should ensure that the SOFTWARE on their Wireless Public Alerting compatible device is kept up to date. Outdated software may affect a device’s ability to receive an alert even if it is compatible.

Timing of software updates may also impact whether devices will be compatible on other wireless service provider’s LTE networks in instances when customers switch providers but bring their own phone.

Connection to LTE network: Compatible devices must be connected to an LTE network at the time an alert is distributed. The symbol, usually located in the upper right-hand corner of your device, will help you to identify what network you are connected to.

However, it is important to understand that even if you’re in an area that has LTE coverage, what you are doing with your device at the time an alert is issued will impact your ability to receive it. For example:

  • If you have set your device to Wi-Fi only, you will not receive an alert.
  • If you are on a voice call at the time of the alert, you may not receive an alert. Voice calls may move your connection to a non-LTE network, like 3G, even if you are in an LTE area.
  • If you are in a location that makes signal reception difficult at the time of the alert, such as an underground garage, you may not receive an alert.

Device settings: The emergency alert will follow user settings:

  • The VOLUME of the alert will be the same volume as that which is set on your phone. Most devices have multiple setting controls for different features such as ringtone, media, notifications, and system. The Canadian Alerting Attention Signal is usually controlled by the Notification setting.
  • If your device is set with a REMINDER feature, this may cause the alert to repeat until you acknowledge it. This feature can be turned off following directions in your device’s User Guide.
  • If your device is set to SILENT or DO NOT DISTURB mode you might not see or notice the alert even though your device has received it. The emergency alert might be listed with other notifications.

Apple devices certified by a Canadian wireless service provider

Ability to receive an alert: Consumers should check their specific device against their wireless service providers list of wireless public alerting compatible devices. If your device is not on the carrier list, it is not compatible.

In addition, consumers should ensure that the SOFTWARE on their compatible device is kept up to date. Outdated software may affect a device’s ability to receive an alert even if it is compatible.

Timing of software updates may also impact whether devices will be wireless public alerting compatible on other wireless service provider’s LTE networks in instances when customers switch providers but bring their own phone.

Connection to LTE network: WPA-compatible devices must be connected to an LTE network at the time an alert is distributed. The symbols located in the upper right-hand corner of your device will help you to identify what network you are connected to.

However, it is important to understand that even if you’re in an area that has LTE coverage, what you are doing with your device at the time an alert is issued will impact your ability to receive it. For example:

  • If you have set your device to Wi-Fi only, you will not receive an alert.
  • If you are on a voice call at the time of the alert, you may not receive an alert. Voice calls may move your connection to a non-LTE network, like 3G, even if you are in an LTE area.
  • If you are in a location that makes signal reception difficult at the time of the alert, such as an underground garage, you may not receive an alert.

Device settings: The emergency alert will follow user settings:

  • The VOLUME of the alert will be the same volume as that which is set on your phone. Most devices have multiple setting controls for different features such as ringtone, media, notifications, and system. The Canadian Alerting Attention Signal is usually controlled by the Settings/Sounds & touch vibration settings (also known as Haptics setting).
  • If your device is set with a REMINDER feature, this may cause the alert to repeat until you acknowledge it. This feature can be turned off following directions in your device’s User Guide.
  • If your device is set to SILENT or DO NOT DISTURB mode, the alert will override the setting. This means that you will receive the alert at whatever user settings you have in place. You might not see or notice the alert even though your device has received it. The alert might be “hidden” with other notifications. You may need to scroll down to see the alert.

 

About Alert Ready
What is Alert Ready?

Alert Ready is Canada’s emergency alerting system. Alert Ready is designed to deliver critical and potentially life-saving alerts to Canadians through television, radio and compatible wireless devices. The Alert Ready system was developed and operates in partnership with federal, provincial and territorial emergency management officials, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Pelmorex, the broadcasting industry and wireless service providers. Together, they ensure you receive emergency alerts immediately and know when to take action to stay safe.

Who sends emergency alerts?

Only authorized Government Issuers are responsible for issuing emergency alerts. These include federal, provincial, and territorial governments.

Federally, emergency alerts are issued most frequently by Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Each provincial or territorial government decides who will have the authority to issue alerts within their jurisdictions. For example, emergency alerts could be issued by provincial or territorial emergency management offices or in some cases, by municipal emergency management offices or local police and fire departments.

Media companies, including television, radio stations, cable and satellite distributors, and wireless service providers receive these emergency alerts and relay them to their customers.

What types of emergency alerts are issued via Alert Ready?

The Alert Ready system allows alerting authorities from federal, provincial and territorial governments (Government Issuers) to issue a wide range of public safety messages. However, broadcasters and wireless service providers are only required to distribute emergency alerts for situations that pose an immediate threat-to-life.

Government officials developed and agreed on a specific list of alerts that are considered a threat-to-life. These alerts should be distributed immediately on television, radio and compatible wireless devices. Called “Broadcast Immediately,” these emergency alerts have the highest level of severity, urgency and certainty. For a full list of alerts, visit the Alert Types section of this website at https://www.alertready.ca/#types.

Distributing emergency or public alerts outside of this list (for example heavy rainfall or blizzard warnings) is at the discretion of each of the broadcasters. Wireless service providers will only receive and relay emergency messages that are issued for threat-to-life situations.

How do I know if the alerting authority in my area will issue emergency alerts?

Visit the Test Schedule section of AlertReady.ca for information on how emergency alerts are used in your province.

Federally, emergency alerts are issued most frequently by Environment and Climate Change Canada. It is important to note that the federally-issued emergency alerts can reach your compatible wireless device in any part of the country if they are applicable to your location.

What are the different ways I will receive emergency alerts?

You can expect to receive emergency alerts via Canadian radio and television, cable and satellite operators, and on compatible wireless devices connected to LTE networks.

Can I choose which way an emergency alert is sent to me?

No. Regulations mandated by the CRTC require all commercial, campus, community and Indigenous radio and television broadcasters, cable, satellite and IPTV providers, as well as wireless service providers to distribute emergency alerts.

There is no sign-up or opt-in required. Emergency alerts will be automatically sent through these broadcast channels, and to your compatible wireless device.
You cannot opt out of receiving threat-to-life emergency alerts. This is for your safety.

What do emergency alerts look and sound like?

Emergency alerts on radio, television and compatible wireless devices begin with a distinct sound, known as the Canadian Alert Attention Signal. Emergency alerts sent to compatible wireless devices will also cause the phone to vibrate. The sound and vibration conveys a sense of urgency and reinforces the alert message. 

On television and radio, the emergency alert sound will be followed by an automated message with the emergency alert details. On television, the emergency alert details in text will be presented either as a full screen or in a section at the top or bottom of the screen, this is at the discretion of the broadcaster.

On compatible, LTE-connected wireless devices, the emergency alert will display an “EMERGENCY ALERT/ALERTE D’URGENCE” banner, followed by text that describes the situation and provides instructions on what actions to take and where to find more information. At the top of each emergency alert, the issuing government agency will be clearly indicated.

 To hear a sample of the Canadian Alert Attention Signal click here.

Will emergency alerts be sent out in different languages?

Alert Ready supports emergency alerts in both English and French. However, the language used for alerts is determined by each alerting authority. Generally, alerting authorities will issue emergency alerts based on the official language requirements of their organization or jurisdiction. Broadcasters and wireless service providers pass on emergency alert text exactly as it is received from the government alerting authority.

Are emergency alerts available in alternate formats to accommodate the visually and hearing impaired?

Yes. Alternate formats can be issued, but not every alerting authority or every device will have the capacity to produce alternate formats. For example, emergency alerts distributed via radio and television broadcast can include an audio file version of the text portion of the emergency alert message, if one is provided by alerting authorities. If audio files are not provided, broadcasters may use text-to-speech software to create an audio version of the message. For emergency alerts distributed via compatible wireless devices, emergency alerts may be read to the recipient if their device supports this accessibility feature. The vibration feature that accompanies emergency alerts sent to compatible wireless devices will help to make hearing impaired people aware of the alerts.

Will emergency alerts be for my specific area?

Yes. The alerting authority determines what areas are affected by an incident, weather or environmental situation, and uses a standard system that will typically correspond with municipal, regional or provincial boundaries. The standardized system will allow participating radio, television, cable and satellite companies to broadcast the emergency alerts that are most relevant to the communities they serve.  

Emergency alerts intended for wireless devices are issued to a defined geographic area, which can be as small as a few city blocks, so that only people in the defined area receive the emergency alerts. Compatible wireless devices in the targeted area will receive the emergency alerts within seconds of being issued, provided the phones are powered on and connected to the LTE cellular network.

What should I do if I receive an emergency alert?

Upon receiving an emergency alert it is important to take action safely. Alerting authorities will include within the emergency alert the information you need, including any action you need to take. This could include, but is not limited to: limit unnecessary travel, evacuate the areas, shelter-in-place, etc.

Will emergency alerts interrupt scheduled television and radio broadcast programming?

Yes. On television, a banner across the top or bottom of the screen or a full-page display is expected for most emergency alerts. The exact manner in which emergency alerts will be broadcast is left to the discretion of the local television broadcaster, cable or satellite distributor.

Radio programming is interrupted by a recorded voice or text-to-speech voice announcing the situation.

How will I know when an emergency alert has ended?

Alerting authorities may choose to distribute an “all-clear” message at their discretion once the situation has been resolved. The all-clear message would be distributed via broadcast services at their discretion but not necessarily wireless devices.

As part of an emergency alert message, alerting authorities must also set a time when they expect the alert to expire. The expiry time is different from the “all-clear” message, as it is set in advance and does not necessarily indicate when an emergency is over. Because each emergency alert issued requires that an expiry date and time be included, alerting authorities estimate when they think the alert will need to be updated or cancelled.

Are a lot of emergency alerts being issued?

The amount and type of emergency alerts vary by jurisdiction. Emergency alerts for threat-to-life situations are infrequent.

Will multiple emergency alerts be generated for the same event if sent by multiple alerting authorities?

This situation is very unlikely. Emergency management officials are experts in their fields and coordinate activities, including public alerting, very closely and will be monitoring emergency alerts issued by neighboring jurisdictions.

What type of security is in place so that I know the emergency alerts are being sent by an authorized agency?

Government officials, Alert Distributors and the operator of the NAAD system take security very seriously.

In addition to the security measures that government agencies take every day to ensure access to their system is by authorized personnel only, additional passwords and user identification is needed for users of the Alert Ready system. Separately, Pelmorex, the operator of the NAAD system, has additional measures in place to prevent unauthorized access.

I work with emergency management, the police or fire department, how can we access Alert Ready and distribute messages to our community?

Each province and territory has signed on to the Alert Ready program. Please contact your provincial or territorial Emergency Management Office for public alerting information specific to your region.

Why am I receiving an alert for a neighbouring province or territory?

Messages received on a compatible wireless device for an event in a neighbouring province or territory is likely due to the device being connected to an LTE tower that is broadcasting the signal for the area under the alert. You may also be receiving the alert through an app such as The Weather Network or MétéoMédia, which both distribute alerts.  You may have your preferences set for alerts in other areas.

When an alert message is received on television or radio for an incident at a distance from your location, it could be due to the following:

  • The issuing government agency has determined it is relevant for your location, or
  • The television or radio signal is servicing a large area and every television and radio in that area is receiving the same message.

Device Compatibility
Will all wireless devices receive emergency alerts?

In order for a wireless device to be capable of receiving an alert three broad conditions must be met.

The wireless device must be:

  • A wireless public alerting (WPA) compatible device, like a smartphone, capable of connecting to an LTE network (LTE is commonly referred to as “4G LTE”); and
  • Equipped with the latest version of its operating software; and
  • Connected to an LTE cellular network at the time the emergency alert is issued or joins the network while the alert is still active.

Older cell phones that operate exclusively on non-LTE networks will not get an alert.

It is very important to verify your device’s compatibility with your service provider, and to understand what may impact your ability to receive an alert even if your device is identified as compatible. If your device was purchased outside of Canada, it may be necessary for you to contact the device manufacturer for additional information for your specific device.

What does it mean to have a wireless device that is compatible with Wireless Public Alerting?

A wireless device that is compatible with Wireless Public Alerting is (1) an LTE-device, and (2) has special software embedded in it which allows for messages sent by your wireless service provider, via Cell Broadcast, to be received in the standard Alert Ready format.

Emergency alerts that meet the Alert Ready format allow you to know when an alert is received (because of the sound and vibration), and also provides confirmation that it is issued by a legitimate source.

Visit the Wireless section of AlertReady.ca to find a link to the section of your wireless service provider’s website that provides information on compatible devices.

Are other mobile devices (e.g. tablets) capable of receiving emergency alerts?

Wireless service providers are required to distribute Emergency alerts to compatible smartphones that can access LTE (cellular) networks. Additional wireless devices – such as tablets and wearable accessories (e.g. smartwatches) – may be capable, from a technical perspective, to receive some form of the message, but it will not necessarily be received on the device in the Alert Ready format.

For information on compatible wireless devices offered by your wireless service provider, visit the Wireless section of AlertReady.ca.

I thought my phone was compatible but I didn’t receive a test alert. What should I do?

It is important that you first verify that you did not receive an alert by checking your device’s “notification” folder. In some instances you might not see or notice the alert even though your device has received it. The alert might be “hidden” with other notifications.

If you didn’t receive an alert on your device it is important to do several things, including checking the phone’s compatibility with your service provider, as well as ensuring that you have updated the software. There are many factors that will impact your ability to receive the alert including your location, or whether you are connected to the LTE network at the time of the alert distribution.

Wireless service providers cannot identify how many devices receive the test alert (or any alert).

Android devices certified by a Canadian wireless service provider

Ability to receive an alert: Consumers should check their specific device against their wireless service providers’ list of wireless public alerting compatible devices. If your device is not on the carrier list, it is not Wireless Public Alerting compatible.

In addition, consumers should ensure that the SOFTWARE on their Wireless Public Alerting compatible device is kept up to date. Outdated software may affect a device’s ability to receive an alert even if it is compatible.

Timing of software updates may also impact whether devices will be compatible on other wireless service provider’s LTE networks in instances when customers switch providers but bring their own phone.

Connection to LTE network: Compatible devices must be connected to an LTE network at the time an alert is distributed. The symbol, usually located in the upper right-hand corner of your device, will help you to identify what network you are connected to.

However, it is important to understand that even if you’re in an area that has LTE coverage, what you are doing with your device at the time an alert is issued will impact your ability to receive it. For example:

  • If you have set your device to Wi-Fi only, you will not receive an alert.
  • If you are on a voice call at the time of the alert, you may not receive an alert. Voice calls may move your connection to a non-LTE network, like 3G, even if you are in an LTE area.
  • If you are in a location that makes signal reception difficult at the time of the alert, such as an underground garage, you may not receive an alert.

Device settings: The emergency alert will follow user settings:

  • The VOLUME of the alert will be the same volume as that which is set on your phone. Most devices have multiple setting controls for different features such as ringtone, media, notifications, and system. The Canadian Alerting Attention Signal is usually controlled by the Notification setting.
  • If your device is set with a REMINDER feature, this may cause the alert to repeat until you acknowledge it. This feature can be turned off following directions in your device’s User Guide.
  • If your device is set to SILENT or DO NOT DISTURB mode you might not see or notice the alert even though your device has received it. The emergency alert might be listed with other notifications.

Apple devices certified by a Canadian wireless service provider

Ability to receive an alert: Consumers should check their specific device against their wireless service providers list of wireless public alerting compatible devices. If your device is not on the carrier list, it is not compatible.

In addition, consumers should ensure that the SOFTWARE on their compatible device is kept up to date. Outdated software may affect a device’s ability to receive an alert even if it is compatible.

Timing of software updates may also impact whether devices will be wireless public alerting compatible on other wireless service provider’s LTE networks in instances when customers switch providers but bring their own phone.

Connection to LTE network: WPA-compatible devices must be connected to an LTE network at the time an alert is distributed. The symbols located in the upper right-hand corner of your device will help you to identify what network you are connected to.

However, it is important to understand that even if you’re in an area that has LTE coverage, what you are doing with your device at the time an alert is issued will impact your ability to receive it. For example:

  • If you have set your device to Wi-Fi only, you will not receive an alert.
  • If you are on a voice call at the time of the alert, you may not receive an alert. Voice calls may move your connection to a non-LTE network, like 3G, even if you are in an LTE area.
  • If you are in a location that makes signal reception difficult at the time of the alert, such as an underground garage, you may not receive an alert.

Device settings: The emergency alert will follow user settings:

  • The VOLUME of the alert will be the same volume as that which is set on your phone. Most devices have multiple setting controls for different features such as ringtone, media, notifications, and system. The Canadian Alerting Attention Signal is usually controlled by the Settings/Sounds & touch vibration settings (also known as Haptics setting).
  • If your device is set with a REMINDER feature, this may cause the alert to repeat until you acknowledge it. This feature can be turned off following directions in your device’s User Guide.
  • If your device is set to SILENT or DO NOT DISTURB mode, the alert will override the setting. This means that you will receive the alert at whatever user settings you have in place. You might not see or notice the alert even though your device has received it. The alert might be “hidden” with other notifications. You may need to scroll down to see the alert.

 

Devices purchased from other countries

Each cellular provider in Canada uses its own set of frequencies. Each device supports a different set of frequencies that determine what networks it can connect to. Devices that are certified by a Canadian wireless service provider will be programmed in such a way as to be operational on that Canadian network.

Devices that are acquired in other countries and brought in to Canada – which are referred to as “grey market devices” – may not comply with Canada’s wireless equipment standards. These devices may be on the list of wireless public alerting compatible devices on a wireless service provider’s website without being compatible from the standpoint of software.

Specific to wireless public alerting, the device:

  • May not fully support software upgrades;
  • May not be capable of receiving an alert even if it is identified as a model that is compatible;
  • May not support or display an alert in the correct format, or in the language it is sent.

These situations are fully outside of a service provider’s control.

In cases where you purchased your device outside of Canada, you should verify compatibility with the device manufacturer directly.

Alert Appearance/Sound
Are these emergency alerts sent as a text message?

No. While the emergency alert may look like a text message it is not a text message.

Emergency alerts are sent via Cell Broadcast distribution. Cell Broadcast is a mobile technology that allows messages to be broadcast to all compatible wireless devices within a designated geographical area. Cell Broadcast is designed for simultaneous message delivery to multiple users in a specified area, and is not affected by network congestion because it uses a dedicated part of the network, separate from that used for traditional voice and data traffic.

Cell Broadcast can be compared to radio broadcast. Radio towers broadcast music to people in defined geographic areas as long as the individuals can pick-up the broadcast signal and have their radios turned on. Cell Broadcast messages similarly are delivered to those compatible wireless devices that are within range of cell towers and antennas in the designated area. Location services do not have to be enabled on your wireless device to be able to receive alerts.

Will emergency alerts interrupt or end a voice-call or another activity in progress?

Emergency alerts will not end or terminate a voice call or data session in progress.
If you are on a voice-call when the emergency alert is received, you may be made aware of the alert by a notification tone (similar to call waiting).

If you are on a data session, such as surfing the Internet or using an application such as Facebook or Netflix on your device, your data session will continue but it may be briefly interrupted by the emergency alert appearing on your wireless device screen.

Will I receive an emergency alert if my wireless device is off or set to silent?

A compatible wireless device that is turned off will not receive an emergency alert. If when the device is powered on and the emergency alert is still active and the user is still in the alert area, then the wireless device will display the alert.

A compatible wireless device that is set to silent will display an emergency alert, but you might not hear the emergency alert sound. The emergency alert sound will usually play at whatever the current volume setting is on the wireless device, so if your wireless device is set to silent, no sound will accompany the emergency alert message. However, this behaviour can differ depending on your wireless device and in some instances the alert sound may override your user settings.

Why do some emergency alerts display with a banner that says “Presidential Alert”?

Wireless public alerts use an international standard. The broadcast channel used in the United States is called “Presidential Alert”. Governments and private sector partners have worked with Canadian wireless service providers to use the term “EMERGENCY ALERT / ALERTE D’URGENCE”, as identified in version 2.0 of the National Public Alerting System Common Look and Feel Guidance, published on March 29, 2018. However, some phones pre-date this guidance, or were either purchased outside of Canada or manufactured to be compatible with the U.S. Wireless Emergency Alerts system. In these instances, those devices will use the American international standard and will display “Presidential Alert”, or another non-Canadian headline banner.

For more information about your specific device, please contact your wireless provider.

Where do I find an alert after it’s been cleared from the home screen?

If an alert disappears when the device is unlocked or acknowledged, the alert should still be available on the device.

Generally, the following tips may apply to your device:

  • For iOS devices, swipe down on the main screen to see all notifications, including alerts.
  • For devices with an Android operating system, the location of the alert may vary based on the device manufacturer:
  • Samsung users check Messages / Conversations log
  • LG users check WPAS application
  • Google users  (Blackberry, Motorola, Pixel, Essential) check Messenger>Settings>Advanced>Wireless Alerts
  • Alcatel users check  Messaging>menu>Cell Broadcast

Please refer to the device user guide for specific instructions.

Why have I received more than one alert for the same event?

Check first that you have received several different alerts as opposed to a repeated alert. Additionally, check if another app on the device is notifying you of a single alert.

If you are receiving repeated alerts of the same message, your device may be set with a REMINDER feature, this may cause the alert to repeat until you acknowledge it. This feature can be turned off following directions in your device’s User Guide. Your wireless service provider will also be able to provide assistance.

You may also be receiving the alert through an app such as The Weather Network or MétéoMédia, which both distribute alerts.   

Taking Action (e.g. What to do when you receive an alert)
What should I do if I receive a test alert on my wireless device?

Test alert messages will be identified as such. These messages are intended to “test” the functionality of the system, and build awareness of wireless emergency alerts, and do not require consumers to take steps to secure their safety.

You may be required to acknowledge receipt of the emergency alert to allow for your wireless device to resume normal functioning. If you cannot acknowledge the alert, the alert sound and vibration will continue for 8 seconds. Depending on your specific wireless device, additional reminders may occur.

What should I do if I receive an emergency alert on my wireless device?

Upon receiving an emergency alert it is important to take action safely. Stop what you are doing when it is safe to do so and read the emergency alert. Alerting authorities will include within the emergency alert the information you need and guidance for any action you are required to take. This could include but is not limited to: limit unnecessary travel, evacuate the areas, seek shelter, etc.

What should I do if I receive an emergency alert on my wireless device while driving?

It is important to take action safely, especially if the emergency alert is received while operating a vehicle. If you are driving, it is important to remain calm and pull over at your earliest opportunity to view the emergency alert.

When will I receive Alerts
If my wireless device is off for an extended period of time, will the emergency alert appear once I turn my phone back on?

If the emergency alert is still active when the compatible wireless device is turned back on, and you are within the emergency alert area, the emergency alert will be displayed. If the emergency alert is no longer active or if you have travelled outside of the alert area, it will not be displayed.

Will I receive an emergency alert if my phone is connected to Wi-Fi?

While on Wi-Fi, if the compatible wireless device can still communicate with an LTE cellular network, it will receive emergency alerts. If the wireless device cannot connect to an LTE cellular network (or is set to Wi-Fi only) it will not receive an emergency alert.

Devices that are Wi-Fi only will not receive alerts.

Can I opt out of receiving emergency alerts on my wireless device?

No. Emergency alerts received on your compatible wireless device are relevant to you and require immediate attention, and government regulations mandate that all compatible wireless devices receive all relevant alerts.

Unlike radio and television broadcasting, which often has broad areas of coverage; wireless public alerting is geo-targeted and can be very specific to a limited area of coverage. As a result, if an emergency alert reaches your wireless device, you are located in an area where there is an imminent danger.

Will I still receive wireless emergency alerts if cellular towers are affected by the situation?

Emergency alerts are broadcast from cellular towers and antennas within the area specified by the alert issuer. Compatible wireless devices connected to the specified towers/antennas will receive the emergency alert. The towers/antennas therefore must be operational to send emergency alerts. If you are in an affected area but your wireless device is unable to connect to any towers/antennas because of the situation, you will not receive the emergency alert on your wireless device.

When should I expect to get a test alert? Are they scheduled in advance?

Testing of the emergency alert system is scheduled in advance. The test schedule for your specific province or territory can be found on AlertReady.ca

Can I opt-out from receiving test alerts?

No, you cannot opt-out from receiving test alerts.

Where will I receive Alerts
Will I receive emergency alerts on my wireless device if I’m travelling to another province or territory within Canada?

Yes. Emergency alerts are issued to a defined geographic area, such that only people in the defined area will receive the emergency alerts. If you are travelling and happen to be in another province when an emergency alert is issued, your compatible wireless device will receive the emergency alert within seconds of being issued, provided your phone is powered on and connected to the LTE cellular network. There is no need to enable the location services on your wireless device to receive alerts.

Will I receive emergency alerts on my wireless device relevant to where I live while I am travelling away from home?

No. If you are travelling, you will only receive emergency alerts that occur where you are.
You can keep track of emergency alerts occurring in specific areas (e.g. where they or other family members live) through a number of available apps and online services.

Cost/Privacy
Will I be charged if I receive an emergency alert on my wireless device if I don’t have unlimited texting or data within my mobile plan?

Wireless alerts are sent on a specific cellular channel that is separate from normal text and data traffic. While the alerts may look like text messages, they are not text messages and are not billed like text messages.

Also, emergency alerts are sent to wireless devices in a specific geographic area and do not require the phone numbers of those devices. As such there is no ability to identify or bill for the messages that are received.

Will alerts sent to my wireless device be used to gather data about me?

No. Emergency alerts are sent using Cell Broadcast distribution. Cell Broadcast can only transmit information to your wireless device. This means that no data is being gathered about you, your wireless device or your location when emergency alerts are sent out.