Lethbridge residents may notice a test emergency alert on their wireless devices at 1:55 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9 from Alberta Emergency Alert, a program managed by the Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA).
The wireless emergency alert is part of a test for the nationwide emergency public alerting system developed by the federal government in partnership with the provinces and territories. The wireless public alert complements the Alberta Emergency Alert system, which issues alerts through radio, television, social media and cellphones for critical and emerging issues in Alberta.
Only the most serious alerts will be sent out using the new wireless alerting system. Other alerts that provide information on developing emergencies or alerts from other areas will continue to be delivered through the Alberta Emergency Alert app, social media and the Alberta Emergency Alert website.
"We believe the use of wireless alerts will help us reach a greater number of residents quickly, providing critical information at their fingertips about an immediate disaster," says Luke Palmer, Emergency Preparedness Manager with the City of Lethbridge. "Members of the Lethbridge emergency management team are being trained on the new system and wireless alerts will only be sent to individuals impacted by danger in a specific area."
The wireless alert message will only contain basic information, and maps and more details will be available from the app and website.
Wireless emergency alerts are sent on a specific cellular channel that is separate from normal text and data traffic. Wireless customers cannot opt out but they will not be charged for any emergency alerts they receive.
For additional information about the wireless emergency alert system, visit emergencyalert.alberta.ca.
Luke Palmer, Emergency Preparedness Manager
City of Lethbridge