The Alert Ready system allows notifying authorities from federal, provincial and territorial governments to issue a wide range of public safety and emergency messages directly to your mobile device. To receive Wireless Public Alerting (WPA), your phone must be LTE-capable and be connected to an LTE cellular network at the time the emergency alert is issued or is active. Learn more with our Emergency Alert and WPA FAQs.
Emergency Alert FAQ
Can I opt out of receiving emergency alerts on my phone?
No. Government regulations mandate that all compatible wireless devices receive all relevant alerts.
Unlike radio and television broadcasting, which often have broad areas of coverage; wireless public alerting is geo-targeted and can be limited to a specific area.
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 will be made aware of the alert by a notification tone (similar to call waiting). When your call terminates the alert will be displayed on your wireless device.
If you are on a data session, the emergency alert will be briefly by the emergency alert appearing on your phone.
Will I receive emergency alerts on my phone if I'm travelling to, or from another province or jurisdiction within Canada?
Yes. Emergency alerts are issued to a defined geographic area, so only people in the defined area will receive the 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 an LTE network.
Canadians can keep track of emergency alerts occurring in specific areas (e.g. where they or other family members live) through several available apps and online services.
Will I receive an emergency alert if my phone is connected to WiFi?
While on WiFi, if your phone can still connect to an LTE cellular network, it will receive emergency alerts. If the phone is not within reach of the LTE cellular network (or is set to WiFi only) it will not receive an emergency alert.
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 emergency 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. Since the alerts are sent to wireless devices in a specific geographic area, they do not require the phone numbers of those devices, which means there is no ability to identify or bill for the messages that are received.
What should I do if I receive an emergency alert?
Upon receiving the 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. Government officials will include, within the emergency alert, the information you need for any action you need to take. This could include, but is not limited to, limit unnecessary travel, evacuate the area(s), seek shelter, etc.
If my phone 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 you turn your phone 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 traveled outside of the alert area, it will not be displayed.
Will emergency 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.