Wireless Public Alerting explained

Wireless Public Alerting (WPA) description and device compatibility list

What is Wireless Public Alerting/Alert Ready?

Alert Ready is a service designed to deliver critical and potentially life-saving emergency alert messages to Canadians.

The Alert Ready system was developed in partnership with federal, provincial and territorial emergency management officials, Pelmorex Weather Networks (Television) Inc., the broadcast industry and wireless service providers including TELUS to ensure you receive emergency alerts immediately and know when to take action to keep you and your family safe.

Beginning in April 2018, TELUS and all Canadian wireless service providers will be required to broadcast emergency alerts received from alerting authorities directly to consumers’ WPA compatible wireless devices using Cell Broadcast distribution.

Wireless service providers will only receive and broadcast alerts that are issued for threat-to-life situations.

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. The defined area is selected by the alerting authorities. Compatible wireless devices in the targeted area, including devices that are roaming, will receive the emergency alerts within seconds of alert issuance, provided the devices are powered on and connected to the LTE cellular network. If you are travelling outside of Canada to a country that has a functional wireless alerting service, you may receive alerts issued to the geographic location you are in.

You cannot opt out of receiving threat-to-life emergency alerts.

What do Wireless Public Alerts look like?

Emergency alerts begin with a distinct sound, known as the Canadian Alert Attention Signal and may also cause the device to vibrate.

On compatible wireless devices, the emergency alert will display an EMERGENCY ALERT/ALERTE D’URGENCE banner with more information describing the situation, 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.

As a general rule, emergency alerts will only be issued once. In the event that the issuing government has an update to the original alert, you will receive updated alert messages.

If you are a person with a sight or hearing disability, alternate formats of the emergency alert can be issued. Emergency alerts may be read to the recipient if their device supports this accessibility feature and the vibration feature that accompanies emergency alerts sent to wireless devices will help make hearing impaired aware of alerts. Visit the accessibility features and mobile devices support page for more information on accessibility features or contact your device manufacturer.

Wireless Public Alerting compatible devices

Not all wireless mobile devices offer wireless public alerting compatibility. The following devices will be tested and certified by TELUS for emergency alerting compatibility at the time of the launch of the Alert Ready service in Canada. If your device is on the list, you should also make sure to have the latest available software for your device to ensure you have the emergency alerting functionality.

For more information visit our

Wireless Public Alerting FAQ

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