Serious error in emergency alarm test has left Ontarians confused and worried


Although many Ontarians heard a loud burble on their devices Wednesday as part of the semi-annual test of the Alert Ready emergency warning system, many mobile users were left out, leading some to question the system's reliability in the event of a real disaster.

Alert Ready is Canada's emergency alert system. It delivers critical and potentially life-saving warnings to Canadians that include air quality statements, natural disasters, nuclear incidents, amber alerts and terrorist threats.

The system's alerts are sent to Canadians via television, radio, and LTE-connected and compatible wireless devices.

Wednesday's test of the Alert Ready system occurred at 12:55 p.m., although many Ontarians reported they did not receive the alert.

As with most emergency alert testing, people across the province took to social media to share their thoughts on today's alert.

“Apparently the emergency alert system was tested at 12:55 today, but most people in my office did not receive it. Is that bad?” asked one person on X (formerly Twitter).

“I'm in the GTA and only received the emergency alert on my TV. Nothing on my phone or iPad. Anyone else have the same situation? Is this the way it should be? I thought we should get the alarm on all devices,” another person wrote.

“Has anyone else in Ontario NOT received the emergency alert test scheduled for 12:55 p.m.? Neither my wife nor I received it.” One comment reads.

In Reply to a customer who did not receive the notification, Rogers said there are a few reasons why some may not have received the warning. The communications company recommended making sure your device is up to date and all software updates have been installed.

While some reportedly did not receive the warning, many took to social media to share their frustration over the booming noise.

“Petition to make Ontario emergency alert less wordy. It should simply say something like “This is just a test. Everything OK.” one person suggested.

“This emergency alarm was unnecessarily loud. Hearing four to five of these alarms on the road is a major distraction for pedestrians and drivers.” another person wrote.

Ontario's next emergency alert test is scheduled for Wednesday, November 20 at 12:55 p.m

Did you receive the emergency alert today?