04/06/2018 08:21 EDT | Updated 04/06/2018 09:59 EDT

Canadians To Start Receiving Emergency Alerts On Their Cellphones

No, you won't be billed for them.

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Emergency alerts will be sent out to Canadians' cellphones in the case of forest fires, terrorist threats or Amber Alerts for missing children.

Starting today, Canadians won't have to be near a television or radio to receive emergency alerts.

Life-threatening emergencies will now be broadcast on compatible mobile phones.

As of today, the National Public Alerting System — commonly called Alert Ready — will include wireless networks, in addition to traditional broadcast channels.

In the case of a life-threatening emergency, officials will send a localized alert that will compel compatible phones to emit an alarm and display a bilingual text warning.

Users won't be billed for alerts

Situations that could prompt an alert include forest fires, terrorist threats or an Amber Alert for a missing child.

Canada's broadcast regulator, the CRTC, has said that wireless carriers will conduct one test of the system during the week of May 6.

The shrill, siren-like alarm tone is the same one that currently accompanies emergency broadcasts on radio and television.

The Alert Ready website says individuals will not be billed for the messages.

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