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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