emergency alert

Emergency alert system test scares and delights Toronto

Did you just get a weird notification on your phone accompanied by one of the most terrifying sounds you've ever heard?

Congratulations! You've been chosen to survive in the event of a national emergency.

Just kidding. The Canadian government clearly wants everyone to be safe, should we (knock on wood) be faced with any sort of natural, biological, civil or alien-related disaster.

That's precisely why you, and hopefully everyone around you, got an Alert Ready notification at 1:55 p.m. on the dot this afternoon.

If you didn't get pinged, don't stress. This was only the second-ever test of Canada's national emergency alert system that went beyond TV and radio broadcasts to include cellphones.

Back in May, after weeks of hype for the first Alert Ready phone test, many people in Ontario were disappointed to report that they hadn't received anything either.

Things appear to have gone much better this time around, though, in terms of people getting the notifications, as evidenced by everyone freaking out on Twitter right now.

As the wisest among us had already predicted, no amount of media coverage or forewarning could prevent today's jarring "beeeeeep" from scaring scads of smartphone owners.

Within minutes of the alert going out, both "#EmergencyAlert" and "#AlertReady" shot to the top of Twitter's trending topics in Toronto.

Many were proud to show off their own screens, especially given that this was the first real successful test of the wireless public alerting (WPA) system.

Others scrambled to find GIFs that could express what they were feeling.

And it wasn't only people who had no idea the alert was coming. A lot of people fully knew and got spooked anyway.

Like I said, that air-siren alert tone is really scary.

Those who are upset that they didn't get an alert should contact their wireless providers for more information, as per Alert Ready's instructions.

Everyone else can take comfort in knowing that they weren't alone in jumping out of their chairs this afternoon.

Lead photo by

blogTO


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