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


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Tech

People in Toronto are hating the latest update to the Green P parking app

There's apparently been a Rogers internet outage in Ontario for three days

It's now easier to find out who your local candidates are in the Ontario election

Viral YouTube producer gets his ideas from Toronto's parks

Post about cringeworthy Hinge profile shows how hard dating is in Toronto

Microsoft's new headquarters in downtown Toronto will give you major office envy

Toronto is killing a low-income internet program and people blame the big 3 telecoms

An Ontario TikToker's useless farm has millions tuning in to see her goofy animals