emergency test alert today

This is how Canada reacted to the nationwide emergency alert test

Even if you knew it was coming, the emergency test alert conducted Wednesday afternoon was an alarming experience, the Alert Ready system bringing a jarring siren-like sound to mobile devices, televisions and radios nationwide.

Designed to cut through the mix of everyday activities, the National Public Alerting System is loud. Very loud. And this zero-to-100 jolt out of the typical weekday routine had people across Canada reacting in all sorts of ways.

Meetings were interrupted, coffee was likely spilled, and an entire nation's concentration was abruptly broken, albeit just for a few seconds.

Despite media coverage and social media posts from officials warning of the test, some people apparently did not get the memo, caught off guard by the apocalyptic shrieks emanating from their television screens and mobile devices.

What's worse than waking up to the piercing alert siren? How about nearly losing control on the road scrambling for the volume dial.

Some fringe groups, mainly right-wing conspiracy theorists, are reading a bit too far into the tests — scheduled to occur twice a year, including the third Wednesday each November.

And on the other side of the political spectrum, some fine trolling:

Others suffered from technical glitches, with one report of multiple alerts being sent out to the same device.

In contrast to too many notifications, one commenter got their test warning 20 minutes after the scheduled time (Ontario's test occurred at 12:55 p.m. but tests happened at other times in different provinces and territories).

And while people love to whine about the brief inconveniences of noise from their phones, some going as far as to call the police to complain about being woken up, it's imperative to keep this system functioning smoothly.

There have been 71 emergency alerts in Ontario this year, with seven civil emergency warnings, six Amber Alerts and 58 tornado warnings.

Lead photo by


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