By: Russ Nelson
This month's Provincial Spotlight is going to take a look at Alberta. Specifically, the new AlbertaReady website, and the upcoming Wireless Public Alerting System. The Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) “leads the coordination, collaboration and co-operation of all organizations involved in the prevention, preparedness and response to disasters and emergencies”. Working with municipalities, this agency provides education and training for municipalities and industry in Alberta.
First up: The new “AlbertaReady” website walks users through a self paced training course, meant to enhance personal preparedness and quiz your current knowledge of available resources for planning. Once you've completed it, you're provided with a comprehensive personalized emergency plan, as well as resources for your home, like the Pet Alert Sign to allow responders to know how many animals you may have left behind in the case of an evacuation. This website also provides links to Alberta Health Services, Home Inventory Resources and Public Safety Canada tools.
We highly recommend everyone checking out this website for its super slick design, and highly effective tools!
Next up: Wireless Public Emergency Alerts. The Alberta Emergency Alert app has been available as both an iOS and Android app for a while now in addition to the website. While this has been very effective for alerting the general public, the need to download and update the app has made it a little less than user friendly. Through the new Nationwide AlertReady.ca tool, public alerting in Alberta can now expect wireless notifications to begin April 6, 2018. Wireless public alerting allows governments across Canada to send public safety messages directly to smartphones in a region. If there is an emergency in your local area you will get an alert on your compatible smartphone. For your phone to be compatible with the alert system it must be an LTE-device (LTE is commonly referred to as “4G LTE”), wireless public alerting (WPA)-compatible and connected to an LTE cellular network at the time the emergency alert is issued. You can visit AlertReady.ca to make sure your device is compatible. A good option is to keep the Alberta Emergency Alert installed on your phone even though you will get forced regional alerts, since the two systems are designed to be complementary of each other with the app providing much more detailed information and resources than the messaging itself will provide.
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