An Emergency Alert Test Siren Will Blast From Phones, Radios & TVs In Quebec This Week

The sound is pretty jarring...
An Emergency Alert Test Siren Will Blast From Phones, Radios & TVs In Quebec This Week

The public emergency alert system Alert Ready, otherwise known as En Alerte in Quebec, is going to be testing their alert system and have updated their testing schedule to indicate that they will be doing a test in Quebec this week. On Wednesday, November 27, 2019, you will likely hear an alert on your cellphone, a television, or any radio around 1:55 p.m.

And since it's province-wide at this time, if you don't hear it personally, you'll probably hear it from a neighbouring cellphone, radio, or TV. Tests in all Canadian provinces and territories will be happening on the same day, at different times.

There's a video below that gives you a taste of what the sound is like, and it's not very nice. But the sound wasn't created to lull you into a sense of calm... quite the opposite.

The alerts are sent (when it's not just a test) if there is an urban fire that threatens multiple properties, natural disasters like tornadoes or flash floods, drinking water contamination, terrorist attacks, amber alerts and more.

So it makes sense that the sound could rouse you from even the deepest sleep. And we've seen it work in other provinces, especially when it comes to amber alerts - even if people are stupid and complain about it.

Below is a video that gives you a sense of what the sound is like. If you really want to experience it, head to the website and click the button that says "Play Alert Tone."

On Wednesday, November 27, 2019, Quebec will collectively hear this sound at 1:55 p.m. as part of a test that is scheduled for the region.

If you don't receive the alert, there are a number of reasons why, but the main one is that your phone just might not be compatible. You can check to see if your phone and cellular connection are compatible at

So far this year, Alert Ready has sent 130 alerts, as of November 7, 2019. You may remember the alert issued in Quebec this past spring when a dam west of Montreal had threatened to burst and civilians were told to immediately evacuate.

Also in Quebec, three alerts were issued for tornadoes. In Ontario, there have been 16 amber alerts issued this year alone. You can see the full year's alert count at the Alert Ready website here.

As the tweet above reminds, if you hear the sound, don't call the police.

Don't call the police to complain, don't call them to tell them you heard the sound — just don't call the police.

Unless you're in danger, in which case, call 911.