It seems every day there is a terrifying news story unfolding live before our very eyes on the news.

The truth is, these emergency moments happen around us all the time. For the most part, the majority of us are blind to them until someone shares it on our Facebook feed, or when we hit our favourite news sources hours later.

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It's 2018. The way we consume media is consistently changing. The Canadian government knows this and will be changing the way they alert the public.

Last year, The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) made it mandatory for wireless providers to push emergency alerts to Canadian citizens by 2018.

“The National Public Alerting System is vital to Canadians, it has saved countless lives, including those of children through Amber Alerts. Once the system is in place, an even greater number of Canadians will receive alerts on their mobile phones and will be able to take appropriate safety measures.” -  CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais.

The Alert Ready system will send life-threatening emergency notifications to your WPA (Wireless Public Alerting) compatible devices. This will be in addition to TV and Radio alerts.

Some of you may have been receiving these notifications already.

As of this week, Bell, Rogers and Telus have begun to notify wireless users of the security feature becoming active via text message. Only some devices are receiving the feature right away.

The Canada-wide Alert Ready system is set to officially begin on April 6, 2018.

A spokesperson for Rogers provided a list of supported devices for the April 6 launch:

  • iPhone 5/5s/5c/6/6+/6s/6s+/7/7+/8/8+/X
  • LG G6

These devices are currently compatible, and should see the notifications soon:

  • Google: Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 Pixel 2XL
  • BlackBerry: DTEK50, Priv, KeyOne
  • LG: Q6, V30
  • Samsung: S7, S7 Edge, S8, S8+, Note 8, Xcover 4, J3, S9, S9+
  • Sony: Xperia X Performance
  • Huawei: P10, P10 Plus, P10 Lite, Nova Plus, GR5

Alerts will appear as text messages, but they are not. They will show up on your phone as a push notification using Cell Broadcast distribution which can transmit a one-way alert to compatible devices in geo-tagged areas.

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This is a government-mandated program. Users will not be able to opt out.

You can find more information on the Alert Ready website here.

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