(file photo)

Yesterday’s near-tsunami scare brought one big issue to the forefront of people’s attention: how can everyone be alerted to natural (or man-made disasters) even while they’re asleep?

Even though a lot of people had signed up to receive emergency alert texts, through Vic-Alert and other sources, they either did not receive a warning, or the text wasn’t loud enough to wake them up at 2 AM, or their phone was on Silent mode so it didn’t make a sound.

However, authorities at Emergency Management BC have confirmed plans to introduce a wireless public alerting system that will send emergency alerts to mobile phone users in BC and have the ability to bypass Silent modes.

Similar to the system in the U.S.

We spoke to Chris Duffy, Executive Director of Emergency Management BC, who stated that they will be working with the CRTC in April to set up a signal using reception towers to send alerts to cell phones.

Duffy confirmed that his office has been working with the provincial and federal government for several years to work out protocols and technical issues before being able to test the new system.

It will be similar to the one our neighbour to the South uses, where people will get loud push text notifications on their phones in case of an emergency.

Local authorities and personal vigilance still necessary

However not everyone has a cell phone or lives in an area with a strong cell phone signal. So, according to Chris, subscription to local emergency alert tools and door-to-door alert teams on the ground are still extremely important.

“This last tsunami event was a great reminder for everyone to have an emergency plan and kit in place – don’t put it off, and don’t procrastinate,” says Duffy.

And in light of this announcement, GetMyKit has decided to extend their discount code for our readers, so that you have enough time (and a little more incentive) to go out and get your emergency kit today!

Use the code “Save20” to get 20% off on your GetMyKit emergency kit today – only valid for the next couple of days. 


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