Questions about the Alert Ready system have been circling in Northern BC since it’s use to alert the surrounding populace to the active shooter in Vanderhoof on November 25th.
Emergency Management BC (EMBC) gave some background on the system, some of it’s limitations, and how people can expect it to be used in the future.
Following the active shooter incident in Nova Scotia in 2020, EMBC worked with local police departments to develop a protocol for police to use the broadcast intrusive alert system.
EMBC said it is also working with local governments to expand the use of the Alert Ready system for events like wildfires and flooding.
According to EMBC, precise targeting for the system is difficult, which is why Prince George received Vanderhoof’s alert on Nov.25th.
The system alert is issued by EMBC, but is based on the advice from local governments and experts responding to an event.
EMBC said that the Alert Ready system is not intended to be the only way to alert the public, adding that notifying local authorities, media, key agencies and First Nations through the Provincial Emergency Notification System is one example.
It added that the Emergency Info BC website, as well as social media, and other intrusive alert systems like Amber Alerts and civil emergency events also serve to help alert people to emergency situations.
EMBC noted that it’s up to local authorities on whether to use the Alert Ready system or not.
The decision to activate it will be made in consultation with public safety authorities as well, and will not be activated if it is not requested.
Lastly, EMBC said that it will implement the system for the 2022 wildfire season.