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Test Run

Nova Scotia tests emergency alert system

A loud noise and TV, radio messages alert Nova Scotians to test run

3 min read
caption This alert was issued as part of Newfoundland's test run, which also happened Wednesday.
This alert was issued as part of Newfoundland's test run, which also happened Wednesday.
caption This alert was issued as part of Newfoundland’s test run, which happened Wednesday.

An emergency alert system was set off Wednesday, but don’t worry — it was only a test.

The Emergency Management Office tested the system, which broadcasts public alerts in emergency situations, provincewide at 1:55 p.m. It consists of a loud noise followed by alerts broadcast on radio and television.

These were heard loud and clear by people across the province.

Paul Mason, director of emergency services at EMO, says there were no problems and everything went according to plan.

“The public understands this service delivers value for them,” he said.

Mason says real alerts would consist of an initial sound, followed by alerts with new information as events unfold.

The Weather Canada website says alerts are issued for the following threats:

  • Fire
  • Natural
  • Biological
  • Hazardous materials
  • Environmental
  • Terrorist hazard
  • Civil
  • Administrative

Provinces must register their test dates ahead of time. Wednesday was chosen as Nova Scotia’s test date because it fits within requirements that test dates have to fall on the third Wednesday of every third month.

Nova Scotia’s first test was in December.

Mason says the test time of 1:55 p.m. was chosen to ensure alerts reached the maximum number of people possible while not disturbing regular news broadcasts and advertisements.

The sound used for the alert, as well as the written messages broadcast over radio and on television, was agreed upon by all provinces and territories after a ruling was passed in 2014 by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

The ruling states that all broadcasting outlets must participate in these alerts to maintain their broadcasting licences.

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  1. D


    How can we get the alert message off our TV? Remote instructions have no effect.
    • S

      Sara Ericsson

      My understanding is that testing alerts were to only be broadcast for a short length of time. I would contact the Emergency Management Office if you are still experiencing problems. Their contact information can be found on their website at the following link:
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