Did you hear that 'annoying sound'? Don't worry, it was only a test

Alert Ready, Canada's national alert system, conducted a test Wednesday of how the system reaches mobile devices. 

The system lets Canadians know if there is an immediate, life-threatening event — such as flooding, tornadoes or a chemical spill — for which they need to take action, like take cover or evacuate a certain area.

Compatible phones received a text message at 12:55 p.m. AT. There is no need to respond to the test.

What people should have heard was an "annoying sound" from their cellphones, radios and TVs said Tanya Mullally, provincial emergency management co-ordinator with P.E.I.'s Emergency Measures Organization.

"We were very pleased with the day," she said.

"The alert we issued did process and distribute properly as well as all our telecommunications carriers with presence in P.E.I."

That's really good information for us to know, that the system is working well. — Tanya Mullally, Emergency Measures Organization

Alert Ready has hired a third party to conduct a survey about the effectiveness of the test. People wanting to take the survey can sign up on the Alert Ready website.

EMO wants Islanders to make sure they receive the alert — if they didn't, Mullally advises people call their service provider and check that they have an up-to-date phone that can receive alerts.

Mullally said alerts have been sent out on the Island since 2015 on TV and radio, and in 2018 wireless devices were added to the system.

EMO is also asking people to let them know via Facebook or Twitter if they received the alert and where they were at the time.

"Because that's really good information for us to know, that the system is working well," said Mullally. 

If the alert was real, Mullally said, there would be instructions on what actions people should take.

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