This is a brief post on weather alerts coming to Canadians, through smart phones. Since 2015, Canada has had the worst of the worst of the weather alerts and Amber Alerts going over our radio and TV, with a very distinct sound and a human type of synthesized voice, explaining the alert and what to do if and when it occurs. There have also been tests done from time to time, with the same sound and voice, stating that it is a test and so on.
Now in 2018, Canada will be made more addicted to our phones with wether alerts coming on April 6th but, it will only be the worst of the worst of them so, it will be a slow enabling but, this will undoubtedly alarm some people at first. In some cases, the warnings being issued will be redundant because there are applications which allow for weather alerts to be sent out through push notifications. As the author of this newsletter and blog, I have some which I have obtained and purchased for myself, to serve as a back-up to my WX radio, if it has a problem or I am not able to take it with me. Or, if I want to get the latest information before I hear it on the network, such as the latest local forecast or watches and warnings.
This could also present a problem with both weather applications and the new automatic alerts being pushed to our phones, with a possible delay in them being received. I have had this problem with a weather app which I rely on for this purpose and the delay could be critical in the saving of lives such as our own and others around us. Some people may be asking what if we are not connected to a wi-Fi or cellular network, allowing for Internet use? Not everyone has a lot of data on their phones they can use and they may have to be careful not to go over it. I’ve had this problem before and this could just push someone over the edge of their data limit. To answer the data question, I’ve been told that not only will we receive the sound of the alarm but we will receive a free text message with the text of the alerts. This should alleviate the problem of using data although, it might require cellular data to be turned on, in order to receive both the alarm and the text message.
Apparently, there has been some misinformation floating around, about the type of alerts that are currently issued and will be issued to our phones. For example: companies like Bell are making a false claim that Alert Ready is government owned, and they issue government alerts like Flash Flood. Environment and Climate Change Canada does not issue any sort of Flood Watch or Warning. However, that may change in the coming years but at this time, they do not issue flood watches or flood warnings in Canada.
One thing is clear though, you cannot opt out of it. If you have a newer smart phone which is one or two years old, you are getting the alerts no matter what. This has been planned since last April and will of course, come to fruition on Friday, April 6. There will be kinks in the service which will be ironed out over time, much like when Canadians start receiving alerts over radio and TV back in 2thousand15. As for how this will affect weather alert apps, that also remains to be seen but, because only the worst of the worst of the alerts will be issued, The app sellers and custodians shouldn’t be afraid of alerts being issued to our smart phones.