Published 10:26 May 16, 2022

By Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

B.C. is expanding its emergency broadcast system to include alerts about flooding and wildfires.

The provincial government announced on May 3 that the Alert Ready system, which sends out warnings on cellular network-connected mobile phones as well as on radio and television stations, would expand from sending out tsunami warnings and Amber Alerts to include threats from floods, effective now, and wildfires, which will roll out in June.

Alert Ready is the public facing name for the National Public Alerting System, a collaboration between the federal, provincial and territorial governments.

“While it’s important to remember that public emergency alerting is intended to complement, but not replace, emergency alerting already performed by Emergency Management BC and local governments, broadcast intrusive alerts have unique advantages with their reach and impact,” Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, said via press release.

The Regional District of Nanaimo deploys its own emergency alert system via Voyent Alert, which sends out emergency messages to mobile phones, landlines and email addresses. Residents must sign up for the system by calling or emailing (250-390-4111 or or via the RDN website, The system also sends out non-urgent communications such as parks and trails closures or maintenance, facilities closures and high streamflow advisories.

“Alert Ready provides another notification method that can be used during flooding or wildfire emergencies where there is an imminent threat to life and public safety or the need to evacuate immediately,” Catherine Morrison, RDN manager of emergency services, said. The RDN will be attending Emergency Management BC information sessions in May and will discuss how to integrate the broadcast intrusive alert system into the regional district’s emergency operations centre procedures, Morrison said.

This item reprinted with permission from Gabriola Sounder, Gabriola, British Columbia