EDMONTON – A test of the Alberta Emergency Alert system had some Albertans wondering if there was an actual emergency.
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services Mike Ellis sent out a statement earlier this week saying the province would be issuing an alert test across the province on Wednesday at 1:55 p.m.
An online archive of the alerts shows as many as nine test messages went out to Albertans between 1:55 and 2:01 p.m.
The hashtag #emergencyalerts quickly started trending on Twitter as cellphones buzzed and screeched out the alerts.
Paul Fairie, an instructor at the University of Calgary, posted: “Is the emergency alert system experiencing an emergency?” and others asked, “Is Alberta glitching” and “Have you ever heard the story of the boy who cried wolf?”
Ellis later issued a statement about what he called a “glitch” in the system and said the United Conservative Party government’s Alberta Public Alerting team is working with the National Public Alerting System to identify the problem that caused the repeat alerts.
“Incidents like the one that occurred are exactly why we conduct testing on the Alert System,“ Eliis said in the release. ”We need to ensure that the system is working as intended during an actual emergency to protect Albertans.“
Other people also responded to the barrage of noisy tests.
One Twitter user said: “It works. IT WORKS,” while another posted, “I think it’s fair to say that test failed.”
Another person simply tweeted: “Omg make it stop.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2023.