Alert Ready Frequently Asked Questions

What is Alert Ready?

Alert Ready is Canada’s national emergency alert system. It notifies Canadians of potentially life-threatening events. Alerts are delivered by television, radio, cable, satellite, and websites during emergencies such as tornadoes, floods, and biohazards. Beginning in April 2018, emergency alerts will also be sent to compatible wireless devices.

Who issues alerts?

Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) issue alerts for Manitoba.

  • ECCC issues weather alerts.
  • Manitoba EMO issues all other alerts based on information from Government of Manitoba agencies and local authorities.

What types of alerts will I receive?

Most commonly, alerts are issued for severe weather such as tornadoes, thunderstorms and floods.

Alerts can also be issued for other event types including:

  • fire (urban, wildfire)
  • natural (tornado, flash flood)
  • biological (chemical, drinking water)
  • hazardous (explosive)
  • environmental (air quality)
  • terrorist (violent threats)
  • civil (AMBER alert, animal danger)
  • administrative (test messages)

Full list of the different types of alerts.

Are there different levels of alerts?

Two types of alerts can be issued:

  • Broadcast Immediate Alerts are for situations of the highest levels of severity, urgency and certainty with an imminent or expected threat to life safety. These alerts interrupt the broadcasting stream and go straight-to-air as quickly as possible.
  • Advisory Alerts are informational in nature, advising the public to be prepared and aware of a potential hazard. Distribution of these alerts by television and radio broadcasters are optional, and may be included in on-air news stories or posted on websites.

How will I know if I'm getting an emergency alert?

Emergency alerts, on radio, television and soon to compatible wireless devices, begin with a distinct sound, known as the Canadian Alert Attention Signal. Hear the Alert Attention Signal.

Radio and television emergency alert signals will be followed by an automated message with the emergency alert details of the potential threat. On television, the emergency alert details in text will be presented either as a full screen or a crawler section at the bottom of the screen.

.alert message

I was watching television and an alert appeared on the screen in very small letters. Can it be made larger?

How the alert is displayed is set by television broadcasters or cable/satellite distributors. Alerts displayed on television should include a visual display of the alert text. Usually, it's a full screen with a red background and white text or a crawler with a red background and white text. Manitoba EMO suggests that you contact the television broadcaster of the channel you were watching or your satellite/cable distributor to express your concerns.

Why did I see an alert on a website but not hear it on radio or television?

Radio and television broadcasters, and wireless service providers are only required to distribute Broadcast Immediate alerts for situations that pose an immediate threat to life safety.

The information in Advisory alerts - those with lower levels of severity, urgency, and certainty - may be included in news updates, posted to websites, distributed through email and text message services, etc. Advisory alerts make up the vast majority of alerts issued in Manitoba.

Will I receive an alert on Netflix or on Satellite Radio?

No. You will only receive alerts on local television and radio stations.

Will I have to subscribe to this service?

No, alerts will be broadcast without subscriptions at no cost.

Do all alerts go out province-wide?

Alerts will be issued only to the affected regions or areas in Manitoba. However, some alerts could be issued province-wide or could affect more than one region. The system geographically targets alerts to limit over alerting.

How will I know when an alert has ended?

The system cannot be used to interrupt television or local radio once the danger has passed. However, it is expected the information will continued to be distributed through the media and news programs to update the public.

Can I find a record of past alerts?

  • All alerts issued in Canada during the past 48 hours can be accessed through an RSS feed available at
  • Several companies offer services such as email or text message alerts. If you receive alerts through these services, you can refer to these emails or text messages when looking for past alerts.

Can I add Alert Ready content to my website?

Absolutely! Please refer to the NAAD System – Last Mile Distributor Guide. This guide explains how to access free public alerting feeds.

I'm a broadcaster, can you send me a test alert?

Absolutely! Manitoba EMO issues two types of test alerts intended for broadcast – Broadcast Immediate test alerts and Advisory test alerts.  If you would like to schedule an Advisory test alert, please contact us.

The test message policy and the schedule for Broadcast Immediate test alerts are available at

What do I do when I hear or see an alert?

When you hear or see an alert pay attention and take action right away to keep you and your family safe. Alerts will provide instructions on what to do or where to get more information.

Visit the Prepare section of this website on how to prepare for emergencies in Manitoba.

Should I call 911 when I hear or see an alert?

No. The alert will provide instructions on what to do or where to get more information.

Where can I learn more about Alert Ready?

Can't find the question and answer you are looking for?

Contact us.