Did You Get An Alert During The Tornado Scare?

iPhone stock image. (Photo by © Can Stock Photo / bloomua)

If you heard a loud buzz on your cell phone during Sunday’s tornado warning, it means Canada’s Alert Ready system was working just fine.

Environment Canada Meteorologist Gerald Cheng says people in the Chatham-Kent and Elgin County areas have confirmed that they received the Alert Ready signals on their cell phones on Sunday. Cheng says the alerts also interrupted broadcasts on radio and television.

“What we do is we issue warnings like usual and because tornado warnings are a type of warning that are critical to life, that’s why it gets picked up by the Alert Ready emergency alert system,” he explains.

Cheng says this wasn’t the first time the system was used in Ontario for a tornado warning.

“We issued tornado warnings over the Canada Day weekend, but it was for places farther north like Sudbury, North Bay, and parts of Algonquin Park,” says Cheng. “Over the Canada Day weekend, we got feedback that [there were alerts] on people’s cellphones so that’s how we knew it was working.”

Cheng says the alerts were also sent out successfully during last week’s tornado warning for the London-Middlesex area. He says the alert system is another way to ensure people know about Environment Canada’s weather warnings in emergency situations.

“I think what’s important is that people should know when there’s danger nearby,” he says. “With thunderstorms that are capable of producing tornadoes we issue tornado warnings in these circumstances and we hope that people will get the message, because it is important people stay safe.”

Cheng says people should have an emergency plan ready and in place for when tornado warnings are issued, so they know where to seek shelter and how to stay safe in those situations. He says it’s important people reach out if they had any issues receiving the alert.

“I really recommend people to go on the Alert Ready website and they can leave their feedback there, so that it can be forwarded to people who are responsible for the system,” he says.