Get emergency ready with Fire Services

Millions of smartphones sounding off across the province at exactly the same time next week are going to be music to the ears of St. Catharines’ acting fire chief.

An Ontario-wide test of the Alert Ready Emergency Alert System is planned for Monday, May 7 at 1:55 p.m. Alert Ready is a national emergency alert system the federal and provincial government uses to deliver critical and potentially life-saving information to Canadians through television, radio and, since early April, cellphones and wireless devices compatible with Wireless Public Alerting (WPA). Acting Fire Chief Jeff McCormick said St. Catharines residents with compatible devices connected to an LTE network will automatically be included in the system test.

“This is a perfect way to kick off Emergency Preparedness Week,” said the acting fire chief, adding anyone who doesn’t receive the test notifications should visit to learn more about their phones compatibility and other ways to receive notifications. “We always tell our residents to be ready for any emergency with supplies and a plan. Knowing where to get the critical information to keep yourself and your family safe is certainly part of being ready for anything.”

Emergency Preparedness Week is May 6-12 and locally, the St. Catharines Fire and Emergency Services and Niagara Region Emergency Preparedness personnel will be at Market Square Thursday, May 10 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s an opportunity for residents to learn about how to stay informed during an emergency, 72-hour kits, home disaster planning, and more about emergency preparedness to protect themselves and their families.

The acting fire chief said no one expects an emergency to happen but everyone can plan for one.

Residents are encouraged to have the basics at-the-ready just in case: a three-day supply of water and non-perishable food for every member of the family; First Aid kits; battery-powered radios and lights; extra batteries and cash. Everyone should have a ‘go bag’ packed with a change of clothes, medication, copies of important documents and keys in case they need to leave the home quickly.

While Alert Ready is a national service, the City does provide important information and updates during local emergencies. Residents can download the City’s free Pingstreet smartphone and mobile device app to receive emergency alerts as well as follow the City on Facebook ( and Twitter (@St_Catharines). Residents can also stay up-to-date by monitoring the City website ( and local media or call Citizens First at 905.688.5600.

“Emergencies can trap you in your home for days or force you to evacuate,” said the acting fire chief. “Things can change in the blink of an eye and residents need to be ready to act. That means preparing an emergency preparedness kit and a household emergency plan and knowing where to find out critical information from the City to stay informed about what’s going on and what to do next.”

Source – City of St. Catharines press release



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