British Columbia’s Minister of Public Safety said an automated alert system will be in place in June to notify residents of dangerously high temperatures like last year’s deadly heat dome.
Mike Farnworth made the comment during a press conference in Vancouver with federal ministers as they outlined funding for wildfire response and prevention.
Alert Ready is a tool used by governments across the country to broadcast warnings to radio and television stations, as well as compatible wireless devices.
Farnworth announced last week that the tool was ready for use during floods and would be extended to wildfires in June.
At the time, he said more work needed to be done by health officials to determine the parameters for a heat warning.
However, on Friday he said launching the alert system in June had always been the government’s intention.
“Previously, we were ready to deploy the system for tsunami warning, civil emergencies and Amber alerts. But now we are in line for flood dangers and the system will go further to expand wildfire threats by early June and heat alerts at the same time,” Farnworth told a crowd gathered in the naval reserve of HMCS Discovery in Vancouver’s Stanley Park.
In response to a question about the timing, Farnworth said, “We always expected it to be ready by June.”
The British Columbia Coroners Service said scorching temperatures last summer caused nearly 600 heat-related deaths.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 13, 2022.