As we approach our 150th birthday on July 1st, Canadians can now feel a sense of security with the new Alert Ready warning system.
According to the website:
Alert Ready is designed to deliver critical and potentially life-saving alerts to Canadians through television and radio. The Alert Ready system is developed in partnership with federal, provincial and territorial emergency management officials, Environment and Climate Change Canada, The Weather Network and the broadcast industry to ensure you receive alerts immediately and know when to take action to keep yourself and your family safe.
All fine and dandy, just one problem. As this coordinated alarm system is new, the powers that be have been promoting it heavily on TV. In my house the television is on all day in the background, usually with a news channel. The ads that explain Alert Ready to the public feature the actual alarm sound and flashing red screen. On several occasions I have heard the alarm from the next room and rushed like a magnet to steel to see what form the impending doom would take. Of course it was just the ad – again.
So now when I hear the alarm I assume it is the ad and I just ignore it. What could go wrong? If there is a real disaster, I will have to rely on my current system; it has worked so far.
Remember Aesop? Remember the boy who cried wolf? May I suggest the good folks behind Alert Ready remove the alert sound from the adverts. Perhaps direct viewers to the website where the sound can be played at will.