If your device sounds an emergency alert at 1:55 p.m. on Wednesday, Mar. 1, don't panic; it's probably part of a provincewide test.

Mike Ellis, Public Safety and Emergency Services minister, has issued an advance warning of the test of the Alberta Emergency Alert system.

“The alert will be distributed over television, radio, websites, social media, the Alberta Emergency Alert mobile app, and directly to Albertans via compatible cellphones," Ellis states.

“While test alerts are issued nationwide twice a year in May and November, this year’s emergency alert in Alberta is being done now to coincide with the official start of wildfire season on Mar. 1."

The test alerts are used to fix any system issues to ensure they are available when needed. They also provide a valuable opportunity for Albertans to consider their own readiness to respond to an unexpected event like wildfire.

He says distributing the alert via multiple platforms helps ensure Albertans receive information directly or from someone nearby.

The cellphone alert only works if the receiving cellphone or mobile app is compatible, on the LTE 4G network, turned on, and connected to Wi-Fi. If your cellphone is set to silent, it will display an emergency alert but will not play the alert tone.

“Since Alberta created the first emergency alert system in the country more than 30 years ago, the province has issued alerts to provide critical information about an immediate disaster, where it’s happening, and what actions to take to stay safe," states Ellis.

He encourages Albertans to download the Alberta Emergency Alert app to receive messages about life-threatening emergencies, such as tornadoes, wildfires, floods, or Amber Alerts, directly to their cellphones. When faced with an emergency, follow the instructions provided and check for updated alerts.

To learn more about how to prepare for any emergency, click here. Resources are available in 10 different languages.