Nova Scotians will now get public alerts on their cell phones from the public emergency alerting system. A test alert will take place on May 9 at 1:55 p.m. as part of Emergency Preparedness Week. The Alert Ready system allows emergency management officials to send out public alerts in times of emergency. Participants in the national system include private and public broadcasters, cell phone service providers and government organizations. “We know that using multiple communication channels during emergency situations will help reach Nova Scotians more quickly so they can take action if necessary,” said Derek Mombourquette Minister responsible for the Emergency Management Office. “The use of cell phones to communicate an emergency allows officials to reach people wherever they are and target a specific area where there is imminent danger.” The Emergency Management Office sends test alerts several times a year on TV and radio. Cell phones will now be part of the alert. The test begins with a loud alert sound, followed by a spoken message through television and radio and a message on cell phone screens. If a cell phone is switched off or on silent mode, there will be no sound but a message will be displayed and the phone may vibrate if it is in silent mode. In addition to the alert system, the Emergency Management Office uses Twitter, Facebook and emails to contact first responders and emergency management officials throughout the province in times of emergency. The program is led by Pelmorex Weather Networks (Television) Inc. Information about cell phone compatibility is available at http://www.alertready.ca .