Does faster to boil mean faster to safely use?

Did you know that the higher you go, the faster water boils? When people hear that for the first time, they can mistakenly jump to assuming the faster they’ll have safe water to use and consume. However, that is not correct. First, let’s understand why water boils faster at higher elevations. At sea level, water will […]

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Making The Most of Maps for Mobile

Using maps to present information poses some user experience issues, particularly when they are accessed on smartphones and tablet devices. On a desktop or laptop computer, mouse or track-pad interaction provides a high-level of precision, and the ability to click and drag. This interaction is more difficult on a touch-device, since the same drag gesture […]

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Public Alert System Tests: They Have Been Happening for Years

The Alert Ready Wireless tests in May 2018 received a lot of attention, but did you know that the Canadian National Public Alerting System (NPAS), otherwise known as AlertReady, has been conducting regular tests like this for years? Canadians are likely more aware of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) tests that the United States conducts. […]

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Why spend 7-days designing a product already built?

Along the theme of our earlier blog “Why spend 5-days dreaming up an idea for a product already built?” one might think spending 7-days designing the user experience for a product already built is a waste of time. They could argue it only sets up for disappointment. “Why bother, you’re only going to tell me […]

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Boiling Points – Getting The Word Out On Drinking Water Advisories

Drinking water advisories are issued by public health authorities when tap water is unsafe to drink and may cause illness or transmit disease. The terminology used to describe the different types of water quality alerts varies between provinces, regions and local health units, as does the availability of information. Some provinces do not publish water […]

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Where does the information come from in Alertable?

You might be wondering where alerts come from that appear in the Alertable app? It’s worthwhile noting that Alertable is more than an app. Alertable is a full public emergency alert system available to municipalities across Canada to notify their communities of disasters and hazards. The public receives those local level alerts through the free to […]

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The State of Alerting in Canada

There are a diverse number of alerting systems in Canada, which reflects the challenges in reaching a small population spread over a very large geographic area. Canadian alerting systems align, like many things, with the structure of government: national, provincial/territorial, and local. At the national level, there is AlertReady. This system is primarily governed by […]

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Over-alerting: How much is too much and what to do about it?

Striking a balance between keeping the public informed in the case of an emergency and inundating them with alerts is a significant challenge faced by Emergency Management agencies. “There’s a very delicate balance between how much is enough and how much (alerting) is too much,” said FEMA’s Damon Penn in an interview with CBS News […]

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Sounding the alarm but no one is listening

An emergency alert system is only as effective as the number of people it can reach. The latest and greatest processes, procedures and technology can quickly become ineffective if nobody hears, or sees, the alerts. This challenge is faced by some mass notification solutions that are reliant upon citizens signing up and supplying personal information […]

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I’ve been alerted, now what do I do?

We all lead busy lives and emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere, at the most inopportune times, so how should you react when you get an unexpected alert? In movies and television, you’ll see fictionalized accounts of running screaming through the streets when an alert is received, looting and causing mayhem. Those portrayals are fiction and […]

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