British Columbians wanting timely air quality alerts in their area can now get them sent directly to their cellphones.
Starting Friday, May 29, 2020, the air quality alert subscription service is expanding beyond email notifications to allow people to receive real-time air quality advisories and smoky skies bulletins by text. Both alert the public about existing or potential poor air quality, while providing appropriate health advice and protective actions that can be taken.
“Whether for COVID-19-related reasons, for wildfire smoke information or for pure curiosity, you can now reach no further than your pocket to find out about the air quality around you,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “This subscription service is a helpful tool for all British Columbians, particularly for those with pre-existing or chronic health conditions, the elderly, pregnant women, those concerned about the health of their infants or small children, or those just looking to spend some time being active outside.”
Public health notifications advising people of potential or existing poor air quality in their communities have been available by email through the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy’s subscription service since September 2019.
People can sign up for the mobile service on the Government of British Columbia’s air quality website to automatically receive air quality advisories and smoky skies bulletins, through text messages, email notifications or both.
There are currently 76 community-specific sites that provide hourly data to a central database where they are processed, stored and posted near real-time on the B.C. air quality website.
For more information on the air quality subscription service and to subscribe to receive advisories, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/airquality-subscriptionservice
B.C.’s air quality website: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content?id=F3D83262D06F42D3BDCBABF120A40DD7
Find out more about provincial ambient air quality objectives: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content?id=600BAE148BE642AE9CEED16BAD6BAA45
To learn more about wildfire smoke and how people can protect their health, visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/prevention-public-health/wildfire-smoke
For non-health related information, including financial, child care and education supports, travel, transportation and essential service information, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/covid19
Or call 1 888 COVID19 (1 888 268-4319) between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. (Pacific time), seven days a week.
A backgrounder follows.