British Columbians can now receive air quality alerts via text

British Columbians concerned about air quality can now sign up to get real-time advisories by text.

The messages, in the form of air quality advisories and smoky skies bulletins, will also provide health advice and protective actions, according to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

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The text notification system, which was launched Friday, is an expansion of the provincial government’s air quality alert system, which sends email notifications to those who had subscribed to the service.

“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.”

People can sign up for the mobile service on the B.C. government’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.

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