Emergency website > For the community > Warnings and Alerts​​​​ > ​​​Standard Emergency Warning Signal (SEWS)

​​​Standard Emergency Warning Signal (SEWS)

What is SEWS?

SEWS is a distinctive sound broadcast over radio or television.

When is it u​sed?

SEWS will be broadcast immediately before an urgent safety message. The signal will also be occasionally broadcast as a test message. Any test of the signal will be announced prior to and after the signal.

What do you do when you hear it?

Following the signal there will be a message, pay immediate attention, listen to the announcement, and follow any instructions given. As part of a coordinated national emergency plan, an audio signal has been adopted to alert the community to an urgent safety message relating to an identified emergency such as a flood, fire, or earthquake aftershocks.

What does SEWS sound like?

Play SEWS (mp3)