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How Adiona Alert Came To Be

James Michalski

Created: 3/13/2024

Updated: 4/19/2024

You might be interested in why I founded Adiona Alert and may have wondered how I came up with the idea in the first place, so I thought I’d share a little about how we got here.


Severe weather alerts have a long and established history dating back to storm sirens in the 1970s. We have also become acquainted with the most recent evolution of severe weather alerts, Wireless Emergency Alerts that are now being sent to our cellular phones to warn us of extreme weather and many other safety alerts.

While we are not introducing human flight like the Wright brothers did in 1903, we are introducing critical safety services to people and communities without access to what many of us now consider basic information.

Adiona Alerts isn’t a revolutionary invention, but it is life-changing and even life-saving.

Lifelong avid outdoor adventurer

I’m a lifelong outdoor adventurer. I’m not an extreme sports athlete and haven’t climbed the world's tallest peaks, but I’ve always enjoyed exploring the outdoors. Whether hiking, backpacking, biking, or paddling, I love being outdoors and exploring new parts of our world. Sometimes, it’s a morning hike or an afternoon paddle. Sometimes, it’s a multi-day trek by bike or a months-long road trip in my overland vehicle.

Over the last few years, I’ve been exploring remote areas from Newfoundland and Labrador to northern Vancouver Island, from Acadia National Park to Death Valley National Park (to name a few), and south to the Baja Peninsula. And like most of you, my adventures have been taking me to wilderness areas where there are few services, let alone a cellular phone signal. We also tend to be better prepared for our adventures, or at least, we like to think so. We certainly carry more gear, take more training, and spend more money on our adventures.

Meanwhile, our expectations are rapidly changing and perhaps more importantly, so are the expectations of our loved ones. For better or worse, we tend to want more connectivity, and our loved ones expect us to check in regularly, even when we are “off-grid.”

You only need to look at how many of us carry a satellite communicator such as an InReach “just in case” or so we can “check-in” daily. Or maybe you were given one from a loved one or friend because it seems like essential equipment for an adventure.

If you are an employer, you don’t need me to tell you that the expectations of your employees, their unions and the regulators have certainly increased regarding workplace safety, preparedness and connectivity in remote workplaces.

Career as a public safety and emergency management professional

A couple of years ago, I retired from a long career as a public safety and emergency management professional. I spent my career making sure people were safe from hazards they had likely never even considered and working with communities to prepare for and respond to significant emergencies that threatened the life and health of their residents.

I was also fortunate to work with communities of all sizes, from large metropolitan cities to some of the most isolated, remote northern hamlets. And I’ve always been taken, even concerned, by the stark contrast between what most of us expect from public safety agencies and what people in remote communities must accept as “the best that can be provided.”

Later during my career, I became responsible for employees who had to travel to, live and work in some of the most remote areas of our country, dealing with the challenges of remote work in areas where the essential communication services most of us expect are entirely inaccessible.

So, it’s safe to say that my passion for public safety and emergency preparedness and my special appreciation for some of the challenges of staying safe in remote areas led me to an “ah ah” moment that led to the idea behind Adiona Alert.

This is the service I needed but could not find

In 2020, while weathering the storm that COVID-19 brought to all our lives, I spent a few months exploring the northern part of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. It is there, after spending several days in Cape Scott Provincial Park, an incredible but remote area on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, that it occurred to me that had a severe weather (winter storms along the west coast of Vancouver Island are no joke) warning or worse, a Tsunami warning after a distant earthquake, been issued I would not have had a clue.

And this is despite having one of the latest iPhones, a marine VHF radio, a GMRS radio, both with weather alerts monitoring, two 2M/60cm amateur radios and my beloved Garmin InReach with me.

You see, communication over FM radios is unreliable in mountainous regions and the terrain, while spectacular, proved to be a significant obstacle to the reliable reception of weather radio broadcasts. And without cellular phone service, I would never receive a wireless alert. While I have complete confidence in the ability of my Garmin InReach to summon help and save my life (or that of another person) in an emergency, my satellite link to the world couldn’t warn me to seek safety.

So, when I returned to civilization in search of groceries and a hot shower, I began to look for a solution that would have allowed me to know of severe weather, a Tsunami or other safety risk using my Garmin InReach or another similar device. To my amazement, I couldn’t find a solution to my problem.

A few weeks later, I learned that friends of mine had a similar experience; while camping in Utah, a Good Samaritan visited their camp well after midnight because he had received a Flash Flood Warning alert from the National Weather Service. Knowing the area and that it was likely that people would be dispersed camping in this remote area, he thought he should check the area and alert them to the impending life-threatening event. A stranger had, at best, saved them from an eventful and unpleasant departure from camp in the middle of the night, or at worst, saved my friends from losing their trucks, equipment or possibly their lives.

When I heard about their experience, I asked them if they had their Garmin InReach. Not only did they have theirs (“Of course, I would never venture in a remote area without it” was the answer), there were multiple personal satellite communicators and one satellite phone amongst the group that trip.

Unfortunately, none of them could have provided a warning of a life-threatening risk … until now.

As incredible of an achievement as it is always to have a reliable communication link using a constellation of satellites orbiting the earth and the ability to reach qualified specialists who can arrange a rescue 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, none of our friends or family are watching our location and monitoring severe weather or other risks to my safety so they could alert us to them.

But our team at Adiona Alert can, and we would be honoured to do so for you.


After nearly two years of research and development work, we monitor the safety alerts issued by hundreds of public safety agencies in Canada and the U.S., from the National Weather Service and Environment and Climate Change Canada to the National Tsunami Warning Center and local law enforcement and public safety agencies, so we can keep an eye on your location and immediately alert you no matter where you are.

Your satellite communicator can now alert you when your safety is at risk, not just summon help once you are in trouble.

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