Officials in Florida have apologized for delivering Sunshine State residents an “unexpected” and “frustrating” early morning wakeup call.
At 04:45 local time (08:45 GMT), many homeowners were startled awake by a loud emergency alert on their phones.
On Thursday, however, there was no actual emergency; instead, a state agency made an error while testing its warning system.
It was later acknowledged by the Florida Division of Emergency Management that a “04:45 wake-up call isn’t ideal.”
The tweet below confirms the news:
The organization claimed that “this alert was supposed to be on TV, and not disturb anyone already sleeping.” Each month, it tests the alerts on a number of platforms.
On Twitter, it made a commitment to “take the necessary action to ensure that this will never happen again and that only true emergencies are sent as alerts in the middle of the night,” promising that it would do so.
Residents were informed that the emergency alert system was being tested. No action is necessary.
Every wireless customer in Florida received the notice, according to St. Lucie County.
Governor Ron DeSantis referred to the early test alert as “a completely inappropriate use of this system” in a tweet.
“I’ve ordered FL Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie to bring swift accountability for the emergency alert system test in the wee hours of the morning,” he added.
Florida residents who were upset over being awakened early resorted to social media to vent. One wrote on Twitter, “I need to fight whoever decided to test Florida’s emergency alert system.”
The emergency management service advised households to keep the feature on for public safety despite people sharing instructions on how to disable notifications on their phones.
Alecia Collins, the agency’s spokesperson, said: “We want to emphasize that while this wake-up call was unjustified, tragedies can strike at any time, and having a way to receive emergency warnings can save lives.
Although it is set for Sunday afternoon in the middle of the afternoon, the UK is also getting ready for the first nationwide test of its emergency alert system.
In 2018, a missile alert caused terror among Hawaii residents before being deemed a false alarm.
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