Failed 4.45am emergency alert test from millions of smartphones across Florida sparks panic and anger as Ron DeSantis threatens to fire officials
Millions of eccentric Floridians were woken up in the early hours of Thursday morning by a loud emergency alert sent to their phones — that was supposed to be broadcast on TV.
At 4.45am, Florida residents with smartphones were alarmed by a loud alarm, used in amber alerts or tornado warnings, and a text that read: ‘TEST – This is a test of the emergency alert system. No action required.’
The Florida Department of Emergency Management tweeted an apology for the unintended early start and explained that it was supposed to be a test on TVs, that wouldn’t disturb anyone who was already asleep or cause a panic.
One lawmaker, State Senator Blaise Ingolia, said he would introduce the “Stop Wake Up Act” — a ramification of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s Stop Wake Up Act, which bans critical race theory in classrooms and business diversity training — to ban Waking up Floridians before 5 am.
DeSantis management representatives said that the people responsible for the “inappropriate” early morning alarm would be “layed off.”
Florida’s Department of Emergency Management tweeted an apology for the unintended early start and explained it was supposed to be a test run on TVs (file photo)
The incident sparked outrage at DeSantis’ management and in an ominous statement said those responsible would be ‘layed off’ (pictured in Miami in January)
“We know that a 4:45 a.m. wake-up call is not ideal,” the Florida Department of Emergency Management (FLDEM) said.
@FLSERT wants to apologize for the early morning message. Every month, we test #em Emergencyalerts on a variety of platforms. This alert was supposed to be on TV, not to disturb anyone who was already asleep.
“We are taking appropriate action to ensure this never happens again and only true emergencies are sent out as alerts in the middle of the night.”
The Florida Association of Broadcasters posts scheduled emergency alert tests on its website. Currently, there is a 4.50 am test every two months.
The Florida Department of Emergency Management tweeted an apology for the unintended early start
Social media users joked and complained about the early wake-up call, with some going so far as to suggest a class action lawsuit.
Android and iPhone users have the ability to turn off Emergency Alerts, which is a general warning system commonly used by state and local authorities to provide critical emergency information.
The incident sparked outrage in DeSantis’ management and in an ominous statement said those responsible would be “layed off”.
The alert for the SERT test this morning at 4:45 AM was inappropriate and not carried out with our guidance. “The responsible party will be held accountable and will be appropriately discharged,” DeSantis spokesman Brian Griffin said. Fox News.