Florida residents were jolted out of their sleep at 4:45 a.m. Thursday morning when the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FLDEM) issued a test of the Emergency Alert System. Authorities sent the alert to millions of cell phone users.
The hurricane or Amber Alert type alarm signal was followed by a text reading: “TEST – This is a TEST of the Emergency Alert System. NO action is required.”
The early morning test of the Emergency Alert System angered millions of Floridians, prompting an apology from authorities:
“We know a 4:45 a.m. wake up call isn’t ideal,” the FLDEM posted on Twitter. “@FLSERT wants to apologize for the early morning text. Each month, we test #emergencyalerts on a variety of platforms. This alert was supposed to be on TV, and not disturb anyone already sleeping.”
FLDEM added: “We are taking the appropriate action to ensure this will never happen again and that only true emergencies are sent as alerts in the middle of the night.”
State Sen. Blaise Ingoglia (R) announced he would introduce a bill called the “Stop Wake Act” to ensure FLDEM executives do not schedule tests of the Emergency Alert System during the night or early morning hours in the future.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed that the person responsible for the early morning alarm will be “discharged.”
DeSantis’ spokesman Bryan Griffin said, “This morning’s 4:45 a.m. SERT test alert was not appropriate and not done at our direction. The party responsible will be held accountable and appropriately discharged.”
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