Officials apologize after ‘Emergency Alert’ test sent in ‘error’ to cell phones at 4:45 a.m.

ORLANDO, Fla. — An untold number of people in Florida received a rude awakening early Thursday morning.


Emergency management officials said an “Emergency Alert” test issued at 4:45 a.m. was sent out by mistake.

“The whole of the emergency management community apologizes for this error and steps will be taken to prevent it from occurring again,” officials said.

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The message, titled “Emergency Alert,” read “TEST – This is a TEST of the Emergency Alert System. No action is required.”

Officials said the alert was supposed to be sent to televisions, but the contractor sent the wrong technical specifications, which pushed it out over cellphones.

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Many took to social media after the alert was sent out to decry the startling message.

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Misinformation is also spreading on social media, encouraging people to disable the alerts in the future. But officials urge people not to do that.

“It’s our way to communicate to the public, for tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, hazardous material events, we encourage everyone to please keep that on,” Seminole County Emergency Manager Alan Harris said.

Read: Florida Emergency Alert: What you need to know about the system that woke you up this morning

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