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Florida apologizes for sending emergency alert test at 4:45 a.m.

By Jennifer Korn

The early morning alert was a test but the outrage was real.

Many in Florida were woken up at 4:45 a.m. on Thursday by a notification on their phones from the Emergency Alert System: “TEST – This is a TEST of the Emergency Alert System. No action is required.”

After sending the test out across the state, the Florida Division of Emergency Management apologized for the very, very early alert. Florida is also ending its contract with the software company blamed for the test alert, according to an agency spokesperson.

“We know a 4:45 AM wake up call isn’t ideal. FLSERT wants to apologize for the early morning text,” the agency tweeted. “Each month, we test #emergencyalerts on a variety of platforms. This alert was supposed to be on TV, and not disturb anyone already sleeping.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis said he had ordered FLSERT Director Kevin Guthrie “to bring swift accountability for the test of the emergency alert system in the wee hours of the morning.”

“This was a completely inappropriate use of this system,” DeSantis said in a tweet “Stay tuned.”

Early morning tests are scheduled throughout the year, with a 4:50 a.m. alert scheduled for June, according to the Florida Association of Broadcasters.

Floridians took to social media on Thursday to air grievances over their unexpected early morning alarm, with “Emergency Broadcast System” trending across the country.

Some tweeted insults at whoever was behind the alert and called for someone to be fired. Others shared tips for how to disable future alerts on their phones. And one local news outlet tried to seize the opportunity.

“Since you are up! Tune in and catch Today in Florida streaming live,” WSVN 7 News tweeted at 5:02 a.m. on Thursday.

— CNN’s Melissa Alonso contributed to this report.

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Social Media/Technology

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