Early wake-up call? State apologizes for errant text

Florida officials issued an apology today after millions of residents received an accidental text early this morning.

According to the Florida Division of Emergency Management, a text sent around 4:45 a.m. this morning was sent as a mistake. The organization, which is in charge of issuing Silver and Amber alerts, said the alert was supposed to be a test.

“Each month, we test emergency alerts on a variety of platforms. This alert was supposed to be on TV, and not disturb anyone already sleeping,” reads a statement issued by FDEM.

FDEM assured residents that they will put mechanisms in place to ensure that residents are not woken up with similar texts in the future.

“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.”

Officials in Seminole County were quick to warn residents not to turn off emergency alerts, dispelling rumors online of monthly tests.

“You will NOT receive monthly Emergency Alert tests from the State going forward. This morning, the State accidentally used the ‘Live’ screen instead of the ‘Test’ screen,” reads a statement from Seminole County. Officials say the emergency alerts are the fastest way to receive information on tornados, evacuations, or news about hazardous materials events.

“Please DO NOT turn off Emergency Alerts on your cell phone.”

FDEM coordinates with law enforcement agencies and other state departments to maintain a comprehensive, statewide emergency management program. The division ensures that the state is prepared to respond to emergencies and mitigate their impacts.

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