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 an Emergency Alert System push notification: “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.
“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.”
The agency 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.”
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.