(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) — Florida officials are apologizing and pledging to remove the company responsible for sending Florida residents emergency alerts on their cellphones after much of the state was woken up to an alarm at 4:45 a.m. on Thursday.
Officials said the alert, which included wording that it was a test, was intended to be on TV.
“The Division understands that unexpected 4:45 AM wake up calls are frustrating and would like to apologize for the early morning text,” the Florida Division of Emergency Management said in a statement to ABC News.
“We are taking the appropriate action to remove the company responsible for submitting the alert this morning. We want to stress that while this wake up call was unwarranted, disasters can happen at any time and having a way to receive emergency alerts can save lives,” the division said.
Florida’s emergency management agency said it tests emergency alerts on a variety of platforms, including radio, television and text alerts.
“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,” the division said in a tweet.
Gov. Ron DeSantis echoed that he would “bring swift accountability” to those responsible.
“This was a completely inappropriate use of this system,” he said in a tweet.
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