TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Good morning, Florida! Early Thursday morning, Florida residents were awoken by a loud alert on their phones.
Across the state, Floridians’ phones sounded off around 4:45 a.m. The loud sound, which is usually associated with an Amber Alert or sever weather, woke millions.
When residents looked at their phones, the screen read: “TEST – This is a TEST of the Emergency Alert System. No action is required.”
While the alert showed that it was simply a test, residents are still wondering why the alert went off so early.
According to the Florida Association of Broadcasters, the test alert is scheduled to occur every other month around 4:50 a.m. However, Florida officials stated that residents were not supposed to get the alert on their cell phones.
On Thursday morning, The Florida Division of Emergency Management announced that the alert broadcast to phones statewide was an error. The Emergency Test Alert was intended to be broadcast on TV, not on the phones of sleeping citizens.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management said they’re “taking appropriate action to ensure this will never happen again and that only true emergencies are sent as alerts in the middle of the night.”
No longer want to receive these alerts? Here are step-by-step instructions on how to disable the feature. However, it should be noted that some residents who had Test Alert notifications turned off still received the alert.
Tap the Settings app to open it, then tap Notifications. Users need to scroll to the bottom of the screen and find the section that says “Government Alerts.” From there, move the sliders to off/white. Once off, users will no longer receive Amber, Emergency, Public Safety, or Test Alerts.
On an Android device, open Settings, then tap Notifications. Find “Wireless emergency alerts” and select the alerts you want to receive.