Florida is looking for a new contractor to help conduct emergency alerts after a test mistakenly went out early Thursday morning to cell phones across the state.
Division of Emergency Management spokeswoman Alecia Collins said the state ended a contract with Everbridge, a company that provided coding and instructions to push out emergency alerts.
“Everbridge sent the wrong technical specifications for this alert —- which ultimately pushed the alert over the Wireless Emergency Alert system,” Collins said in an email.
Gov. Ron DeSantis called for “swift accountability” over the 4:45 a.m. alert that said: “TEST —- This is a TEST of the Emergency Alert System. No action is required.”
The Division of Emergency Management later posted an apology on Twitter: “We know a 4:45 AM wake up call isn't ideal.”
It said the alert was supposed to go out on televisions, not cell phones. Collins said the Florida Association of Broadcasters normally schedules the tests for very early in the morning because that is when the fewest people are watching.
Collins also implored people not to disable cell-phone emergency alert notifications. “We will ensure they are used appropriately henceforth,” Collins wrote.