Monday’s Emergency Alert to Your Cell Phone Was a Mistake
A little perturbed today when your cell phone went crazy with a TEST Emergency? Yeah, me too. Turns out, it shouldn't have happened at all.
I received an audible alarm on my cell phone at 1:21 p.m. with an accompanying text message that read: TEST:IPAWSTester-Area Emergency Test #1. I was in my office at the time and assumed all cell phone users received it. Nope, it went out only to U.S. Cellular customers. It wasn't supposed to happen.
The message was sent to all U.S. Cellular customers and went through FEMA's (Federal Emergency Management Agency) emergency warning system. In case you're wondering, IPAWS stands for Integrated Public Alert & Warning System.
Officials from FEMA's regional headquarters in Chicago said the message went out through an electronic platform that U.S. Cellular uses. U.S. Cellular confirms it, saying in a statement, "While conducting an upgrade of U.S. Cellular's Wireless Emergency Alerts platform, a FEMA test alert was inadvertently broadcast to our customers across our entire (wireless) footprint. That test alert will no longer be deployed, and we apologize for the inconvenience and concern the test alert may have caused."
We all make mistakes every day and sometimes they're a little more noticeable than others. The person or persons responsible for this one probably wished they could've immediately crawled into the nearest hole. Yes, this one was a doozie. But hey, at least it didn't happen at 1:21 a.m. I'd have been a lot more upset then, wouldn't you?
[via Gazette Extra]