All Weather News

Cellphone Customers Bombarded with Test Emergency Alerts

7 Nov 2016, 6:21 pm

Dozens of people reported receiving multiple area emergency test alerts Monday. This caused cellphone users to flock to social media to figure out what was going on. Some said that they were receiving an alert every five minutes, for two hours straight. While others said that the constant alert caused them to shut their phone off completely. The alert read, “TEST: IPAWSTester – Area Emergency Test #1.”

The alerts, which are part of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, are supposed to be used as a quick way to provide the public with information quickly during an emergency. Federal, state and local authorities can use the alerts, however several state emergency management agencies across the country said they did not send an alert.

By Monday afternoon, U.S. Cellular confirmed that a wave of messages went out “inadvertently” during an upgrade of the wireless alert platform. The company apologized for the mistake in a written statement released Monday afternoon.

“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”

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