DeSantis Threatens Firing Over Early Morning Emergency Alert

( – In the early morning hours of Thursday, April 20th, Floridians woke up alarmed, then furious, when their smartphones went off with a message from the Emergency Alert System.

At 4:45 am, smartphone users were jolted awake by this: “TEST — This is a TEST of the Emergency Alert System. NO action is required.” As is usually the case, the alert came with a loud alarm tone.

Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’ staff quickly said that whoever sent the alert will be fired. DeSantis spokesman Bryan Griffin said the “test alert was not appropriate and not done at our direction. The party responsible will be held accountable and appropriately discharged.”

The Emergency Alert System is what used to be known as the “Emergency Broadcast System.” Civil authorities use it to broadcast emergency conditions to the public, such as approaching tornadoes, hurricanes, or other disasters. The system uses a tone that sounds dissonant and uncomfortable to the human ear in order to rouse people into action.

Floridians were asking why the state would do a test before the sun was up. The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FLDEM) apologized on Twitter, saying that the test was supposed to be broadcast only to televisions, which would not wake anyone who was not already up and watching TV. FLDEM said they did not intend to disturb those who were sleeping.

The EAS is tested every month, and one of those tests is scheduled for 4:50 am.

The apology may not be enough for some lawmakers. Republican Sen. Blaise Ingoglia said he would introduce a bill called the Stop Wake Act that would ban system tests between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Ingoglia’s bill title takes off from a law backed by Gov. DeSantis called the Stop Woke Act. The law bans the teaching of “critical race theory” in classrooms and bars it from being used in “diversity training” so currently popular in business. 

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