In a letter released on Monday, the software business responsible for the early morning alarm sent to Floridians last week apologized and cited “human errors” as the cause of the event.
Last week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) issued a prompt response, stating he had ordered the director of the state’s emergency management agency, Kevin Guthrie, to bring accountability for the inappropriate test of its alert system in the wee hours of the morning.
The 44-year-old governor stated that it was a completely inappropriate use of this system.
On April 12th, DeSantis tweeted that he’d asked Kevin Guthrie, director of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management, to immediately investigate the overnight emergency alert system test. He said the way this system was being used was simply unacceptable.
On the day of the event, Everbridge, the software company responsible, was sacked by the Division of Emergency Management.
David Wagner, CEO of Everbridge, wrote a letter to Floridians this week explaining his side of events and apologizing for the incident.
Wagner expressed regret to everyone awakened by a test alert on Thursday, April 20, at 4:45 a.m. Eastern Time.
The letter explained that the notice was sent out despite a lack of many standard precautions that are always taken before sending out an emergency alert. The customers that administer the systems that keep people informed conduct monthly tests on mobile and broadcast networks as mandated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The letter said the good news was that their system delivered this message. Unfortunately, a live message was sent to millions of individuals’ cell phones instead of sending a notification to Florida broadcasters.
“There was no reason for you to receive that alert.”
Wagner said the incident’s severity had prompted the organization to review its safety measures and processes to prevent a repeat.
The letter from Everbridge explained that the company’s goal is to give all of Florida’s emergency departments, at the state and county level, peace of mind by ensuring that they will be notified immediately in the case of a storm or other life-threatening catastrophe. We don’t want to disturb your sleep if at all possible.
Wagner pledged his firm’s “continued work with the Florida Division of Emergency Management to provide them with everything they need to keep you safe.”
Unfortunately, it appears that Wagner will not have that chance, as the state has terminated its contract with the firm.