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Franklin Co. Emergency Management sends out alert by mistake

TRI-CITIES, Wash. - A test from Franklin County Emergency Management didn’t go as planned Thursday morning. 

They had hoped to test a new system called IPAWS (Integrated Public Alert and Warning System), which they did. However, an alert came out over cell phones.

"We try to create templates for certain emergencies so we thought 'hey, let's create a weekly test so we don't have to keep recreating it.​​​​​​," said Sean Davis, Director of Franklin County Emergency Management. "And this is the first time we activated that template, and we realized we had one box checked that shouldn't have been."

The alert many possibly received is typically used for natural disasters, Amber alerts, Silver alerts and more. The one sent out stated a weekly test will be done. While that is true, Davis said a notification won’t be sent. 

"So we will be doing the test every week to ensure that the system's operable, but we will do our best to ensure that it is actually not going out as a live alert to everyone else," he said. 

IPAWS is a program provided by the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA. It’s simply another tool to provide alerts to the community. 

Davis said while the alert was sent on by mistake, it went smoothly otherwise. Alerts will also be sent monthly, but notifications for that will be over the radio and televisions. 

To get alerts on your phone, it will be under your notifications settings. 


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