UNDATED (AP) — Last month’s bogus ballistic missile alert in Hawaii and an erroneous tsunami warning this week have highlighted trouble spots in the system that alerts Americans to dangerous weather and other emergencies.
More than 1,000 federal, state and local government agencies have the ability to issue emergency alerts through an array of federally managed communications networks. It’s a patchwork system that usually works as intended but can wreak havoc when it doesn’t.
Dan Gonzales studies emergency alert systems at RAND Corp. He says it’s difficult to eliminate false alarms and there’s a risk people will start ignoring warnings.
On Tuesday, private forecasting service AccuWeather took what was intended to be a routine National Weather Service test message and sent it as a real warning to subscribers from Maine to the Caribbean.
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