EAS Glitch Causes Mistaken Evacuation Order Alert In Suffolk County, NY
September 6, 2016 at 5:47 AM (PT)
An incomplete FEMA Emergency Alert System warning as Tropical Storm HERMINE approached LONG ISLAND resulted in momentary trouble for SUFFOLK COUNTY, NY on SATURDAY evening (9/6).
AP reports that SUFFOLK COUNTY officials intended only to advise residents of FIRE ISLAND on the county's South Shore of a voluntary evacuation, but that only the first part of the message was transmitted, omitting the voluntary and FIRE ISLAND parts and resulting in what appeared to be a total and mandatory county evacuation.
The message apparently reached TV viewers and was sent out as a robocall to residents; after the mistake was noted, a second clarifying alert was sent out. Officials said they normally use another local system to notify residents about emergencies but chose to use the FEMA EAS procedure because tourists without access to landlines would be affected by the storm.