Latest Weather Information

Watch The Mc Files NIGHTLY On Periscope - 9:55 PM On Periscope - Follow Our You Tube Channel!

The Great Smoky Mountain Journal


Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2019 03:03 PM

Home Weather Local Our View State National World Faith

"Civil Emergency" Text Alert Sent Out Due To Management System To Error In Blount County Saturday

Have you received an alert on your mobile device saying "civil emergency?" Officials in Blount County say it was a management system error.

According to the Blount County Sheriff's Office, an alert that hit potentially "thousands of cell phones" was an emergency management error. A spokesperson with the sheriff's office said that the system intended to send out an alert about a missing child, but sent one out about a civil warning instead. The alert was not an error on behalf of the sheriff's office, however, a spokesperson said.

A spokesperson with the Blount County Management Agency and the Blount County Mayor's Office sent out a release at about 1:45 p.m.

The release stated that, at about 10:15 a.m. on Saturday morning, an Integrated Public Alert Warning System (IPAWS) message was being crafted in an effort to help find a 4-year-old boy's parents. The child had been seen running down Nobel Street.

Alcoa police asked for assistance from the management agency and officials were developing the message when, according to the release, the software inadvertently sent a Civil Alert test weather message instead.

The management agency said a message to disregard the emergency alert was sent at 11:46 a.m. after consulting with software engineers who work for the software vendor.

The missing child incident was developing with the Alcoa Police Department, the sheriff's office said. According to dispatch, at about 10:57 a.m., the child had been found walking on the street and was at the police department.

The release said, "Blount County Emergency Management regrets any inconvenience or alarm this may have cause. While Emergency Management tests this system regularly, we will be working with our software vendor to determine the cause of the malfunction."

"This is a great system that saves lives. The system is put in place for the safety of this community to ensure we are doing everything we can to assure the citizen's safety. We are researching the cause of what happened this morning, and we are sorry for any inconvenience or alarm this caused," the released continued.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency stated that they were not involved with the alert.