Emergency Alert System broadcast sent in error

The state's emergency operations center mistakenly sent a broadcast today that a civil preparedness emergency had been declared for the state.

The message automatically scrolled on the bottom of television screens and aired on the radio, said Scott DeVico, spokesman for the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. The Emergency Alert System broadcast was sent in error during a test of the system at 9:43 a.m., he added.

An incident at the Millstone Power Station, a hurricane or any other event that rises to that level of severity would be considered a civil preparedness emergency, DeVico said. In a real emergency, the broadcast would have been followed by instructions.

DeVico said the center has received some calls from the public about the broadcast, but not many. The last time the center sent out an erroneous message was in February 2005, he added.

"We are going to review what happened to ensure that it does not happen in the future," DeVico said.

j.mcdermott@theday.com

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