Tennessee Emergency Management Agency Director apologizes for statewide test

Tennessee
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KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The Director of Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) is apologizing about a statewide test of their Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts to mobile devices.

The alerts went out on Thursday at around 10:30 a.m. Many viewers contacted WATE 6 On Your Side saying they were concerned about the alerts.

TEMA Director Patrick Sheenan said the messages were just a test of their system that they did for National Preparedness Month. He said TEMA is adjusting their protocols and working to improve the delivery system of those alerts.

“We have received calls and messages from hundreds of Tennesseans letting us know about problems with receiving messages and the concerns caused by the messages received. In many instances the caveats that the message was part of a test were not received, making it seem like an emergency was imminent,” said Sheenan. “While many are understanding, knowing that we need to test our systems, many have voiced their concerns about the angst this test cause. Please accept my sincerest apologies for any inconvenience today’s test caused.”

Sheenan said TEMA will not be conducting any public tests of the system in the foreseeable future. TEMA’s mission is to coordinate preparedness, response and recovery from man-made, natural and technological hazards.

“We do these tests to make certain we know about problems before we need the systems. In this regard alone, this test has been very valuable,” said Sheenan. “Please accept my apologies on behalf of TEMA and my gratitude for your patience and understanding.”

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