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AZ Alert System Has Safeguard To Prevent Accidental Alerts

After two false alerts warning of imminent missile attacks were issued in Hawaii and Japan in the last several days, many on the U.S. mainland are concerned how the incident could have happened in the first place.

The Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, or DEMA, in Arizona is responsible for qualifying emergency messages issued at the state level.

Arizona is part of the national Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, which allows one message to be disseminated through multiple alerting channels.

Morgan Hoaglin, communications supervisor at DEMA, said an entire policy group meets before sending alert messages to avert a scenario like what happened in Hawaii.

“That would be anywhere from three to five people. Once that message is decided upon, then we would go into our alerting software and put the message together and there is validation within that software, too.”

Hoaglin also added there are at least two people dedicated to actually sending messages through one of the two main alert systems whether that be a EAS message, which is what you see scrolled on your television or hear on the radio, or a Wireless Emergency Alert, which is what you receive on your cellphone.


Tom Maxedon was the host of KJZZ’s Weekend Edition from 2017 to 2024.