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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

False Alarm, Connecticut Not Being Evacuated

Connecticut emergency management officials have apologized for an erroneous message sent to state broadcasters today saying an evacuation of the state had been ordered.

State emergency management officials believe someone pressed the wrong button.

Instead of running a test of the emergency alert system, midday television viewers and radio listeners were told that the state was being evacuated.

There is absolutely no evacuation or state emergency,Ӕ said Kerry Flaherty, of the Office of Emergency Management. It was an erroneous message.Ӕ

The department was investigating how the alert was sent.

Officials said it is manually released to broadcasters.

The error prompted Gov. M. Jodi Rell to issue a statement reassuring residents.

We are looking into the circumstances and will take every step necessary to make certain this type of problem does not reoccur in the future,Ӕ she said.

State police said they received no calls related to the erroneous alert.


Posted 02/01/05 at 08:16 PM


Comment Policy

Good thing! The question looming in my mind today is does anyone at the State level know where we are to go if this was a real evacuation? Where can I get educated on this plan- so I know where and how to evacuate?

Posted by Mari on February 02, 2005 at 03:37 PM | #

I spent half my life (30 years) in the Broadcasting Business and any “senior” Broadcaster will tell you the Emergency Broadcastiong System will not work. We have tried to tell the government for many years that it will not work and they insist on spending millions of dollars on this unworkable system.

This is not the first time a false alarm has been sent out and totally ignored. The EBS is a joke among the people the government, and the public, relies upon to deliver the emergency message. It is many years past time to trash the EBS and go with something new, something different, like a single telephione call to ring every phone (cell phones included) in America at once. We have the capability.

God help us if we have to rely on the government’s white elephant, the EBS.

Posted by Longstreet on February 02, 2005 at 05:08 PM | #

Please don’t evacuate Connecticut under any circumstances.

Posted by Jose on February 02, 2005 at 05:26 PM | #

Longstreet, how is it that you’ve spent so long in Broadcasting yet don’t realize that the EBS hasn’t been in use for about 10 years now?

Posted by Joel on February 02, 2005 at 05:37 PM | #

You can not get the attention of anyone in the government, at least not in an everyday written or talking manner, until you can convince the person in charge that his or her life or family is in jeopardy. It’s like “getting their attention with an axe handle”.

Posted by Alex Moser on February 02, 2005 at 06:04 PM | #

As someone who lives in ‘Tornado Alley’ I can say we have become a so wrapped up in out selfish little world and I would say most who saw the broadcast ignored it. We can issue a Tornado warning and a large number of people ignore it. The EBS can and will work, but this incident shows it need work. Possibly educating the public.

Posted by Paul on February 02, 2005 at 06:05 PM | #

Is the state really being evacuated. Is this because the state voted Kerry?

Posted by R D'Souza on February 02, 2005 at 06:56 PM | #

This happened once in California, but when the evacuation started there was only one bus. And it was short.

Posted by McGehee on February 02, 2005 at 07:02 PM | #

The comment by Longstreet (that EBS does not work)must indicate he is outdated! EBS became the Emergency Alerting System (EAS) several years ago, it works better than the old system. But the bottom line is government officials (emergency management), broadcasters and emergency responders must work to assure the system is effective and have local (an state) plans to support the protective actions (shelter in place, evacuated, etc).
Final bottom line: if it was a terrorism chemical or biological explosion, lets hope we know what to do!!!!

Posted by Eee Whatt on February 02, 2005 at 07:15 PM | #

Longstreet may have mistated the EBS vs EAS
But that is just a nitpick. I see the emergency
system and I don’t pay attention to if its B or S
just that it is another dumb warning that should
not be posted. When the goverment quits telling
me that it may snow or rain and uses the system
like it should be then it will be taken seriously.

Posted by Jim Wilson on February 02, 2005 at 09:03 PM | #

My, but we do have some touchy people here, don’t we? (joel) Whatever it’s called: EBS or EAS, it just doesn’t work. It’s a complete farce. Another
government dollar waster.


Posted by Suncoastman on February 02, 2005 at 09:23 PM | #

My kids heard that some state (we live in Georgia) was being evacuated and accused Delaware (state of my birth). I assured them it would turn out to be some other state. Vindication! Thanks, Connecticut. It’s been tough ever since Candid Camera did a stunt where they claimed Delaware was “closed” 30 years ago!

Posted by Blue Hen on February 02, 2005 at 09:33 PM | #

Haven’t we all seen enough disaster movies to know that:

1) Massive evacuations are impossible, and
2) All they achieve is panic.

Seriously, though, if anything WERE to happen that would necessitate the evacuation of an entire state, would there really be anywhere to evacuate TO? What makes that place any safer? Other than weather, what would threaten an entire state and no other?

EBS was founded on one philosophy - placating the masses. “Keep the people happy,” not “keep the people safe.” Not even “Keep the people informed.” (Communications will break down in an emergency of that scale.)

Posted by Jim Harmon on February 02, 2005 at 09:55 PM | #

Great; everyone heads to 95 or the Merritt or RT 7 (or God forbid, Metro North) and then what? We can’t even manage routine rush hours! Perhaps kayak into the Sound instead?

Posted by Jerry F. on February 02, 2005 at 11:26 PM | #

“Emairgency, Emairgency! Everybody to get from street.”

Posted by John on February 03, 2005 at 12:11 AM | #

Having spent a number of years in broadcasting as an announcer I have participated in both EBS and EANS tests. I agree they are a joke. Had this been and actual emergency most of the people at the radio or tv station do not have a clue what to do. My previous statement assumes that there is anyone at the station to broadcast instructions. Most radio stations are operated by computers at night and on weekends, have no local announcers, or both. Oh yes, the computer is supposed to call someone, but does anyone honestly expect someone to answer in an emergency? May God help us all! If something bad enough happens to require national activation of the EANS system I suggest you stick your head between your legs and kiss your *ss good bye!

Posted by Steve Glen on February 03, 2005 at 04:06 AM | #

I believe these these folk"s are RIGHT ,NO-ONE has a clue what to do,LEAST of all the GOV.!!!

Posted by Craig Hickson on February 03, 2005 at 04:35 AM | #

All the EBS is that annoying “This is only a test”.

Posted by Tom Davis on February 03, 2005 at 06:09 AM | #

if connecticut voted for kerry, they did not intend for the state to evacuate to iraq now, did they?

Posted by kofimunster on February 03, 2005 at 06:33 AM | #

Connec—what? where is this place?

Posted by Jim on February 03, 2005 at 06:49 AM | #

what shocks me the most (and makes me wonder what’s really going on/being planned behind the gov’s closed doors) is that there existed a pre-recorded EANS warning to this effect AT ALL. does every state have such an ominous warning ready to go? for what?
it’s high time this gov was by and for the people once more.

Posted by dreidog on February 03, 2005 at 10:24 AM | #

We are all screwed. The government and its cronnies are planning to control and kill the American people. Go to infowars and prisonplanet .com and take a peek at what is really going on. Go there with an open mind and remember, the government is not your friend. They write laws to control the population and tax you to death. The EBS is another tool used by the government that is just a waste of money, wait a minuet, everything the government touches is a waste.
God save America! cause the politicians are selling us
Grab your gun, lock and load!

Posted by John on February 03, 2005 at 03:40 PM | #

Hey Joel…I’m sure Longstreet was talking about the EBS “Test” (it was actually the REAL THING)sent back in the 70’s. It was a “Ten Bell Alert” (if you know what that means?)and under 15 radio stations nationwide announced it. It had the correct authentication word and everything. Someone in the “Mountain” out west sent the wrong code. By the way, when the new EAS is launched (it is in your audio chain and out of your control) it actually takes over your station and announces whether you want it to or not. Just thought you might like to be an informed American.

Posted by Jack on February 03, 2005 at 04:35 PM | #

Unlike the EBS, the EAS unit completely bypasses the station’s air chain and feeds the transmitter directly. Even if it was the dead of night, that warning would have still gone over the air.

The only way to ragain control of your radio station when the propoganda/FEMA box is activated is to physically disconnect it.

Go to and check out the archives there on the police state and conentration camps.

Then, if you haven’t already, find the Lord Jesus Christ and pray because we are in the end times.

God Bless all

Posted by Jay on February 03, 2005 at 06:14 PM | #

GG Americans for confirming to the rest of the world what complete paranoid individuals you are. I tried but couldnt think of one reason you’d ever need to evacuate an entire state.

Maybe terrorism! Or prehaps more likely, running from the ultra right wing nutjobs that inhabit your so called ‘democratic’ country (hello mr bush).

Posted by Adam on February 04, 2005 at 02:22 AM | #

I’ve already evacuated Connecticut a long time ago. That state sucks!

Posted by Ze on February 04, 2005 at 03:02 PM | #

The only thing being evacuated in Connecticut these days are the bowels of insurance company executives in Hartford whenever some kid is decapitated in Tornado Alley by a piece of corregated “ceiling”. I don’t mean to go off on a rant here, but Hartford is so bland, it makes Danford look like Gomorrah.

Posted by Bill Velcro on February 07, 2005 at 06:27 PM | #

What OTHER buttons are on that control panel?!

Posted by Stultus Vulgaris on February 07, 2005 at 06:36 PM | #

Let me get this straight:

You want the ability to crank call every SINGLE phoneset device in the country.

Instead of a soap opera being intertupted, you want to do a conference call on millions of land lines and cell phones.

What could possibly go wrong?

Posted by Dennis on February 12, 2005 at 01:52 AM | #

Maybe this was a for-real evacuation notice for a select few individuals. Greenwich is one of the richest locals in the USA. Most likely this was a coded message. Where 2:10p.m. to 3:10 p.m. refers to a window of opportunity such as Feb 10th thru Mar 10th. All those rich folks want a head start. They don’t want to be caught in traffic with the rests of the masses trying to find some high ground. Greenwich is 140 ft above sea level.

Posted by anonymous on February 15, 2005 at 07:48 PM | #

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