Earlier this year, Hawaii accidentally sent out an alert warning everybody that a missile was inbound. It firmly stated that citizens should seek shelter immediately because "THIS IS NOT A DRILL".
People took it extremely seriously. Panic and, ahem, "other activities" ensued.
It was a mistake, a human error. No missiles were inbound, and everybody was safe.
This week, a city in Florida sent out an even more terrifying warning, during a freaking blackout. Lake Worth used their push alert system to send out a message warning residents that zombies were headed their way, at 1.45 in the morning.
Residents who received the alert would have been woken by the message, in all caps:
"POWER OUTAGE AND ZOMBIE ALERT FOR RESIDENTS OF LAKE WORTH AND TERMINUS. THERE ARE NOW FAR LESS THAN SEVEN THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY CUSTOMERS INVOLVED DUE TO EXTREME ZOMBIE ACTIVITY. RESTORATION TIME UNCERTAIN."
The alert, as you've guessed, was not linked to any zombie outbreak. If it was, you'd be hearing about it from international news outlets, the screams of strangers as they clamber for a bunker, or some guy saying "brains" over and over again as they try to get into your house.
It must have been pretty alarming for people waking up at nearly 2.00am, because the power outage really was real.
The city's public information officer, Ben Kerr, cleared up the mess on the community Facebook page Lake Worth Live, the Palm Beach Post reports.
“We are looking into reports that the system mentioned zombies,” he said in the post.
“I want to reiterate that Lake Worth does not have any zombie activity currently and apologize for the system message.”
Power was soon restored, probably because there weren't any zombies to deal with beforehand.
People have questions. Mainly this.
There hasn't been an update on what happened as yet, but the "terminus" line in the alert is a reference to a location in the TV show The Walking Dead, which hasn't gone unnoticed.
So the mistake is likely due to the department responsible testing out some "fun" warning alerts, which accidentally went live during a real power outage.
Bizarrely, this isn't the only zombie government mixup to have happened this month. On May 17, a police department apologized after their warning sign told road users to run away, as zombies were further up the road.
In this case, someone had gained access to the sign and changed the message. The other spoof messages were not shown by the department due to their X-rated nature.