DEMA Making Changes After False Alert - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

DEMA Making Changes After False Alert

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SMYRNA, Del.- The Delaware Emergency Management Agency is reevaluating the way it does emergency drills. This, after an automated call accidentally went out Wednesday to nearly 200 phones informing people radioactive material was leaking into Delaware Bay. That alert wasn't real. It was part of a drill and was supposed to stay internal. But, according to DEMA, it slipped through the system of the company that does its automated calls.

The message from DEMA told people in the Port Penn area to "shelter in place," a charged phrase at the moment, after the events this past Friday in Boston. The reason, in the drill, was a ship had run aground and was leaking.

DEMA is working to make sure this kind of accidental scare doesn't happen again - to any community across the First State.

"We are going to craft our message, but we're not actually going to send that message out," said Kevin Wilson, with DEMA. "We're not going to push the send mechanism. We're going to preface our messages with this is a drill. This is not an actual event - some wording such as that."

The original automated phone call went out around in the mid-morning Wednesday. A followup retraction call went out about an hour later.

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