Malfunction causes middle-of-the-night alarm

Courtesy Photo

By Arine Garin

staff reporter

At about 3:30 a.m. Feb. 12, all subscribers to the Amarillo College Alert system were awakened by notifications regarding a winter storm and tornado watch. Some students and staff said they found the middle-of-the-night alarm confusing and upsetting.

“It was frustrating because I lost sleep the night before my shift at the hospital this morning,” Audrey Parkin, a nursing major said. “I was trying to search for weather updates in the area because I wasn’t sure if it was real since the email said nothing about it as a test.”

Amarillo College Police Department officials said there was a systematic error with the Everbridge program, which is used for sending out mass notifications, and apologized for the inconvenience.

“I received texts early in the morning, but I woke up with multiple voicemails,” Elizabeth De La Cruz, a nursing major said.

De La Cruz said that despite the early morning wake-up, she is grateful for the emergency alert system.

“People can benefit from these kinds of warnings, I’d sure like to know if there was an actual tornado.”

Other students said they are still recovering from the interruption to their sleep.

“If I had gotten a good night’s sleep and not woken early in the morning, I would be in a better state,” Alyssa Fant, a mass media major, said.

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