This morning just after six o’clock I awoke to the sound of a text message coming in. I thought about checking it, but my bedroom was around fifty-five degrees, and I was not anxious to get out from under the warm covers, so I decided to wait. Then a few minutes later my phone started ringing. I knew it must be important or an emergency for someone to call that early, so I got out of bed and answered it. It was a recording from the university. The text was the same. Had an email too. Here’s what it said.
UGA Alert Message. The HART team is being activated immediately. Please meet at the First Building as soon as possible.
What? Huh? What is the HART team and what is the First Building? So I went to my trusty Internet, searched “HART” and “First Building,” and found the HAZMAT site. Evidently the First Building–out by the Botanical Garden according to the map–can hold fifty students. I figured this announcement must have gone to everyone. Something was weird.
I checked cnn.com, and there was no notice of nuclear annihilation in progress. I went to UGA’s site, and didn’t see anything there either.
I dared to text my friend Sarah, another UGA employee, and said, “Did you get UGA Alert msg? Wtf?” She wrote back, “Yes! Dunno!” I wrote back, “I suspect false alarm. Going back to bed. Call if end of world happens.” (Except the T-9 made “of” “me,” so technically it said “Call if end me world happens.” Telling.)
About thirty minutes later, after I’d gone back to sleep, I awoke to another text from UGA Alert:
DISREGARD UGA ALERT. THERE IS NO EMERGENCY.
Later, while I was getting ready for work, groggy, my smoke alarm in my bedroom started going off. I didn’t smell anything remotely smoky. The security fire alarm was not going off, nor was the other smoke alarm. I called my mom and asked her what might cause this because my brain was all foggy from lack of sleep and disorienting inaccurate warnings. It’s not the battery getting low. Anyway, I decided to try the trick of taking out the battery and putting it back in. Seemed to work. No re-alarm.
On the way to work, my tire-pressure emergency light came on. I just ignored it. It’s done it twice before when it got cold, and it got REALLY cold last night and still is. If I can bear to be out in the cold at lunch, I’ll check the pressure of my tires, just to make sure.
Even if the alarms were all, well, alarming, and annoying, I’m glad they have proven to be false.