Last Sunday night, the city of Lake Worth, Florida, suffered a power outage. It was after midnight, and these things happen, so it likely didn't seem too big of a deal for residents, especially the ones who were already heading to bed. But when phones across town started buzzing with an emergency alert, residents realized that there might be a lot more to worry about than just resetting the clocks and trying not to stub your toe when you get up to pee in the dark. Not only was the power out across town, the alert said, there was also, uh, "extreme zombie activity."
"Power outage and zombie alert for residents of Lake Worth and Terminus," the alert read. "There are now far less than seven thousand three hundred and eighty customers involved due to extreme zombie activity."
Of course, residents didn't immediately leap for their crossbows or whatever, since the alert didn't seem particularly real. First of all, it mentions Terminus, which fans of The Walking Dead know is a location on the AMC show. And secondly, the alert seems to nonchalantly imply that there are only a few hundred survivors left, which seems like something you might be a little more frantic about. Finally, there's the whole fact that zombies aren't real—at least not human ones.
Lake Worth public information officer Ben Kerr jumped to release a statement apologizing for the false alert, saying the city is "looking into the reports that the system mentioned zombies," and made it clear that "Lake Worth does not have any zombie activity currently." Still, the question remains: How did the city accidentally release an emergency zombie warning? Was it something that was prepped, just in case?
On Tuesday, Kerr told Gizmodo that, no, Lake Worth city officials haven't secretly geared up for a zombie apocalypse. According to Kerr, someone possibly hacked into their system of pre-programmed alerts and changed some to add "a zombie fantasy."
"We first became aware of the zombie messages during Hurricane Irma," Kerr said, and the city is now combing through the messages to make sure none of the future alerts are zombified.
"Hopefully the next time there is a zombie invasion alert, it will be a real zombie invasion," he continued, though when that day comes, everyone will now probably just assume its another false alarm and wait passively as an undead horde rips their Floridian flesh from their bones. Until then, though, let's try to keep these terrifying false alarms to a minimum.
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This article originally appeared on VICE US.