Early morning phone alert surprises Suncoast residents

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SARASOTA - Thousands of people across the state received a wake-up call they did not expect early Monday.

It was the result of a state-wide Amber Alert issued for a missing 2-year-old girl in Collier County. That little girl has since been found safe.

But when the alert was issued around 1:40am, many Verizon and Sprint customers were awakened by the automatic alert.

Many Suncoast residents were confused by the alarm accompanying the alert, which they had never gotten before and were not expecting. Adding to the confusion was that the message just said there was an alert, but included no information about what the alert was for.

Wireless emergency alerts depend on several factors, including your carrier and your phone settings. If you want to turn it off, just go to your phone's settings, and then select ‘notifications’.

For more information on the Commercial Mobile Alert System, visit www.fcc.gov/guides/commercial-mobile-alert-system-cmas.