A mass text message warning New Jersey cell phone users of a "civil emergency" was sent out by Verizon Wireless earlier today as part of a "test emergency notification," the telecommunications company said. CMAS refers to the Commercial Mobile Alert System, a public safety initiative that involves FEMA, the FCC and wireless phone carriers. In a response statement issued about two hours after the mass text was sent out, alarming some Garden State residents, Verizon Wireless apologized to its customers.

Local police departments and county authorities said they received a high volume of 911 calls from residents concerned about the alerts and asking whether there was an actual emergency. In response to the text alert, police in Rumson issued its own alert to citizens in the Monmouth County community: "THERE IS NO EMERGENCY.

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