Verizon says an emergency alert sent by text to cell phone customers in three New Jersey counties was a test but wasn't labeled so.

The result was people called local and state officials thinking there was a civil emergency in progress.

The alert was sent around noon Monday and told people to "take shelter before 1:24 p.m." Verizon says the message was sent to customers in Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties.

New Jersey's Office of Homeland Security and Office of Emergency Management posted on Twitter that there was no emergency.

State and local police around New Jersey were flooded with  inquiries from residents.  “It’s been reported in at least four counties — Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Morris,” State Trooper Christopher Kay said.

The Monmouth County Sheriff's received calls from people who recieved a text message around noon time claiming to be a "civil emergency alert" and warning people to "take shelter now."

The text was received by Verizon customers in the Central Jersey area, and specifically those who have phones running the Android Operating System although Blackberry and iPhone owners reported receiving the message as well.

Verizon apologized for any inconvenience or concern that the message caused.

The Associated Press, Ilya Hemlin and Tom Mongelli all contributed to this report.