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Eye of the Viking

Hawaii’s False Emergency Alert

Kyla Mitchell, World Events Contributor

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Hawaii residents panicked on Sunday the fourteenth, when a missile alert was sent out to everyone after an employee “pushed the wrong button.” “The mishap took place during a routine drill run after a shift change,” Vern Miyagi, the agency’s administrator, said. During the drill, an officer in the emergency operation center mistakenly selected an incorrect “template,” which shows what message is going to be sent, The template that the officer inadvertently selected was prepared to send the message to the public. The officer was supposed to have chosen a template that would only be sent internally. “After a template is selected,” Miyagi said, “a note appears on the computer, asking the officer to confirm that they want to send the message. The officer responsible accidentally clicked yes.” At that point, the message — “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL” — was sent to Hawaiian residents and vacationers. It also went out to televisions and radios. At that time there was no template that allowed the EMA to send a follow-up message informing recipients that the alert had been a false alarm. Since then it has now been changed. A false alarm template has been made and a manager on duty will also have to give an affirmative confirmation before the message is sent, both during tests and in the event of a real threat. The officer who was responsible for the mistake has been disciplined and resigned.

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Hawaii’s False Emergency Alert