As you are well aware, a scary Hawaii missile alert hit phones in Hawaii. It was four years ago today. The alert read, “Inbound Missile Alert – Take Cover, This is Not a Drill.” It took over 30 minutes for a false alert to be issued even though officials knew the error within minutes. We learned subsequently that Governor Ige could not find his Twitter login credential to stop the chaos earlier.
On that unforgettable and otherwise quiet Saturday morning, the ballistic missile alert was inadvertently sent via emergency alert system and was broadcast on television, radio, and via phones throughout the state of Hawaii. For whatever reason, civil defense outdoor warning sirens were not authorized by the state.
The state later blamed the alert on an error during a Hawaii Emergency Management Agency drill. Governor David Ige apologized for the alert, and the FCC and the Hawaii House of Representatives investigated the incident, which subsequently led to the resignation of the department’s administrator.
Let’s just say that we still haven’t forgotten that day, from four years ago.
A Hawaii missile alert was no way to start our day in Hawaii. Your editors were in Honolulu following a flight and doing a trip report on the inaugural Hawaiian Airlines A321neo. Before returning to Kauai, a weekend in the big city had been planned.
While we learned that there was widespread panic in Waikiki and elsewhere in the state, at least where we were, nearly UH, seemed relatively quiet and normal. We heard no air raid sirens blasting or other alert notices posted online. That seemed very odd. It felt like something else was up and not to worry. But there was still a level of anxiety as we wondered why other notices were not forthcoming. And then we learned more about why.
Governor Ige Didn’t Have His Twitter Credentials!
It took the state a seemingly endless 38 minutes to retract the alert, inasmuch as there was apparently no provision in place to correct previously distributed emergency notices. The governor was actually aware within a couple of minutes that this was a false alarm. It was later reported, however, that he did not have his Twitter login credentials needed to dispel fear. Going forward, you can rest assured that the governor knows his password. It’s also a good reminder for everyone to keep passwords handy for emergency situations.
Emergency Warnings in Hawaii.
Luckily these have proven to be false or irrelevant some of the time, although you still have to take them seriously. When we receive an alert, we always go to additional sources to verify the level of a threat if there is any. Obviously, any emergency alert is important in order to protect personal safety.
The latest alert was just this week.
As regular commenter Richard just mentioned, there was another alert just this week. He said, “Are you ready for this on January 10th the FAA briefly halted some U.S. West Coast flights around the time of N. Korea hypersonic missile launch. The ground stop occurred around 2:30 p.m. Pacific Time and lasted only 15 minutes.”
Once it was over, there were t-shirts on the market with a comic spin of what happened. We also found a video called, Staying Alive (the Hawaii Missile threat) by Frank Delima that is worth a look.
If you were here in Hawaii on January 13, 2018, tell us what it was like for you.