Saturday morning, at approximately 8:07 AM, an alert posted to mobile phones of Hawaiian residents. It also ran on radio and television stations, reading simply:
“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
By 8:20, people on the Twitter social media platform received a notice from the Hawaiian Emergency Management Agency that there was no threat, no missile, and it had been a huge case of operator error. It would take another 38 minutes for citizens who did not use Twitter to learn on their mobile devices the news from EMA, that it had been a false alarm.
It was during an employee shift change, as the test for the ballistic prep list was being run, a wrong button was pushed by one person. And then, that person who triggered the alarm, actually confirmed it.
It since has been reported, a new two-person rule has been put in place for sending test and actual alerts. This will alleviate the one person pushing buttons problem that happened this morning from reoccurring.
The Hawaiian Emergency Management Agency has accepted full responsibility for the false alarm, and has reported they will begin retraining of their staff, immediately; and stated no one will be fired.