Hawaii Alert: Employee Sending Missile Warning Reassigned
The Hawaii employee who accidentally triggered an alert for an incoming ballistic missile on Saturday, January 13th, has been temporarily reassigned pending an investigation into the incident. A spokesperson for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency did not say exactly what the employee is doing at this time, but noted that the new role does not provide access to the warning system.
As it was previously reported, the alarm was sent went off in the form of text messages to the people of Hawaii after the employee accidentally pushed the wrong button during an internal test. The employee managed to choose the wrong option out of a drop-down computer menu, and chose the real-life missile alert rather than the internal test option. There is a safe guard meant at preventing this, but the employee clicked through it.
To stop this incident from happening again and repeating the spread of panic among the locals, now two employees are now needed to trigger the alert system – the first one is issuing warning and the other confirms it.
While Hawaii is making some changes to its system, the Federal Communication Commission is already investigating the mishap.
In a statement, the FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, called the incident ‘absolutely unacceptable’, adding that false alerts undermine public confidence in the alert system and thus reducing their effectiveness during real emergencies.
On Sunday, the President Donald Trump suggested that Federal officials would now get involved in Hawaii’s alert system, but he commended state authorities for taking responsibility for the error.