Wednesday, July 24, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Thursday, July 19, 2018
Hawaii's false ballistic-missile warning spurs senators to propose fixing national alert system
By Selected News Articles @ 2:13 AM :: 5831 Views :: Congressional Delegation, Hawaii State Government, Military

Hawaii's false ballistic-missile warning spurs senators to propose fixing national alert system

by Dan Boylan - The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Hoping to eliminate a repeat of January’s false ballistic missile alert in Hawaii that triggered widespread panic, a bipartisan pair of senators introduced a bill on Wednesday to improve America’s emergency alert systems.

The proposal, sponsored by Sen. Brian Schatz, Hawaii Democrat, and Sen. John Thune, South Dakota, would direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), an agency within the United States Department of Homeland Security, to share best practices on avoiding and retracting false alerts with state, local and tribal authorities.

The bill would also mandate that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) officials track false alerts.

In January in Hawaii during a period of increased tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, the state’s Emergency Alert System and Commercial Mobile Alert System issued a false warning of an incoming ballistic missile over TV, radio, and cellphones to more than a million people.

The alert advised residents to seek shelter, and concluded: “This is not a drill.”

State officials needed 37 minutes to correct the error, causing panic, exposing flaws in the system and causing an uproar for reform.

State officials later blamed a miscommunication during a drill at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency. When the FCC and Hawaii House of Representatives investigated, the state’s emergency management administrator resigned.

Critics say Hawaii’s false alarm not only highlighted weaknesses in state alert systems, which often lack safeguards, but also made clear the need for stricter federal oversight.

In June, the Senate passed parallel legislation to what Mr. Schatz and Mr. Thune introduced on Wednesday. The June bill, sponsored by Mr. Schatz, would place the federal government, rather than state and local officials, in charge of sending missile alerts.

“States are laboratories of democracy,” the Hawaii senator said when discussing that piece of legislation earlier this year. “They should not be the laboratories of missile alerts. The people who know first should be the people who tell the rest of us. This legislation makes clear that the authority to send missile alerts rests with the federal government.”

Wednesday’s proposal also requires missile alerts originating at the federal level to be repeated, in addition to removing the option for citizens to opt out of federal alerts on mobile phones.


KHON: Emergency alerts could soon interrupt streaming services like Netflix, Spotify


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii