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So, What Happened In Hawaii

The procedure at the Hawaiian Emergency Management Agency is to test their alert system at the shift change on the weekend. They have a “Test” button and a “Real” button. The “Real” button was pushed.

The lessons learned included: despite the fact that the system asked for a confirmation, it issued the warning without a confirmation [The stub was there but the routine to handle the lack of a confirmation wasn’t]. While the alert was cancelled within a few minutes, the cancellation wasn’t effective for over a half hour. Although the state didn’t activate its sirens, the military bases did, and there are enough military bases on Oahu to make the difference negligible. The alert was automated, but the cancellation essentially had to be done manually.

The EMA is already changing to a system requiring two-person alerts, and suspended tests until the system is fixed.

There needs to be an Emily Litella button.

Update: MSNBC interview with Vern Miyagi, Hawaii’s Emergency Management Administrator.

January 14, 2018   7 Comments