Employee who sent emergency alert to Hawaii thought a missile was inbound, investigation reveals

Posted at 12:00 PM, Jan 30, 2018

An employee with the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency truly thought a ballistic missile was headed to the state when he sent what turned out to be a false alarm warning Hawaiians to seek immediate shelter, according to an FCC investigation.

According to the Washington Post, the night-shift manager at the agency decided to test the incoming day-shift employees with a spontaneous drill. The day-shift manager reportedly knew about the drill, but thought it was being conducted with the night-shift staff.

Read the FCC's entire report below.

When the night-shift manager called the day-shift staff pretending to be the military's Pacific Command, there was a lack of supervision, causing an employee to send the alert in error.

The agency did not issue an official correction for more than 30 minutes, though lawmakers tweeted that the message had been sent in error within minutes of the alert being sent. The agency's lack of preparation for how to respond to the false alert was largely responsible for the 38-minute delay in correcting the alert, according to the report.