A spokesman for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said in a statement Sunday that the employee responsible for putting out a false alarm that Hawaii was facing a ballistic missile attack on Saturday has been “temporarily reassigned.”
Rapoza said an internal investigation of the blunder would be completed by week’s end and that the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency welcomed outside review by the Federal Communications Commission, which has jurisdiction over wireless U.S. alert systems.
Rapoza also said that no further drills of the emergency alert system would be conducted until new measures were put in place to reduce the chance of future false alarms and to swiftly withdraw any warnings sent in error.
Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Committee (FCC), said the alert, which was sent to phones across Hawaii at around 8 a.m. on Saturday and took almost 40 minutes to reverse, was “totally unacceptable.”
Pai said that the investigation into the incident was underway and that the evidence gathered so far shows that Hawaii did not have “reasonable safeguards” in place to prevent or reverse a false alert.
“Moving forward, we will focus on what steps need to be taken to prevent a similar incident from happening again,” Pai said in the statement. “Federal, state and local officials across the country need to work together to identify any vulnerabilities to false alerts and do what’s necessary to fix them.”
“We must also ensure that corrections are issued immediately in the event that a false alert does go out,” Pai said.
Do you think that the employee should have been fired, regardless of whether it was an accident or not? The panic caused in Hawaii was incredible, with many saying it was one of the worst, scariest moments of their life.