False Missile Alert

Robert Gillies/AP

TORONTO — The Canadian province of Ontario sent an alert reporting an unspecified “incident” at a nuclear plant just east of Toronto on Sunday — only to later report the message was sent in error. The mistake brought to mind the false missile alert that sent Hawaii residents scrambling for cover in 2018.

Mikey641 / CC BY-SA 4.0 / Wikimedia Commons

The Maui Emergency Management Agency accidentally called thousands of county residents from a (999) 999-9999 number shortly before 9 a.m. today. This comes a week after the Honolulu Police Department inadvertently activated emergency sirens on Oʻahu and Maui during training.

Casey Harlow

A majority of Hawaiʻi residents did not panic during the false missile alert, but instead wanted more information. That's according to a study from the University of Georgia, analyzing how residents reacted to the false alarm.

The New York Times

Six months after the infamous false missile alert, Francine Wai of the Disability and Communication Access board joins us to discuss the efforts to improve communications with members of the disabled community during disasters.

Wayne Yoshioka

On Tuesday, Governor David Ige released a road map for reforming the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency. Failures of management, protocol, an technology came to light following an incoming ballistic missile alert issued in error by that agency on January 13th. 

Hawaii State Department of Defense

On Tuesday, Governor David Ige released a roadmap for reforming the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency. Failures of management, protocol, and technology came to light following an incoming ballistic missile alert issued in error by that agency on January 13th. Our panel breaks down the details of that reform plan and assesses its tenets.


Toby Clairmont, former Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Executive Officer

Wikimedia Commons

DOE on Gun Safety and Shooter Drills; Big Island Solar Update; DoD Report on False Missile Alert

Best Practices in Emergency Management

Feb 16, 2018

It has been just over a month since the State of Hawaii erroneously issued an incoming missile alert. A report from Deputy Adjutant General Kenneth Hara about how to move forward is forthcoming. So today we assembled a panel of experts to address Hawaii’s disaster readiness. What did the January 13 missile alert teach us? What changes need to be made?

The Conversation: Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

Feb 13, 2018

Hotel Workers Union on Cell Phone Use; Transforming American Healthcare; Hawaii State Board on Geographic Names; Hawaii Theatre for Youth’s Kinolau

Emergency Management Agency “Button Pusher” Defends His Actions

Feb 9, 2018
Casey Harlow

The state employee who triggered last month’s false missile warning is speaking out. He claims that he is a scapegoat being used to cover up systematic failures and higher-level mistakes.

The Conversation: Friday, February 9th, 2018

Feb 9, 2018
National Park Service

The “Button Pusher” Speaks; Expert Assessment of HI-EMA; Lava Tour Hazards; HOT Daughter of Regiment

House Emergency Preparedness Task Force Bill Advances

Feb 8, 2018
Wayne Yoshioka

The State Legislature is considering a number of bills in the aftermath of the False Missile Alert Jan 13th. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports. 

The Conversation: Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

Feb 7, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

Restricting Missile Alert Authority; Indigenous Rights Lawyer; Local Effects of Nuclear Testing; Remembering Plantation Life

The Conversation: Thursday, February 1st, 2018

Feb 1, 2018
U.S. Pacific Command

Public Safety Committee Reaction to EMA Mistake; Former Hawaii State Civil Defense Vice Director

Wayne Yoshioka

The internal investigation into the January 13th False Ballistic Missile Alert was released today. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Bracing for Flu Season; Peace Corps Prep; HI-EMA Review; Pineapple Powder; Fights & Delights  

The Conversation: Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Jan 23, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

2018 Homeless Survey; Education Philosophy; Hotel Disaster Preparedness; Freddie Miranda Jr.

Casey Harlow
Casey Harlow

This past week, we asked listeners to share their stories of last Saturday's events. Here is a selection of those stories.

Legislature Conducts Hearing on False Missile Alert

Jan 19, 2018
Wayne Yoshioka

The Legislature conducted a joint House and Senate hearing on the January 13th false missile alert statewide.  The early morning mistake caused mass confusion and panic in some areas.  Governor David Ige told lawmakers Friday that safeguards are in place and there will be consequences for the 38 minute delay to end the false alarm.

The Conversation: Friday, January 19th, 2018

Jan 19, 2018

FEMA’s Wireless Alert System; Local Scientist Selected for NASA Mission; ADA Compliant Websites; Pianist Joyce Yang

Wayne Yoshioka

Governor David Ige addressed the state on network television last night. He said he will not take it out on Hawai’i Emergency Management Agency personnel for the false missile attack alert and asked those who call in death threats to EMA staff to stop.