Hawaii's alert status has also quickly changed during previous emergencies.
As scientists at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center learn more about the exact intensity or detailed direction of the earthquake, watches and warning can suddenly be lifted or sent out.
McCreery said changes to the messaging software should fix the false-alert problem in the future, but added what is also needed is even more information.
Additional ocean resources will cost more money though.
"Right now we're dealing with the uncertainties with the federal budget. We'd actually like to add more around deep ocean assessment buoys," said McCreery.
Scientists weren't surprised an earthquake happened in the Santa Cruz islands of the South Pacific, that region had more than 25 quakes with a magnitude of 5 or above in the past week.