FCC report on false missile alert released
Newly released FCC report found false alert on January 13 was a result of both human error and a lack of safeguards.
The Federal Communications Commission's investigation into Hawaii's false missile alert reveals a number of discrepancies within the state's emergency management system.
After a nearly three month investigation, the FCC found the false alert on January 13 was a result of both human error and a lack of safeguards.
In its 57 page report, the commission highlights Hawaii Emergency Management Agency's failure to alert the public for 38 minutes- saying the time gap would've been avoided if the agency immediately notified the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert System (WEA).
Thousands of people in Hawaii lived through mass panic and terror during that time frame. Videos on social media captured University of Hawaii students frantically running for cover. A family on O'ahu was seen climbing into a manhole.
The report also found HIEMA did not anticipate the possibility of a false alert and therefore did not have a contingency plan.
State emergency alert plans are filed with the FCC each year. The commission says that procedure needs to be revised.
"It's time to make that process a meaningful one by making sure every plan is up-to-date. Hawaii's plan with the FCC was over a decade old," FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said.
Here's the timeline the FCC compiled from that day:
8:00 HIEMA shift change
8:07 HIEMA day shift officer transmits missile alert
8:09 Gov. David Ige notified
8:12 HIEMA cancels transmission of alert, but does not issue "all clear"
The timeline also indicates Island News and other media outlets were not notified about the false alert until 8:22 a.m.
By 8:26 a.m., Island News was able to break into programming and broadcast a live interview with HIEMA about the false alert.
The FCC did add while HIEMA's ballistic missile alert training far exceeded other emergency agencies, employees were not adequately trained on accessing alert software.