By now we all know that the emergency alert sent to phones this morning was a FALSE ALARM. There is no ballistic missile inbound to Hawaii. Someone (or some people) at Hawaii Emergency Management Agency apparently made a gigantic mistake, according to CBS News (because the whole country now knows that everyone in Hawaii just soiled their underwear).
“Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokesman Richard Repoza said it’s a false alarm and that the agency is trying to determine what happened,” CBS News reported a few minutes ago.
You know what else is messed up? It took EMA about 38 minutes to send out a phone alert saying the whole thing was an error.
But don’t worry: Governor David Ige just said he’s gonna “get to the bottom of this.”
“While I am thankful this morning’s alert was a false alarm, the public must have confidence in our emergency alert system,” Ige said in a statement just emailed to reporters. “I am working to get to the bottom of this so we can prevent an error of this type in the future.”
Hawaii House Speaker Scott Saiki was a bit more perturbed.
“This system we have been told to rely upon failed and failed miserably today,” he said in a statement released this morning. “I am deeply troubled by this misstep that could have had dire consequences. Measures must be taken to avoid further incidents that caused wholesale alarm and chaos today. Clearly, government agencies are not prepared and lack the capacity to deal with emergency situations. Apparently, the wrong button was pushed and it took over 30 minutes for a correction to be announced. Parents and children panicked during those 30 minutes. The Hawaii House of Representatives will immediately investigate what happened and there will be consequences. This cannot happen again.”
Seriously, all this is stupid. The new alert sirens (which did not go off this morning), the fact that an alert gives us 15 minutes to “find shelter” but the also-fact that there are no proper nuclear attack shelters out here, the fear that North Korea is on the verge of nuking us, the outrageous bluster President Donald Trump spews against North Korea–it’s all stupid and useless. Today’s alert was a mistake, but the Age of Stupid we all live in is very real and every bit as scary.
Oh, and one more thing everyone in Hawaii needs to remember: North Korea does not have the capability of hitting us with a nuclear weapon.
“North Korea’s November ICBM ‘has not yet shown to be a capable threat against us right now,'” Secretary of Defense James Mattis said during an off-camera briefing with reporters at the Pentagon, according to this Dec. 16, 2017 CNN report.
They don’t have a missile capable of reaching us. Sure, they want one, and are trying to build one, but they don’t yet have one.