This is not a drill

Discussion in 'World Events' started by Michael 345, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. Bells Staff Member

    I'm surprised that for something like this, there isn't a requirement for two people to confirm and send.

    Guess this will be a matter of lesson learned. I only hope that if a missile is ever incoming, that people won't just assume that it was a mistake, since these sort of false alarms can bring on a sense of complacency for some.

    I think it's fair to say that those 38 minutes were probably the longest 38 minutes Hawaiian's have had to face in their lifetimes.

    I don't think I'd say it was dumb. Inexcusable comes to mind. Once that message was sent out, phones would have started ringing. And in an age of instant messaging, it is hard to understand how they took that long to send out a message that this was a mistake or error. 10 minutes? 15? Sure. But 38 minutes?

    I certainly do hope they fix it and that something like this does not happen again.

    I think that was the standout for me. Reading what people have been saying about what they did in that time, the main aspect that stands out is that people had no idea of what to do, no idea if there were shelters and where those shelters were, what to pack (ie water, etc). I read one account where they drove around to the local high school (no idea what the reasoning behind that was, since if it's a nuke, not sure what the gymnasium, for example, could have done to protect them), then to the local fire and police departments, and no one seemed to have a clue as to what to do. By all accounts, everyone was panicking (which is understandable), many trying to get to loved ones.

    Perhaps the authorities should devise a plan and set out a) where people can go to if there are shelters and b) what to do if they aren't near a shelter.

    Yeah. The thought that they did not know where it was coming to, where it would hit. How long they had left. I remember reading one account where she put her kids into a cupboard, and put a mattress on them (those poor kids would have been terrified), and others who ran outside, driving around looking for shelter and I thought to myself that this is probably the worst thing to do unless there is a tunnel of some sort nearby.. Surprised there weren't accidents, to be honest, or a higher report of heart attacks from the shock and fear. Then again, several noted they called 911 for help and the 911 line was not working (probably something they should also look at at some point) and that the phone lines went down (probably due to overuse and family calling loved ones, etc). But as you noted, if the missile was at or near their location, at that point, there isn't much they can do, but hug loved ones..

    While these incidents do shine a light on what is wrong with the system so that it can be fixed, it's a pretty shitty way to weed out those mistakes.
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  3. birch Valued Senior Member

    very few people actually took it seriously. if it had been real, the sirens would have been set off to blare all over the islands. the emergency message would have been on tv, radio and the firefighters, military personnel and police would have been on the streets trying to help people get to where they could.

    i know who probably is really amused by this debacle is north korea. in fact, north korea may see this stupid idiotic mistake as a tempting idea to actually test missiles on.

    you know, with this north korea threat and this false alarm, it's going to do wonders for their tourism industry.

    wanna go to hawaii and be closer to an missile attack from north korea?

    actually, after this debacle, i'm wondering how many residents will be thinking of relocating with the way the world is at the moment and especially with the north korea threat.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
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  5. Bells Staff Member

    Not what we are hearing. By all accounts, it was somewhat chaotic.

    There are videos of students running out of university when the message was sent:

    There are stories of people stopping their cars on the road and running around looking for shelter and telling people to run and hide. This caused a fairly hefty amount of panic, understandably so.

    It was a nice morning on the Big Island of Hawaii as Kevin and Pamela Spitze drove to an art show in Hilo when the words popped up on Kevin’s cellphone screen:


    Then it added for emphasis:


    The Spitzes, who recently moved from Los Angeles to Hawaii’s Big Island, said they were in paradise but already had been living on edge given the recent inflammatory bluster between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over nuclear annihilation.

    “We have such a barrage of negative stuff that has been happening that our senses have been heightened,” said Pamela Spitze, 64. “We thought it was the real thing. We are very concerned.”

    For nearly 40 nail-biting minutes, so were millions of other Hawaii residents and vacationers. Video emerged of adults removing manhole covers and lowering children into sewers in a desperate attempt to escape a ballistic missile hurtling their way. People broke into tears, told relatives they loved them and scattered back to their homes and hotels, unsure what to do next.

    The announcement was on TV and radio. It was how they handled it from then on that will require a revision of how they handle the warning system:

    Administrator Vern Miyagi later told a press conference that one of the employees had pushed "the wrong button" effectively sending a real alert for a ballistic missile, rather than initiating the intended internal test.

    The alert was sent to people's mobile phones as well as television and radio channels.

    Within minutes, the US Pacific Command was able to verify that there was no missile launch and the EMA cancelled the alert to those mobile phones who had not yet received the message.

    Hawaii EMA's sent out a message on its Twitter and Facebook channels about 10 minutes after the initial alert saying "NO missile threat to Hawaii". But the message didn't reach Hawaiians who are not on social media platforms and many were still waiting in shelters for information.

    Hawaii Governor David Ige retweeted the message to spread the word but many people remained in the dark as to what was happening.

    After 38 minutes of panic, the EMA received authorisation to send out a second alert to people's mobile phones saying the incident was "a false alarm" and confirming "there is no missile threat to Hawaii".

    Unless people knew to check those particular twitter and facebook pages, they would not have received that cancellation 10 minutes later. And by what I am reading, people did not know it was a false alarm until a long time later, when the second push notification was sent to mobile phones telling them it was a mistake.

    As for emergency workers, there are reports that people called 911 and no one picked up the phone...

    Until the all-clear was given, people desperately tried to get information and swamped the 911 system.

    “The bad thing is we tried to call 911 and we were really frustrated that nobody picked up the phone,” said Pamela Spitze, a retired community college training program staffer. “It took about 40 minutes before we were told it was a mistake.”

    And while that is probably because the lines were swamped, but it would have added to the sense of panic.
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  7. birch Valued Senior Member


    Yes, however:

  8. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

    Since I do not have Facebook or Twitter where do I go for information?

    I really struggle with the concept of important information being so to speak outsourced to 3rd party applications

    OK a mobile phone, a radio and TV yes because use those to pass information out because they are passive channels. People with their mobile phone, listening to radio, watching TV, even emergency vehicles driving around broadcasting the warning have merits because people don't have to do anything for the message to reach them. But Facebook, Twitter requires active logging. Piss poor I think

    We do have a 3rd party app here put out by emergency services but that's for you to contact them. Come across a situation requiring a emergency services. Open the app and all information there for a fast contact. No scrolling through your personal phone book

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  9. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    My phone has a button "Emergency Call". I hit it, 911 answers. Handy for me because when I do use it I usually can't speak or achieve logging in and punching three numbers.
  10. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

    The app here gives you the emergency number as well as the standard number for non urgent contact
    It also sends your location to the police and displays for you the information it is sending

    I'm going to check with our local pollie about letting the app also push info more than just say "This is a cyclone warning" sent by sms

    I'm thinking show the phone location and the nearest shelter if needed and if safe to go or stay where you are

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  11. birch Valued Senior Member

    i know kim jong un and his cronies were literally 'lmao!' or worse, 'that's a convenient test site out in the middle of the pacific like a sitting duck, good reminder!'
  12. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

    I think unfortunately it did show up weaknesses which is some respects not a good look
    The person on the news who stated the issuing of such a warning should be the responsibility of the military was spot on.
    The"not a good look" part really is not relevant to little rocket man. I don't think he is concerned about not being able to cancel a alert. Or that people did not know where they needed to go
    The error of sending out the alert was bad
    The responsibility that such a error could be made SO EASY falls squarely on the dumb nuts who set or approved such a process
    When I worked on offshore oil rigs I was surprised at the frequency of emergency drills - every Sunday. But I was surprised about some of the aspects of a drill which were missing

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  13. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    Sounds like a "plugs out" drill had one or more plugs still in. I'll wait until they test the whole system to see what it's like.

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