Hawaii Gets “Inbound Missile Alert” – Mistake? Drill?

By Faye Higbee

Hawaii Emergency Management officials sent out a text alert to every cellphone at 0808 local time Saturday morning, which caused an immediate panic across the Islands. The all caps alert read, “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”

Only it was a drill. Or a mistake sent in “error,” or a “test,” depending on who you talk to over there. Shades of War of the Worlds. Only instead of Martians sending spaceships that caused major panic, this time it was a possible ballistic missile from North Korea. And it took Hawaii’s OEM several minutes to tell people that it wasn’t a missile attack.

Hawaii’s Emergency Management officials seemingly malfunctioned and they are “investigating” how it happened. The alert was sent to all cellphones at 0808 a.m. Even their response is in question, with some news outlets saying 13 minutes, others saying 40 minutes, or longer.

Regardless of who’s to blame, or how it happened, one thing is clear: the residents and tourists in Hawaii were given a very rude wakeup call this morning.