Hawaii’s elected leaders reacted to Saturday’s false missile strike alarm:
“The Hawaii State Emergency Management Agency is investigating the cause of this morning’s false alarm. This was a very serious error that occurred and we will all work together to restore the public’s faith in our state emergency alert system. However, right now is not the time to point blame, but rather to reflect on how we, as government officials and emergency response agencies, can and will improve our policies and procedures in the event of a true missile threat. It is also an opportunity for each member of our community to better prepare ourselves and our families for an emergency situation. We will work together to share and provide updated information on this incident as we receive it.”
— Kauai Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr.
“This system we have been told to rely upon failed and failed miserably today. 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.”
— House of Representatives Speaker Scott K. Saiki
“While I am thankful this morning’s alert was a false alarm, the public must have confidence in our emergency alert system. I am working to get to the bottom of this so we can prevent an error of this type in the future.”
— Gov. David Ige
“Donald Trump is taking too long. He’s not taking this threat seriously. There’s no time to waste.”
“We’ve got to get rid of this threat from North Korea. We’ve got to achieve peace, not play politics. Because this is literally life and death that is at stake, for the people of Hawaii and the people of this country.”
— Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
“The events surrounding this morning’s false alarm regarding a “ballistic missile threat to Hawaiʻi” is both unfortunate and very unacceptable. The Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency (Civil Defense) and the United States Pacific Command Center have confirmed that there is no threat to our islands.
I am outraged that a mistake of this magnitude occurred. The initial alert was sent out via Civil Defense at 8:15am HST and it took the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency over 38 minutes to clarify that the “alarm” was inadvertent and indeed a mistake. The panic and pandemonium that many in Hawaiʻi experienced was unwarranted and completely unnecessary.
I will be working with my colleagues in the Legislature to investigate into this matter and to provide the proper oversight to ensure that our state emergency alert system is properly functioning. We need to ensure that this never happens again and I am committed to doing so.”
— Sen. J. Kalani English (Dist. 7- Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, Kaho‘olawe), Senate Majority Leader