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Hawaii alert, faux news

[ by Charles Cameron — “this is not a drill” — maybe it should be ]


The time elapsed between the first (8.07) and second (8.20) official messages tweeted here was 17 terrifying minutes.


17 minutes between the alarm and the announcement it was a false alarm? Hawaii had a drill not so long ago, and the report tells us how long it would take for a missile from North Korea to hit Hawaii:

In a public presentation on Oahu, HI-EMA administrator Vern Miyagi said that with only 12-15 minutes advance notice in case of a North Korean missile launch against the islands, his agency has a responsibility to inform the public how to prepare and what to expect.


Lt Col. Charles Anthony from the US Department of Defense, told CNN: “If North Korea uses an intercontinental ballistic missile, from launch to impact in Hawaii is approximately 20 minutes.”

Vern Miyagi, of the Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency, also predicted that Hawaii’s residents will only have 15 minutes to seek shelter.

He said: “Pacific Command would take about fives minutes to characterise a launch, where the missile is going, which means the population would have about 15 minutes to take shelter.

“It’s not much time at all. But it is enough time to give yourself a chance to survive.”

Okay, 4660 miles, more or less. I’ll take my guidance from Mr. Miyagi. Poor man, I’ll bet he gets a ton of ribbing — he’s actually a General, retd — and I for one am contributing to his load.


17 minutes is way too long for an alert of this sort to be cancelled. Those 17 minutes were terrifying for those who were aware of the initial alert — and those who weren’t should alert us all to the dangers of inefficient signaling in case of emergency.



Gen. Barry McCaffrey dialed the “scary” factor down close to zero on MSNBC — I’ll add the link when available.

General purpose note: always dial worst case down by a factor of ten, then verify.

Okay, okay.

Once again, we have a god-given opportunity to think though our preparations for one of the unthinkables: we usually turn a deaf ear to God, whether or not we are believers.

Maybe that’s not such a great idea.

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