If you didn't get the false alert about an inbound missile, this might be why

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The false missile alert triggered Saturday was sent to cell phones in Hawaii through the Wireless Emergency Alert system, a nationwide network that's aimed at getting important news that could save lives out to people quickly.

The system has been critized in recent months, and not just because of Hawaii's false alert.

There have been questions about how localities should be trained to use them, when they should be used and how they could be enhanced to allow for more characters and better geo-targeting.

All that aside, some Hawaii residents and visitors said they didn't even get the alert.

Hawaii News Now is looking into those issues. But for some, the missed alert might be a result of a phone's settings.

There are three types of alerts: Those sent in extreme weather or in cases of impending disaster, AMBER alerts for missing children, and presidential alerts sent during a national emergency.

The alerts are free and are sent based on your location, not your area code. That's why visitors got the alert.

Phone users can opt out of getting disaster and AMBER alerts in their settings.

(You can't opt out of the presidential alert.)

If you didn't get Saturday's alert, head to the notifications section in your phone and check the emergency alerts area. If those alerts are turned on, then consider contacting your carrier.

Some residents also reported getting the false alert twice: Once just after 8 a.m., and a second well after a correction alert was sent out.

People who got the second alert likely failed to clear the first notification. Emergency alerts are programmed to re-alert you to make sure you get the message. The state said it eventually disabled the re-alert function.

This story will be updated.

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