Broadcasters: Communication has to improve in wake of missile alert mistake

Broadcasters: Communication has to improve in wake of missile alert mistake

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state's emergency management agency will be meeting with broadcasters to improve communication after the missile alert mistake.

After the state accidentally sent out the warning on Saturday morning, radio stations were flooded with phone calls from anxious listeners.

KSSK is designated as a primary alert station since it has 24-hour staffing and a generator.

"People are calling in asking me, 'Is this for real?' And I tell them I don't know. At the same time, I'm trying to make calls," said news anchor Jeff Stone.

"It's the worst kind of frustration because you're trying to do a good job. You recognize the immediacy of this."

Stone said he called the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency and other authorities, but couldn't get through to anyone.

"I know we tried to call some stations. Some stations had one line and so we couldn't get through, but that's the stuff we have to work with the broadcasters association so we get boom, boom, boom, right away," said Vern Miyagi, administrator of HI-EMA. "Again, that was a glitch, that's a gap we have to identify."

HI-EMA had a meeting scheduled with the State Emergency Communications Committee in February to discuss broadcast issues. The meeting may now be moved up to this month.

"We'll work out some system that's good for everybody so that we're back confident that the stuff that comes from civil defense is timely, is accurate, is necessary," said SECC chair Courtney Harrington.

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