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3 years after Hawaii’s false missile alert, FCC adopts changes to emergency alert system

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FILE
Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 5:12 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than three years after Hawaii’s false missile alert, the federal government is changing the way emergency alerts go out on mobile phones, radio, and TV.

The FCC is now requiring that a checklist be included in annual state Emergency Alert System plans. The new rules also provide a system for agencies to report false alerts.

In 2018, there was no immediate way to follow up with an announcement that the alert was an error.

The changes adopted Monday:

  • Combine the current “presidential alerts” category, which is non-optional on most devices, with alerts from the FEMA administrator to form a new non-optional “national alert.”
  • Encourage all states to form State Emergency Communications Committees to help administer alerts on the state level.
  • Provide a checklist that should be included in annual state Emergency Alert System plans and amends how those plans are reviewed.
  • Specify that false emergency alerts can be reported to the FCC’s 24/7 Operations Center.

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