The Hawaiian Missile Crisis That Wasn't a Crisis


People in Hawaii got a mighty scare in January when their cell phones lit up with emergency alerts telling them a missile was headed toward the state and they needed to find immediate shelter. 

The warning came during heightened rhetoric between North Korea and the U.S. Thirty-eight minutes later, subsequent alerts told residents the initial report was a false alarm. Freeway signs advised there was no threat, and islanders were told to go about their business.

The mistaken warning was dispatched by an Emergency Management Agency worker who mistook a safety drill for the real thing. In November, a husband and wife sued the state, saying the warning so frightened the husband that he thought he was going to die and suffered cardiac arrest.