Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) Wonders If Her State Was Prepared For An Attack

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January 16, 2018
Updated 6mo ago

An emergency alert warning of an inbound ballistic missile was blasted out to Hawaii residents on Saturday, causing chaos for 38 minutes. The false alarm caused a national security panic, and raised questions about the ease with which a mistake like this can be made.

Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa represents the first district of Hawaii. She was on her way to lunch when the alert was sent. The congresswoman says the real problem was the inability to retract the mistake. "Someone clearly wasn't watching," she said. The incident raises concerns that the state would not have been ready to handle an actual attack.

Congresswoman Hanabusa was one of many who did not receive the missile alert on her phone. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called the incident unacceptable. The Congresswoman believes his frustration lies in the time it took to retract the alert, and the fact that all residents didn't receive the alert, or the retraction.

As a gubernatorial candidate in 2018, the congresswoman says this mistake is an exact example of why Hawaii needs better leadership.