Highway Patrol talks about alert policies in wake of Hawaii missile scare

7 months 17 hours 11 minutes ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 11:00:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
By: Justin Kollar, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol says steps are in place to ensure people here don't get the kind of terrifying alert sent out in Hawaii Saturday.

The alert warned a ballistic missile was on its way and said "this is not a drill."

KOMU 8 News asked the highway patrol if something similar could happen in Missouri.

Capt. John Hotz said Missouri, unlike Hawaii, employs a two step verification process before any alert is sent out.

"There are at least two levels of approval that any alert goes through here," Hotz said. "It would never be on one person here that would send that message out."

Since Missouri is located near the center of the country, the state has the luxury of taking extra time to verify threats.

"National emergencies in this state are completely handled by the federal government," Hotz said. "A Missouri specific alert would come from the Missouri Department of Public Safety, it would be first approved through them and then it would be sent to us. Then of course we would verify it again and then we would send it out over the emergency alert system."

To be clear, he said, a missile alert would never come from the state level. A earthquake, flood or tornado are examples of events that would trigger alerts from the state. Missiles or any other catastrophic event would always be handled by the federal government in regards to the mainland United States.

According to CNN, North Korea's latest Intercontinental Ballistic Missile test shows that the country is capable of hitting the entire U.S. mainland.

Hawaii, like Guam, partially serve as barriers between the Asian continent and the U.S. mainland. Because they are much closer to North Korea, a one step alert is used to save time.

Charles Uyehara lives on the east side of the island Oahu, near Honolulu. He told KOMU 8 News time is of the essence once an alert is sent.

"We have been told that we really only get 10 to 15 minutes warning before a missile makes contact," he said. "There isn't much we can do here. They're aren't large concrete structures to hunker down in. Our plan was just to take what shelter we could and wait."

Uyehara said when he received the false alert Sunday he feared the worst. 

"I was finishing up breakfast at McDonalds when the alert came in," he said. "I looked around and it didn't seem like anybody else got the alert but I knew that something was going on."

Uyehara said he walked outside and listened for the air-raid sirens. They never went off. Still, fearing the worst, he scrambled to gather his family. 

"I packed up my stuff and got in the car and went to find my wife who was working out at the local YMCA," he said. "I saw a few cars driving really erratically on the highway. It's amazing something terrible didn't happen in those minutes of uncertainty."

Uyehara said he did not see the widespread panic that was shown on the national media. He believes it was exaggerated from a few isolated incidents.

"I feel bad for the guy that made this mistake, but we have to fix this and move on," he said. I'm sure this will be a day that we talk about here for a long time."

In an interview with reporters immediately after the false alert, Hawaii Gov. David Ige told reporters the mistake was unacceptable.

“I’m, too, very angry and disappointed that this happened. We are doing everything that we can immediately to ensure it never happens again,” Ige said.

Since the false alarm, Hawaii has moved to review its alert cancellation procedures and has suspended drills for the time being.

More News

Grid
List
BOONVILLE – About 100 people rode their bikes early Saturday to help raise funds for the 43rd annual Missouri River... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 2:23:00 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
PLATTE CITY, Mo. (AP) — Sheriff's deputies in northwestern Missouri's Platte County say they've seized more than 200 pounds of... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 1:48:56 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
BLACK JACK (AP) — A baby bobcat found in eastern Missouri and being nursed back to health might be mistaken... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 1:42:55 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Funding cuts to in-home care for the disabled could force some Missouri residents into nursing homes,... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 1:34:39 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
MILLER COUNTY - Miller County Sheriff Louie Gregoire said two people suffered gunshot wounds Friday night. Gregoire said the suspect... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 1:23:00 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The North America Diving Dogs dock diving competition was in its second of three days Saturday at the... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 1:01:00 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is investigating an attempted burglary of an off-campus sorority house near MU. In... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 11:01:00 AM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - The Moberly Police Department is currently investigating an armed robbery of Break Time North, 1210 East US 24.... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 10:18:00 AM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- New court documents filed in the case of a Colorado man suspected of killing his pregnant wife and... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 12:09:31 AM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — It's not just audiotapes. Omarosa Manigault Newman has a stash of video, emails, text messages and... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 10:57:37 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health officials on Thursday approved a new generic version of EpiPen, the emergency allergy medication that... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 8:10:26 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The bomb used by the Saudi-led coalition in a devastating attack on a school bus in Yemen was... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 7:41:13 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A judge has ordered a mental evaluation for the man accused of starting the Holy Fire that has... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 7:14:03 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — An ethics panel says there's reason to believe that former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens broke the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 5:43:44 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A community Facebook post on a Jefferson City page said a student got dropped off at the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 5:22:00 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
BRANSON (AP) — A former employee of a southwestern Missouri paddlewheel tourist boat alleges in a lawsuit that he suffered... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 4:36:01 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
LINN- Forbes Magazine named State Technical College of Missouri as the third best two-year trade school in the country. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 3:44:00 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — The Islamic Center of Central Missouri in Columbia is finally moving forward with an expansion project after... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 2:37:00 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 85°
7pm 84°
8pm 83°
9pm 79°
10pm 77°