Author Topic: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii  (Read 2913 times)

kimmarg

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Kris

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Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

wenchsenior

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2018, 08:55:22 AM »
MY first thought was: Uh Oh. Someone's getting fired.

pegleglolita

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2018, 09:31:45 AM »
MY first thought was: Uh Oh. Someone's getting fired.

That's funny, my first thought was "They got hacked"... but maybe incompetence is a more reasonable explanation. 

Travis

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2018, 09:36:21 AM »
MY first thought was: Uh Oh. Someone's getting fired.

That's funny, my first thought was "They got hacked"... but maybe incompetence is a more reasonable explanation.

The office that did it owned up to it later in the day.  In fact, they identified him.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 09:38:46 AM by Travis »
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brooklynguy

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2018, 09:58:05 AM »
The inadvertent warning could have easily been the catalyst that rendered itself a self-fulfilling prophecy:  in one conceivable scenario, the North Korean regime, already on edge after Trump’s amped-up rhetoric of potential preemptive military action, could have misinterpreted the issuance of the alert as the planting of deliberately false cover for an impending American attack, triggering them to launch first.

NY Times:  "Hawaii False Alarm Hints at Thin Line Between Mishap and Nuclear War"

We're all one small mishap away from nuclear annihilation.  It's so utterly terrifying that it's profoundly funny.  A click-happy low-level bureaucrat accidentally destroying the world?  That's hilarious (in a gallows-humor-in-the-extreme kind of way).

MasterStache

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2018, 10:13:53 AM »
Joe Arpaio thinks Obama's birth certificate is to blame. You literally can't make this shit up.

BlueMR2

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2018, 11:27:03 AM »
I just can't get excited about it.  Seems to be way overblown by the media.  Must have been a slow news day.

Kris

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2018, 11:34:53 AM »
I just can't get excited about it.  Seems to be way overblown by the media.  Must have been a slow news day.

You probably would have been a little more excited about it if you lived in Hawaii, as do many of your fellow Americans.
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EricL

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2018, 11:54:47 AM »
You might be a little less excited if you lived through the Cold War.  US/USSR politicians, military leaders, and bureaucrats made multiple mistakes that could’ve kicked off WW III every decade. 
Gentleman of Leisure

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2018, 08:58:17 AM »
I don't think anyone falsely announced an imminent nuclear attack, though. I have no idea how I would react if I got a sudden message saying "nuclear attack imminent."

Also, what the hell is up with the design of this thing? My work systems don't allow me to post a single penny variance with a bright flashing warning sign that says "WARNING: OUT OF BALANCE. DO YOU REALLY WANT TO DO THIS?"

Do these systems not have a warning that says "ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO SEND A NUCLEAR WARNING TO EVERYONE IN THE STATE?" Or did it have a warning and the person just clicked through it?

Fucking stupid.

Dabnasty

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2018, 09:16:26 AM »
I don't think anyone falsely announced an imminent nuclear attack, though. I have no idea how I would react if I got a sudden message saying "nuclear attack imminent."

Also, what the hell is up with the design of this thing? My work systems don't allow me to post a single penny variance with a bright flashing warning sign that says "WARNING: OUT OF BALANCE. DO YOU REALLY WANT TO DO THIS?"

Do these systems not have a warning that says "ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO SEND A NUCLEAR WARNING TO EVERYONE IN THE STATE?" Or did it have a warning and the person just clicked through it?

Fucking stupid.
I read that a public statement claimed the system did in fact have an "Are you sure?" screen and someone hit "Yes". But ya, that screen should probably have some red flashing lights and maybe a code that needs to be entered.

ketchup

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2018, 09:27:36 AM »
I don't think anyone falsely announced an imminent nuclear attack, though. I have no idea how I would react if I got a sudden message saying "nuclear attack imminent."

Also, what the hell is up with the design of this thing? My work systems don't allow me to post a single penny variance with a bright flashing warning sign that says "WARNING: OUT OF BALANCE. DO YOU REALLY WANT TO DO THIS?"

Do these systems not have a warning that says "ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO SEND A NUCLEAR WARNING TO EVERYONE IN THE STATE?" Or did it have a warning and the person just clicked through it?

Fucking stupid.
As someone that's written software that warns before doing something scary, no, people don't read warnings. :) They just click OK/Yes and move on when a warning is in their way.  People also don't read instructions, or emails (they'll read the subject line if you're lucky).  It has to be a very obnoxious "TYPE 'YES, I AM ABOUT TO SEND OUT THIS MISSILE WARNING TO EVERY CITIZEN AND SCARE THE SHIT OUT OF THEM' TO CONTINUE" type of double-check.

teen persuasion

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2018, 09:29:15 AM »
DH sent an irate message to DD1 in HI - "you might want to warn us next time something like this happens, rather than let us hear about it on the news and worry about you!"

Her response was along the lines of "Wha..?  I knew immediately that it wasn't real, NBD."

Her line of reasoning:
  • It didn't specify which island
  • NK hasn't proven it has capability to reach them
  • They'd target the city or Pearl, which are far enough she'd be outside the blast zone
  • Her apartment has concrete walls, she'd likely survive

SMH

kimmarg

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2018, 05:45:31 PM »
As someone that's written software that warns before doing something scary, no, people don't read warnings. :) They just click OK/Yes and move on when a warning is in their way.  People also don't read instructions, or emails (they'll read the subject line if you're lucky).  It has to be a very obnoxious "TYPE 'YES, I AM ABOUT TO SEND OUT THIS MISSILE WARNING TO EVERY CITIZEN AND SCARE THE SHIT OUT OF THEM' TO CONTINUE" type of double-check.

Yea I'd agree. As someone who regularly uses something where you have to click "yes" about 3 times to get it to work I'd say you stop reading them. One thing I do like on the system I use is that for 5 seconds after you click the last 'yes' you get a count down and and an "oh shit! no!!" button to revert it.

ixtap

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2018, 05:52:40 PM »
I am surprised he just got reassigned, but there are lessons learned from this:

No one in Hawaii knows what to do when this alert happens. We need more education and perhaps drills. Or to accept that there isn't much point to a warning if there isn't anything folks can do about it.

And well, it takes a lot to make software idiot proof, but really we already knew that.

Parizade

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2018, 06:01:03 PM »
Am I the only person who thinks it might have been intentional? A well planned "oops" that could create or amplify a "culture of fear"?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_fear
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ixtap

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2018, 06:04:37 PM »
Am I the only person who thinks it might have been intentional? A well planned "oops" that could create or amplify a "culture of fear"?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_fear

No, the internet is alive with conspiracy theories.

Those who intentionally work on a culture of fear are usually better at not pissing off their intended audience along the way.

Parizade

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2018, 04:43:46 AM »
Those who intentionally work on a culture of fear are usually better at not pissing off their intended audience along the way.

I think our current president is quite skilled at pissing off his intended audience
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A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2018, 08:24:00 AM »
I am surprised he just got reassigned, but there are lessons learned from this:

No one in Hawaii knows what to do when this alert happens. We need more education and perhaps drills. Or to accept that there isn't much point to a warning if there isn't anything folks can do about it.

And well, it takes a lot to make software idiot proof, but really we already knew that.

I'm prepared if Chicago gets a sudden missile warning. There's a full bottle of Jack in the desk.


EDIT: Oh, yeah, I just took a look at the map. The overpressure effects, I guess, would knock out all the windows and fill me with glass. Or I will just get instant third-degree burns. Yep, Jack it is!
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 08:32:19 AM by A Definite Beta Guy »

Sioux

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2018, 09:14:30 AM »
First HI and now Japan. Not a "mistake".
I'm confused.
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Parizade

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2018, 10:29:53 AM »
First HI and now Japan. Not a "mistake".

Agreed
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wenchsenior

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2018, 10:43:25 AM »
First HI and now Japan. Not a "mistake".

Agreed

So what is the conspiracy concept here? 

Parizade

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2018, 07:07:09 PM »
First HI and now Japan. Not a "mistake".

Agreed

So what is the conspiracy concept here?

No conspiracy, it's basic rhetoric as described by Aristotle. When trying to persuade your audience to accept your argument there are three classical strategies, logos, ethos, and pathos. Logos is an appeal to logic, ethos is an appeal to ethics, pathos is a manipulation of emotion.

I suspect people on this forum would respond more to logos and ethos arguments (we tend to be logical folks who want to do the right thing for the planet and our fellow humans). Not surprisingly, however, pathos tends to be the most successful across large masses of people. If you can get your audience angry or terrified (or both at the same time) they become putty in your hands and can be talked into almost anything.

So when our government is "accidentally" sending missile warnings that terrify recipients I become suspicious of what they might try to talk us into next.
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A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2018, 07:15:40 AM »
That's still a conspiracy theory. And in one of these cases it was actually the Japanese government that sent out the warning.

wenchsenior

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2018, 07:29:32 AM »
That's still a conspiracy theory. And in one of these cases it was actually the Japanese government that sent out the warning.

That was what made me wonder what conspiracy theorists were thinking? Our govt sent our false warning and coordinated with Japan's gov't to get them to send one, too? Our gov't hacked Japan's system and sent both? It wasn't our gov't at all, but a North Korean hack of both systems? 

I mean, what exactly are people thinking here?

Parizade

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2018, 01:02:26 PM »
That's still a conspiracy theory. And in one of these cases it was actually the Japanese government that sent out the warning.

Yes, but since the 4/27/2015 release of the updated "Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation" we now have “seamless, robust, flexible, and effective” cooperation between the U.S. military and Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF).

They might just be sending a message to North Korea, letting them know that Hawaii and Japan are ready to respond with full force if Kim Jong-un pushes that red button on his desk.
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Nords

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2018, 08:11:04 PM »
I am surprised he just got reassigned, but there are lessons learned from this:

No one in Hawaii knows what to do when this alert happens. We need more education and perhaps drills. Or to accept that there isn't much point to a warning if there isn't anything folks can do about it.

And well, it takes a lot to make software idiot proof, but really we already knew that.
Nearly a week later, we're all pretty sure that the software is going to be redesigned.  Hawaii hasn't really used an attack warning since 1992, after the Cold War was over and we were spending the peace dividend.  We just started using it again last November, and the software UI is pretty hard to navigate.  The "internal test" option is right next to the "live" option, and they're hard to read, and the operator screwed up the monthly internal test by inadvertently clicking the wrong option on the menu, and then they apparently both have the same subsequent sequence of choices & activations.  They also both lacked a way to recall or cancel the warning.

The whole system will also be better connected to the military and police commands.  There was no way for those groups to relay the warning and it was very difficult to cancel it.  PACOM had to send out flash message traffic (which sends all sorts of the wrong kinds of messages, but at least that got out the word) and the police/firefighters/first responders had to repeatedly broadcast via their dispatchers.  911 would've been overwhelmed.

Presumably the updated missile attack software will be the same as the current tsunami and hurricane warning software... with bigger menu boxes.

The director and the spokesperson both said that the employee feels horrible.  The employee has been reassigned.  It's not clear whether the director will keep their job-- he's a very popular guy (until this week) and one of the most knowledgeable & experienced civil/military defense execs in the state.

My spouse and I missed the whole thing.  I was at a financial meetup in Florida and my spouse was away from her phone.  She didn't know anything was happening until neighbors were pounding on the door:  "You were in the military-- do you know anything about the attack?!?"

Some of the events precipitated by the warning:
- Over 300 people at a canoe practice/race came sprinting up from the beach into a local fitness center.  Families were huddled in the locker rooms and showers saying their farewells.

- A disturbingly large number of drivers screamed up the Pali & Likelike Highways (from both sides) at very high speeds to shelter in the tunnels.  The police were very freaked out.  We're lucky nobody was seriously injured or killed. 

- Many people in Waikiki tried to shelter in retail stores (in concrete buildings) as the stores were trying to lock their doors.  (Looting?  Liability?)  The Waikiki visitor's associations are taking another look at this policy. 

- Hotels & resorts carried out their usual "shelter in place" procedures... this time in the basements (hurricanes) instead of the upper floors (tsunami).  This was the only part of the incident that could be regarded as "worked as planned".

- At least one of our neighbors unburdened their feelings and may have permanently damaged their domestic harmony.  The parent got the missile warning on their phone and tried to call their elderly mother, who didn't really understand what was going on.  The upset/frustrated parent then woke up their adult child (living at home) and said "We're all going to die, but if we don't die then you're going to war and you'll be killed.  We parents and Grandma will be very unhappy!  I told you that you never should have joined the National Guard!!"

I can only imagine who else voiced their thoughts and now feel that they might be better off dead.

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FiveSigmas

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #28 on: January 18, 2018, 11:17:19 PM »
I was hoping we'd hear from you, Nords. I was sure you'd have an interesting story to tell. Glad in some ways to hear, though, that you missed the whole ordeal.

EricL

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2018, 02:32:19 AM »
Nords, That sounds like a totally military SNAFU.  And military software (ugh).  I feel for that Civil Defense Guy.  You do a thousand great things routinely and nobody notices much.  But you fuck that one goat...
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Mac_MacGyver

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2018, 06:42:54 PM »
Guy was apparently fired.

Nords

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2018, 07:39:33 PM »
Guy was apparently fired.
Yes, and there's more nuance to the story.

Apparently the midwatch supervisor was running a drill at shift change, and the day-shift guy who sent out the alert didn't understand it was a drill and thought it was an actual attack.  However this article includes the sentence:
Retired Brig. Gen. Bruce Oliveira, who was charged with heading the state's internal investigation, said the employee had a history of confusing "drills and real-world drills."
https://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/news/2018/01/30/hawaii-emergency-management-agency-chief-resigns.html

Yeah, I'd have trouble parsing those terms too.  I think the guy was set up for failure by a flawed drill scenario which didn't have enough drill monitors to stop a live message from going out.  (The employee might also have moved faster than the drill monitors could have prevented the alert from being sent.)  But local TV news clips have claimed that the employee had a history of difficulty at applying their judgment and operating without extra supervision.  The employee has decided to stay silent on the situation. 

The "good news" is that the state now knows they need to have a better way of following up on the initial alert.  (They apparently couldn't send out a free-form-text followup after the alert, only formatted alerts.)  The watchstanders were apparently also overwhelmed with phone calls from state & military commands trying to verify the alert or to tell them that there was no evidence of a missile launch.

The former civil defense Emergency Management Agency director, Vern Miyagi, was a pretty popular guy who was the face of the EMA with educational disaster-prep commercials and public relations.  However I think the state decided that they needed a fresh command team with a new plan, perhaps assisted with a funding supplement from the state legislature and FEMA for upgrading the system.

This whole incident reeks of poor deckplate management:  improper drill monitoring procedures, outdated software with insufficient upgrade funding, qualification/proficiency issues, and complacency.  I hope they hire (or promote) the military veteran who they so desperately need.

The EMA still tests the warning sirens at 11:45 AM on the first business day of each month.  They're still doing the tsunami warning followed by the attack warning.

Oh, and the governor is probably updating his Twitter password to "password".  He also held a re-election fundraiser last month, but that's an entirely different challenge.

(You'll have to go to the xkcd website to read the alt-text:  https://xkcd.com/1946/ )
« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 07:44:32 PM by Nords »
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Mac_MacGyver

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #32 on: February 02, 2018, 07:51:46 PM »
Guy was apparently fired.
Yes, and there's more nuance to the story.

Apparently the midwatch supervisor was running a drill at shift change, and the day-shift guy who sent out the alert didn't understand it was a drill and thought it was an actual attack.  However this article includes the sentence:
Retired Brig. Gen. Bruce Oliveira, who was charged with heading the state's internal investigation, said the employee had a history of confusing "drills and real-world drills."
https://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/news/2018/01/30/hawaii-emergency-management-agency-chief-resigns.html

Yeah, I'd have trouble parsing those terms too.  I think the guy was set up for failure by a flawed drill scenario which didn't have enough drill monitors to stop a live message from going out.  (The employee might also have moved faster than the drill monitors could have prevented the alert from being sent.)  But local TV news clips have claimed that the employee had a history of difficulty at applying their judgment and operating without extra supervision.  The employee has decided to stay silent on the situation. 

The "good news" is that the state now knows they need to have a better way of following up on the initial alert.  (They apparently couldn't send out a free-form-text followup after the alert, only formatted alerts.)  The watchstanders were apparently also overwhelmed with phone calls from state & military commands trying to verify the alert or to tell them that there was no evidence of a missile launch.

The former civil defense Emergency Management Agency director, Vern Miyagi, was a pretty popular guy who was the face of the EMA with educational disaster-prep commercials and public relations.  However I think the state decided that they needed a fresh command team with a new plan, perhaps assisted with a funding supplement from the state legislature and FEMA for upgrading the system.

This whole incident reeks of poor deckplate management:  improper drill monitoring procedures, outdated software with insufficient upgrade funding, qualification/proficiency issues, and complacency.  I hope they hire (or promote) the military veteran who they so desperately need.

The EMA still tests the warning sirens at 11:45 AM on the first business day of each month.  They're still doing the tsunami warning followed by the attack warning.

Oh, and the governor is probably updating his Twitter password to "password".  He also held a re-election fundraiser last month, but that's an entirely different challenge.

(You'll have to go to the xkcd website to read the alt-text:  https://xkcd.com/1946/ )

I had read that the guy had a hard time distinguishing drills from real world scenarios. Probably in the wrong line of work but sometimes you take what you can get. Did you tell your story or were you out on the waves?

Nords

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #33 on: February 03, 2018, 09:24:02 AM »
Did you tell your story or were you out on the waves?
We missed the whole thing.  I was at Camp FI in Florida (so my phone never got the alert) and my spouse was working out. 

I didn't learn about it until my Facebook feed blew up, and my spouse didn't know until neighbors knocked on the door.
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Just Joe

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #34 on: February 05, 2018, 09:58:24 AM »
On the plus side I'll bet alot of civilians will be improving their own personal response to alarms like that.

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Re: FAKE missle alert in Hawaii
« Reply #35 on: February 05, 2018, 10:04:10 AM »
On the plus side I'll bet alot of civilians will be improving their own personal response to alarms like that.

I wouldn't make that bet.  :P