Honolulu, HI (CBS) — A Philadelphia native recounts the moments inside her home in Honolulu when she received a false alert sent to her cell phone that warned that a ballistic missile was headed towards Hawaii.
“It was scary. It was really scary,” said Mandy Beerley.
In a Skype interview, Beerley shared with CBS 3 a screenshot of the message she sent to her family back home in Philadelphia.
That message read: “Hey if this is real, I love you guys. I’ll let you know if I survive this.and then you start thinking where in my house, can I survive something like this,” Beerley said.
Residents and tourists described complete panic and chaos across the islands Saturday morning.
Emergency officials tweeted that the missile threat was a false alarm.
However, it took 38 minutes to send the message to get to Berley’s cell phone.
“Forty minutes was too long,” she said. “It should’ve been followed up immediately with a false alarm.”
The Federal Communications Commission agrees and has announced its launching its own full investigation into the false emergency alert.
The FCC also says the Hawaiian government did not have reasonable safeguards in place that would have prevented the false message.
Hawaii’s emergency management blamed the mistake on a wrong button that was pushed during a shift change and an internal drill.
“We haven’t gotten a good enough answer from the government to put those angry feelings aside,” said Berley.