Hawaii’s Ballistic Missile Attack False Alarm Could Have Been Avoided

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An early-morning emergency alert warning of an incoming ballistic missile attack was dispatched to cellphones across Hawaii on January 13, 2018, setting off widespread panic. This type of false alarm, which resulted from human error, can be avoided and Acoustic Technology, Inc. (ATI)’s MassAlert® software, has features to help prevent this type of scenario.

An early-morning emergency alert warning of an incoming ballistic missile attack was dispatched to cellphones across Hawaii on January 13, 2018, setting off widespread panic. It was determined that the alert was a false alarm and resulted from human error. Acoustic Technology, Inc. (ATI), a leader in the mass notification industry, has long anticipated the potential for such vulnerabilities.

To avoid such catastrophic errors, ATI’s MassAlert® software adopts a "two-point” validation concept. This design is to prevent accidental system activations by a single individual.

In practice, once one operator activates a system another operator is prompted to confirm system activation. The second operator can be notified through various means including SMS, automated phone call, smartphone application and others.

It is possible for a group of multiple persons to be prompted in case of system activation. Any of these operators can respond to the request for confirmation of the alert. In the event of a true emergency speed of notification is imperative. Instead of depending on a single confirming operator, who may be unavailable, this option ensures an immediate response.

ATI’s sirens ensure that when an emergency management team sounds an all clear the message is heard by everyone affected. Often cellphone networks will be overloaded by panicking people trying to reach their families to make sure they are safe. In this situation, the use of traditional sirens is the best and most effective means of communication.

About ATI Systems

Acoustic Technology, Inc. (ATI Systems) is a world leader in the design, manufacturing, and installation of reliable emergency warning and notification systems for the campus, community, industrial, and military markets. ATI has developed innovative wireless systems that provide intelligible voice and visual warnings via a simple and compact hardware design, user-friendly software, and the latest communication methods, including radio frequency, IP Ethernet, and satellite technology. ATI’s Mass Notification Systems easily integrate with other warning systems to provide more complete solutions. ATI is an ISO-9001 certified company. For more information about ATI, visit http://www.atisystem.com.

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Claudia Markovich
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