The panic that struck residents and tourists in Hawaii on Saturday morning over the past weekend - owing to a public emergency alert about an incoming ballistic missile that was mistakenly transmitted - could have been easily avoided with the help of good design. It said the government was telling people to evacuate and take shelter.
The broadcaster apologized for the error, adding "the news alert sent earlier about NK missile was a mistake".
And after the alert, they received no follow-up about what to do, where to go, how to survive after a blast, or what plans the state and US government had.
At 8:07am the message alerting people to an inbound ballistic missile was sent to the TVs, radios and cellphones of everyone on the island.
"Seek immediate shelter", the erroneous message warned.
The Hawaii agency has now changed its protocols to require that two people send an alert and to make it easier to cancel a false alarm.
"It was a mistake made during a standard procedure at the changeover of a shift, and an employee pushed the wrong button", Gov. David Ige told Business Insider.
The agency posted a note on Twitter about the false alarm about 10 minutes after the initial alert.
Elaborating on the origins of Saturday's false alarm, which went uncorrected for almost 40 minutes, spokesman Richard Rapoza said the employee who mistakenly sent the missile alert had been "temporarily reassigned" to other duties.
Last September, television viewers in California's Orange County were confronted with two weird emergency alerts that included a female voice warning of an impending apocalypse.
Authorities took 38 minutes to correct the mistake, which the state's governor attributed to a "worker pushing the wrong button".
He says even though Minot has a nuclear missile base, he says North Dakota and Minnesota are unlikely targets.
Hirono says "this had the potential for being totally catastrophic".
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, a Republican, said in a Tuesday interview that he wanted to know if additional checks and balances were needed for alerts of global significance.
She also said the Department of Homeland Security is examining how the US government can quickly verify the accuracy of alerts with agencies such as the Department of Defense.
Every emergency management agency in America should pay close attention to Hawaii's regrettable misadventure, and learn from its failings.