Third Party & Independents Archives

​Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Employee 43's up

Marcus Williams is a gifted athlete who has worked hard to get where he is in one of the most competitive sports on this planet … ok? And he’s getting lots of love from his work colleagues over Sunday’s interesting tackle - a blind lunge that’s the sort of impact hit you do on the opening kickoff. NOT on what should have been a completed pass with a solid arm-gathering tackle that kept Stefon Diggs inbounds and ran out the clock. OR even knocked him out of bounds and let Kai Forbath prove that he actually can kick under pressure.

Well no, actually they are being merciless with the poor guy on Twitter. I therefore shouldn't, but allow to coin a phrase: forty-three something up. That would be Williams' number, of course.

Now consider a drop-down menu before you as you sit in some (hopefully) secured facility that houses Hawaii Emergency Management Agency's alert system, staring at your laptop or PC as you start your morning shift. Where you work as an employee of said agency. Let us recreate two - apparently - of the options on that menu:

Test missile alert
Missile alert
HEMA has been running tests of its alert system for some time. They apparently do it on a rather frequent basis, as you would hope such an agency would in fact do to ensure things at their end can run relatively smoothly in the horrifying event that an incoming ICBM is indeed heading towards the islands of Hawaii. So you're that employee. Which of the two items or commands on the drop-down menu would you choose?

The employee chose the 2nd option.

The system - all this according to a HEMA spokesperson - then asked the employee for a confirmation which was indeed given, and at 8:07 AM local time last Saturday, the false alert went out. Because HEMA had authority with FEMA to only send out a warning alert, and NOT the authority to send out a false warning alert, it took the better part of an hour for tourists and the residents of Hawaii to be informed they were not living a nightmare.

In other words, the employee forty-three'ed up big time. Understandably, they will now put in place procedural safeguards at Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, with a different person required for the confirmation. Just like another Saints defensive back should have been ready to help Williams with the tackle. The problem is, Williams was that guy. He was the one waaaay back whose job it is to be the last line of defense. Especially on what was obviously going to be a pass to get into field goal range.

We humans have to take our share of responsibility. Whether Marcus Williams whose broken heart and shame has not foresworn the slings and arrows of laughter on the part of other players. Or whether an anonymous HEMA employee who apparently has not and will not be disciplined for their dangerous mistake.

Of course, the other option is to go the Artificial Intelligence route, and let Google operate HEMA and have some bi-polar plural being with a "headmate" write the code that will manage the state's emergency alert system.

But then Tulsi Gabbard would have to blame Google rather than Trump. Sorry, what a silly mistake. Of course it's all Trump's fault. If he and his administration had only cautiously appeased North Korea, everything would be fine and that anonymous employee would have clicked on the correct item in the drop-down menu. In fact, that HEMA employee should sue Trump for Chronic Post-Election Traumatic Trump Disorder.

So the conventional wisdom is that we should never play the blame game - in other words take responsibility - unless it's President Trump. Who's to blame for everything.

Including mistakes on a drop-down menu.

Posted by AllardK at January 18, 2018 11:36 AM
Comment #423413

Do you think they would tell everyone if it was not a mistake? Should they be looking for scapegoats if it was really a wet, dry run, to gauge the population’s reaction to a threat in real time?

This could be a blessing in disguise. If it was announced as a test no one would have reacted accurately enough to get any value from it. This is the closest to real time data we can come to without it being the real thing. That’s a good thing.

Instead of bellyaching about being mistakenly inconvenienced, we should examine the reactions and determine what could have been done differently for better results.

But, since we’re a nation of chronic whiners no one will consider getting anything of value from this occurrence except the inevitable assignment of blame.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 18, 2018 3:05 PM
Comment #423562

It was revealed in this discussion the very points I mentioned in my comment.

During this 45 minute “mistake” it was revealed that people didn’t know what to do. There were no shelters to go to.

These revelations only enforce my opinion that this was not a mistake, it was a dry run. Hopefully some good will come of this, because if it was truly a “mistake” then the government of Hawaii is incompetent and fails in their first priority, keeping their citizens safe.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 22, 2018 11:05 AM
Comment #423564

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Comment #423824

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Comment #424312

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Comment #427584

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