PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The head of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency says there are no plans to cancel a test of the Emergency Alert System in the wake of a nightmare in Hawaii where false reports of a missile attack were issued.
The PEMA director says such a mistake is unlikely to happen in Pennsylvania.
Based on news reports, PEMA Director Rick Flinn says the mistaken missile alert in Hawaii was issued by a single person. Flinn says PEMA has supervisors on duty at all times and all Emergency Alert System messages must be validated by those supervisors before they are sent.
Flinn says once an alert message is prepared, the system software provides another safeguard.
“Just like in a lot of other computer softwares, it’ll say, ‘Are you sure you want to do that?’ Well, the supervisor then validates ‘yes’ before he pushes ‘yes,’” explains Flinn.
Flinn also says unlike Hawaii, a false alert sent by PEMA would be promptly corrected. What’s more, Flinn says any missile alert for Pennsylvania would not likely be issued by PEMA, it would come directly from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.