Former Civil Defense Vice Director says siren system is “very, very easy” to sound

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Wednesday afternoon’s emergency outdoor siren false alarm on Oahu and Maui accidentally triggered by the Honolulu Police Department had many in Hawaii scratching their head with how this could happen again, including former Civil Defense Vice Director Ed Teixeira.

“Systemically it’s very very easy to sound the sirens. It’s all touch screen control.” Teixeira said.

Similar to the menu at the center of the state’s false missile alert in 2017, Teixeira explains that the HPD system is simple.

“Just picture a software system on the screen.” He said.

“Picture a green button, a red button, and basically proceed just like that. Very, very simple. Very visual and basically you’re just using your finger or your mouse click to make sure you’re hitting the right button to make sure the sirens sounded.”

The Emergency Management Agency and Civil Defense both have access to the outdoor sirens in Hawaii. Teixeira thinks it’s necessary that each county’s police department also have access.

“They’re a 24/7 operation.” He said.

“So the police department has to be in the position to warn the public when they see a threat that may affect our people.”

Teixeira is not aware of any software program that would allow a training only screen, and thinks that proper training is the safeguard to this happening for a third time.

“Training every month when you go through the outdoor siren test is a good time also to get people proficient before that test is made, and at the same time supervisors watching how these are controlled.”

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