Warning Sirens Mishap

Posted on Jan 3, 2017 in Information and News Releases


Emergency warning sirens across Oahu and a few on Kauai went off accidentally at approximately 8:07
this morning. According to Mel Kaku, director of the Honolulu Department of Emergency Management,
it was an “inadvertent activation in the course of preparing for today’s scheduled test”. The
activation of the Oahu sirens also triggered several sirens on Kauai to go off due to a
configuration error. Hawaii-EMA staff has since worked with the siren manufacturer to correct the

Today’s early morning activation came just hours before the regularly scheduled monthly test of the
statewide siren warning system, which is coordinated with the test of the live audio broadcast
segment of the Emergency Alert System. The scheduled test is still set for today, January 3, 2017
at 11:45 a.m.

The siren test is a steady one minute tone on all sirens. The steady tone is used to alert the
public to any emergency that may pose a threat to life or property. Besides natural hazards, the
Emergency Alert System could be used for terrorist incidents or acts of war.

Oahu residents in areas surrounding Campbell Industrial Park, Honokai Hale, Makakilo, Kapolei
Regional Park, Kapolei Golf Course, and the Coast Guard Station at Kalaeloa may also hear a
“whooping” tone following the siren test. This “whooping” tone is a test of the Hazardous Materials
(HAZMAT) siren warning group that will be activated in the event of a HAZMAT incident. Contact the
City and County of Honolulu
Department of Emergency Management at (808) 723-8960 for more information on the HAZMAT Incident
outdoor siren warning test.

Upon hearing a siren, residents are urged to tune to any local radio or television station for
emergency information and instructions. Participating stations will carry a detailed explanation of
what the sirens mean, as well as other related information.

Tests of the outdoor warning sirens and the Emergency Alert System are conducted simultaneously,
normally on the first working day of the month, in cooperation with Hawaii’s broadcasting industry.
Emergency management and disaster preparedness information is located in the front section of
telephone directories in all counties.