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Omaha native in Hawaii 'hysterical' after receiving false missile alert

Posted at 6:43 PM, Jan 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-13 19:43:33-05

An Omaha native stationed in Hawaii with her husband and children says a false missile alert had her "hysterical."

The alert stated there was a threat "inbound to Hawaii" and for residents to seek shelter and that "this is not a drill."

Stevie Meeker, who grew up in Omaha, says she saw the alert on her phone right away and tried calling around to see what was happening. When she couldn't get ahold of anyone, she panicked.

"By that time, I'm pretty hysterical," she said. "I was like, 'This is pretty crazy.' And then I was just bawling because I have my kids, I have my mom here, I'm not prepared at all."

Meeker is 8 months pregnant.

The alert on Saturday sent the islands into a panic, with people abandoning cars in a highway and preparing to flee their homes until officials said the cellphone alert was a mistake.

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi said the error happened when someone pushed the wrong button.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige is apologizing for the "pain and confusion" caused by false ballistic missile attack alert.  

In a conciliatory news conference Saturday, Ige promised to evaluate the testing system to ensure such a mistake would never happen again.

Both Miyagi and Ige promised a single person will not be able to make such an error in the future.