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Researchers surveying public on social media use during false missile alert

The National Disaster Preparedness Training Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa is conducting a public survey on trust and the use of social media during the false missile alert that occurred Jan. 13 in Hawaii.

“We invite you to participate in this survey so that we may learn about your experience and behavior during the period of alert, your perception and attitude towards the Emergency Alert System, and the use of social media for sharing information during emergencies and disasters,” said NDPTC.

The missile alert, according to the survey, was sent to cell phones at 8:07 a.m. and also interrupted local television broadcasts. By 8:19 a.m. U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard had tweeted that it was a false alarm, followed a minute later by a tweet from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency’s official Twitter account that said: “NO missile threat to Hawaii.” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell confirmed the false alarm with his own tweet at 8:25 a.m. The correction to the original missile alert , notifying the public that it was a false alarm, was issued to cell phones at 8:43 a.m.

The NDPTC is a Federal Emergency Management Agency funded program at UH that offers training courses on disaster preparedness, response and recovery, with a focus on natural hazards, coastal communities and specific needs of islands and territories. The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete, and is voluntary. Survey participants may skip questions, but will be asked to provide their age, gender, email and phone number, which NDPTC said will only be available to the research team, and kept confidential.

Questions about the survey can be directed to NDPTC at at 956-0600 or by email to Pradip Pant,, Eric Yamashita,, or Jiwnath Ghimire,

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