“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL”.
This was the message everybody woke up to on January the 12th. I was in the kitchen making breakfast still a bit groggy from waking up, when my roommate came out from her room “Guys, what is this?”. She showed me the alert message. I had never received an emergency message before, so my first thought was that it was somebody hacking the phone. I ran into my room and found my own phone.The same message was on my screen. We turned on the television for more information, but nothing was on there. Hawaii News? CNN? Fox? Nope! NOTHING! It was so frustrating. We looked out the window to see if anybody was reacting differently out on the street, but nothing seemed unusual. If this is real why are we not hearing any sirens?
The whole situation was strange and we didn’t know what to believe. I mean, it is a bit hard to get your mind around the fact that there is a deadly missile from North Korea on it’s way towards you. I even posted the emergency alert on social media with a bit of sarcasm instead of finding shelter. Looking back on it now it was a weird thing to do when this could be your last words, and at the same time I was so busy trying to find out what was happening that I didn’t even think about contacting my family and let then know I love them in case I wasn’t going to survive the impact.
I honestly think that I deep down had the intuition that it was a false alarm, which was luckily the case.
38 minutes after receiving the first message we received a new message saying:
“There is no missile threat or danger to the State of Hawaii. Repeat. False Alarm”.
At first, it was a feeling of relief. We are not going to die today. Yay! But I soon started to wonder. Why did it take them so long to let us know it was a false alarm? And how can such an error even occur? Later, I heard that people had been running away from the beach trying to find shelter, people in the stores hand left to go home, and people had already contacted their families to say their goodbyes in case they wouldn’t survive the impact.
After the whole accident anger of the alarm was widespread! Everybody was asking the same question “What happend?”. Was it a mistake or was there actually some truth to the alarm? I guess, we will never know? What do you think?