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My “Ballistic Missile False Alarm” Story on Maui, Hawaii

 

So you all have heard already. We had that False Alarm of a Ballistic Missile coming to Hawaii, this morning. (actually, by the time I uploaded this post, that false alarm happened “yesterday” morning).

At this time, it’s already all over the news. Various versions and multiple stories.

I initially thought of blogging about the false alarm on Hawaii right after the official False Alarm Notice was issued but I had other more urgent things to do so I didn’t.

Then midday I thought, ok maybe I should blog about this now. However, I thought “oh by the time I finish writing and publish my post it will already be an “old news”. Maybe I should not spend time writing about it.

Then tonight I read the post written by my friend Leslie, at The Aloha 360. Her 37 Thoughts in 37 minutes of waiting and she inspired me to write my story. I realized that even though it would be “old news” by the time I publish my post, I should really blog about our personal experience. It will be good to record it while it is still fresh in our mind. This may be a fun to share with our grandkids someday 🙂

So here’s our story:

I was actually writing a blog post about Teri and I’s Facebook Live when the alert on my phone came in. I looked at it … read it .. and read it again several times to make sure what I am reading is really what I am reading. The line “THIS IS NOT A DRILL” is what bothered me the most.

I calmly walked to our lanai to show the emergency alert on my phone to my husband who was on the phone talking to our daughter in OR. When I interrupted him he told my daughter …” wait, your mom is trying to show me something.” He read the message and told our daughter “oh… this might be our last phone call to you.” Or something along that line …. Oh my golly, that must have been very scary for her, my poor daughter.

I immediately went back to my computer and scrounge the internet for news. NOTHING! Why is there no news about this? CNN? Nope! Fox? Nope! Hawaii News? Nope! Geez! Then I quickly switched to Facebook.

I was about to go to Maui SMUG when I saw my friend Peter’s post and I commented on it.

About this time my husband said “we are about to get hit with a ballistic missile and you’re on Facebook?” Ha! I didn’t respond to the hubby. I continued my social media search.

Just a little background story – both Peter and I have experienced monitoring natural disaster via social media. We’ve done this with the previous earthquake and tsunami threats on Maui. We sort of have a way of finding info quickly via our social media networks, faster and more reliable than the news network.

“So if this is true…. Why are we not hearing sirens?” – was one of the first questions in our mind ….

By this time, a young lady friend M who is staying at our house was very concern. She is away from her family and was understandably anxious. She was texting her dad. I wished I could do something to calm her fears. I told her to calm down, I am praying for our safety (yes I was), and I am searching the news and will keep her informed.

I again searched for news: MauiNow? Nope! MauiWatch? Nope!

Our daughter texted me: “I Love You Mom” – I texted back “I Love You Too”

My husband was talking on the phone with someone – not sure who (might be our son)

I went back to FB discussion thread with Peter and I saw a post via Maui 24/4. They confirmed that it’s a FALSE ALARM. I think I saw this confirmation 15 minutes after the false alert was issued. I immediately reposted it on my FB Timeline. Then I told “young friend M” that it’s a false alarm. Whew! She was happy to hear that – but she’s still a little shaken.

But wait … why are we not getting any further notification on our phone … why are we not getting a retraction or official announcement that it was a false alarm?

It took another 22 minutes or so (which is a total of 37 minutes from the time the false alert was issued) before the false alert alarm came through our phone!  Why such a delay? 

At any rate, we are thankful. We are thankful it’s a false alarm.

Looking back, I should have checked Twitter too because it’s usually a good source of info for emergencies. But my first thought this time was Facebook and I guess it worked. I got the confirmation that it’s false faster that their phone confirmation.

Looking back, “why weren’t we going doing the step we were asked to do”? Why was my husband on the phone on our lanai and I on our kitchen with my computer? Oh, I don’t know. I think deep down, both of us have the intuition that this is a false alarm. But still, we should have at least went downstairs instead of staying upstairs.

Looking back, I realized I was so busy trying to find the news that it’s false I didn’t even think about contacting our son. But then again maybe it was best that we didn’t because he would just worry about us and there’s really nothing he can do. Well, at least I should have texted him “I love you” too like what my daughter and I did. But maybe he was the one my husband was talking too when I was busy searching for news on the internet. The good thing is he is living with my brother and his family and so I am at peace knowing he is with a family. I did contact him later that day.

Oh so many shoulda coulda but bottom line is we are happy it’s a false alarm.  Truth is we were not prepared.  But then again, how can we be ever so prepared for a threat like that?

Thank you to all our family and friends who prayed for us in this alarming event.  Now that we are back to “normal” so to speak, there are many lessons we have learned and as always part of the lesson is being reminded of how precious is the time we have with our family and friends while we are here on earth.  Let us not take our relationships for granted.  If not missiles, there could be something else.  Let’s express our love more often, care more often and love deeply.  Aloha …

And here’s another beautiful Maui Sunset …  it seems even more beautiful tonight probably because of our crazy morning today 🙂

9 Responses to My “Ballistic Missile False Alarm” Story on Maui, Hawaii

  1. Laura January 14, 2018 at 2:25 am #

    Thank you!

  2. Ginny Gibbs January 14, 2018 at 4:14 am #

    It’s not old news, we’re just glad it was a false alarm. Our experience during that tsunami alert was nothing compared to the one you faced until you found confirmation that it was a mistake.

    What’s SMUG? Social Media User Group? 😉

    Ginny and David Gibbs

    • AMauiBlog January 14, 2018 at 8:01 pm #

      Ginny, yeah, i remember that tsunami experience too – we can smile about it now but it also was alarming then … 🙂

      Yes, MauiSMUG is Maui Social Media User Group (your question reminds me I should put that meaning in the post too – thanks)

  3. Myra Dodson January 14, 2018 at 6:23 am #

    Thanks, a refreshing report..all’s well that ends well! I’ll be there in March..hope no alerts then❣

  4. Louann January 14, 2018 at 8:36 am #

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is so sad we should have to worry about things like this. Sending love to you and your family and many blessings to keep you all safe.

  5. AMO January 14, 2018 at 6:20 pm #

    Thanks for sharing. We are all blessed today❤️

  6. Leslee January 15, 2018 at 11:13 am #

    Can’t begin to imagine how scary this was!!! So glad it was a false alarm

  7. Leslie January 20, 2018 at 9:26 pm #

    We found it fascinating that we got breaking news and information we needed faster via Twitter than the TV news or any other platform.

  8. Shanelle January 23, 2018 at 7:31 am #

    I am new to reading your blog and I love your posts but this one touched me specifically. I am in NY and at work we were discussing how scary it must of been for Hawaii residents – it’s hard to get news updates on your beautiful island being we are so far away – so despite it being a few days ago, it is NOT old news. The island has tons of prayers and thoughts coming from around the world. Thank you for posting this and giving us insight to someone else’s POV on this scary “mistake”.

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