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Here’s How Hawai‘i Responded on Social Media to the False Ballistic Missile Alert

A false alarm caused by human error sent the entire state of Hawai‘i into panic mode.


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An emergency alert of an inbound ballistic missile terrified many Hawai‘i residents on Saturday, Jan. 13. The message buzzed on phones at 8:07 a.m. and screamed in all caps: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” If it indeed was a real threat, then Hawai‘i residents would need to immediately scramble to find a nearby shelter and take cover. Thirty-eight minutes later (a long time when you’re contemplating impending doom and saying your goodbyes), our phones went off again informing us that the alert was a false alarm caused by a Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency employee who pushed the wrong button by mistake. Twice. Find out how Hawai‘i residents reacted to the traumatic experience on social media

 

 

Here’s how Hawai‘i officials responded: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HONOLULU Magazine asked Twitter followers to share their reactions after receiving the alert. That came after a Twitter video was posted of a family sending their children into a storm drain through a manhole to shelter and retweeted and broadcast in news coverage: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HONOLULU Magazine reached out to Facebook followers to share their experiences. Many were clearly seriously shaken by the emergency alert: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After it was clear that the alert was a mistake rather than an actual attack, many found humor in the situation. Here are some memes that are making the rounds:

I survived

 

 

 

A post shared by Junior Puma (@hannibizzle) on

 

Good morning Hawaii

 

 

A post shared by MARK (CASPILLO) CHING (@markjching) on

 

 

Guy Hagi

 

 

State of Hawaii emergency shelter

 

 

Great Aloha Run

 

READ MORE STORIES BY DIANE LEE 

 

READ MORE STORIES BY ENJY EL-KADI

 

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Honolulu Magazine February 2018
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