Live :: Optimistically :: Through :: Universal :: Struggles
Some of our biggest blunders end up being the best learning experiences. On January 13, 2018 at 8:07am HST, Hawaii residents received an Emergency Alert that stated that a ballistic missile was inbound to Hawaii and recommended that you seek immediate shelter. Was the missile going to hit, did it get blown out of the sky or was this all a really bad mistake? For 38 minutes, the state of Hawaii was in limbo. People were going 100mph to get home to their families, a dad was seen putting kids his kids in a storm drain, and a video showed UH students running in fear around campus. Amidst the chaos, we received the official alert that it was a false alarm. Luckily, there was no ballistic missile headed towards Hawaii. In fact, it appeared to have been a mistake, someone pressed the wrong button! Relief, anger, and confusion were just some of the emotions that went through Hawaii residents.
Everyone in Hawaii, will always remember where they were the minute they received that alert. To be honest, I panicked for a quick second. I searched the internet looking for some sign if this was really happening and googling what to do when a ballistic missile landed. And then I stopped and took a breath, I asked myself “What can you control right now?” I realized that no matter how much I wish I could telepathically reroute a missile, there was absolutely no way I can control it.
Like with every situation, it’s important to stay positive and focus on what you can control. And in crisis situations it is vital that you STAY CALM! I know I know, it’s hard to stay calm when there is a possible ballistic missile heading your way; however, going crazy worrying doesn’t alter the course of its path, doesn’t keep you safe, it just doesn’t help!
These past few days friends, family and clients have processed their perspective on the event. All of their experiences are justified and most found the situation very traumatizing. How is one to explain to their young children that a possible ballistic missile could be landing in a few minutes?! The stories that I heard and read were heartbreaking and I wished that these families could have been spared from this trauma. As much as we'd like to rewind time and prevent this mistake from happening, there was something positive that came out from this false alarm. Because of the false alert, every person in Hawaii is now aware of what to expect if an alarm goes off, the importance of seeking shelter and how to shield yourself from the fallout.
Overall the 3 lessons Hawaii learned from this false alarm:
Regardless of how Saturday’s false alarm impacted everyone in Hawaii, each of us (adults and kids) are walking away from this experience with more knowledge and hopefully a better idea of what to do if a missile were launched. Please refer to the following pdf, which is a memo sent from the Hawaii State Department of Education detailing what to do, how to prepare and FAQ’s.