Hoosiers in Hawaii Scared to Death by Ballistic Missile Threat
INDIANAPOLIS -- Hoosiers in Hawaii say it was mass chaos and terror on Saturday when Emergency Management Officials sent an emergency alert warning about a ballistic missile on its way to the island.
It wasn't until about 30 minutes later that they confirmed the alert was a "mistake."
The Emergency Alert was sent to all cell phones on the island saying "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL."
Bryce Blay is vacationing on the island of Oahu with his fiance and says he was lying in bed, playing on his phone, when the alert popped up.
"I was pretty much just playing on my phone at the time when I got the alert," said Bray. "I woke up my fiance in a frenzy - telling her she needed to get dressed. She was wondering what was going on."
From there, Bray says it was a bit of a mass panic as they ran from their hotel room along with everyone else.
"We were scared to death," said Bray. "We know the kind of death an ICBM can do. We don't want another Pearl Harbor."
The worst part was that no one seemed to know what to do.
"We hurried - sprinted - downstairs asking hotel staff what to do," said Bray. "They had no clue, no answers. We ran out into the streets trying to find shelter and saw a few people sprinting toward the mall. We figured there'd be shelter there."
It was several minutes before word started getting around on social media that the message was sent in error. Hawaii's Emergency Management Tweeted "NO missile threat to Hawaii" but it wasn't until almost 45 minutes after the alert was sent that a second alert went to all phones telling people it was a false alarm.
"We started talking to security officers, they didn't know what to do," said Bray. "Then we took an elevator and called 911 - eventually got through - then they informed us it was a mistake, false information."
Several other Hoosiers in Hawaii shared stories of people running into basements of hotels, hiding under tables and sheltering up their homes.
Patrick Jenkins posted the following on Facebook:
"Fellow Hoosiers: Let this be a wake up call to the status our country is in. I was given 15 minutes to seek shelter...that’s how long we have in Hawaii from the time North Korea hits their button till it strikes the island. Wake up and have a plan for your family. Are you prepared physically and mentally to evacuate and protect them? Let’s get it done. Like and share to spread the awareness."