So I’m sitting in my living room this morning, drinking my coffee and eating my bagel when my phone starts screeching. I look at it to see that ballistic missiles are heading to Hawaii and that this is NOT A DRILL. Okay, that’s strange.
My first response was to call my husband, who was working at the time and tell him. He asked what were we supposed to do about it. Well, if we’ve got nuclear missiles coming at us, I don’t think there’s a whole lot we can do to protect ourselves, and I said as much. He felt the same way. Said he loved me and then we got off the phone and he went back to work because if the missile didn’t actually hit us, that work still needed to be done.
I realized I was still in my pajamas and didn’t think it would be very dignified to die that way, so I switched on the tv to hear what they had to say while I went to get dressed and comb my hair. We don’t actually have much for tv reception here in our condo, I’m not sure why, but we don’t watch it anyway, so it was never really an issue. So the only station I could get was a Spanish speaking station that had a voice-over in English saying that there was a missile threat and we should take cover. I don’t know how much good that English message was for the Spanish speaking people watching their station, but at least I knew what they were saying. I talked to the neighbors about it, said it was nice knowing them, then went back inside to see what I could find out.
I checked the Hawaii Civil Defense website, which are the people who sent out the warning in the first place, and they didn’t have a single word about the warning. Finally, after Googling Hawaii Ballistic Missile, I found a private persons Twitter feed saying it was a mistake. So I went to tell the neighbors that things were good. Five minutes later CNN got around to telling us we were fine. All the news reports said that 37 minutes after the warning the state sent a retraction, but I didn’t get a retraction until over an hour after the original message. Then I read that the Governor sent out a Tweet 10 minutes after the warning saying it was a mistake. First of all, I don’t have Twitter and second of all, if I did, checking my Twitterfeed would be pretty far down my list of things to do if a bomb was coming my way. The incompetence of this whole thing was overwhelming.
But, I now know what I will do when facing death in the eye. I will change out of my pajamas and comb my hair. I’m reading reports about people freaking out, some friends of ours were hiding out in a room in their house with their 7 kids. Funny thing was, it never occured to me to be scared. I didn’t freak out and considered for a moment calling my kids to tell them I loved them, but didn’t because it sounded so melodramatic and dorky. They know I love them. Does this mean I’m good in a crisis because I keep my cool, or bad because I did absolutely nothing?