'This Is Not a Drill.' Thank God The False Alarm Missile Warning in Hawaii Happened on a Weekend, But It's a Warning for the Entire Country

Virtually the entire state of Hawaii was in a panic Saturday, after the state emergency management agency warned that a ballistic missile was “INBOUND,” and that people should “SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER.”

“THIS IS NOT A DRILL,” said the message, complete with ALL CAPS. It was delivered all over. Words can’t do justice. Scroll down and you’ll see video.

Oh, but it was all a very big mistake. 

If there is any bright side, maybe it’s that it all happened on a Saturday. No commuters, no school kids separated from their families–no financial markets, so the stock market didn’t crash. (Weekend or not, thank God the United States didn’t launch any kind of retaliatory attack.)

Take a look at the Twitter embeds below, showing a little bit about what it was like to live through this. (If the embeds don’t show, click through to the links.)

1. Robotic radio warning of “incoming ballistic missile.” 

2. Broadcasting live on Periscope at the exact moment.

Captured live.

3. What it looked like on a phone.

Imagine getting this alert–with no way of knowing it was a false alarm.

4. What it looked like if you were watching television in Hawaii.

This is terrifying.”

5. Human reaction.

“My mom and sister were crying. It was a false alarm, but betting a lot of people are shaken.”

6. More human reaction.

In one moment our lives changed completely, yes it was false, yes we’re alive. But this ruined me. My babies are 5 and 2months old they have their whole life ahead of them and here I sat with them in my arms saying sorry I tried to protect you the best I could.”

7. Live from the airport.

“My friend and ABC newsreader @JulianBAbbott was at Honolulu airport when the missile alert text message was sent out across #Hawaii. He’s about to board now but this is what he told me about what unfolded. *thread*”

8. This golfer who decided he’d die on the fairway.

Worth watching. “My father will live and die golfing.” #missile #hawaii

9. Sorry about that. 

From U.S. Pacific Command: “…no ballistic missile threat to #Hawaii. Earlier message was sent in error and was a false alarm.

Carol Humphreys