This Morning’s Inbound Ballistic Missile Warning to Hawaii Residents Was a False Alarm

Did you hear about the Hawaii Ballistic Missile Warning False Alarm yet? Imagine this, it’s a beautiful Saturday morning on Oahu. The sky is clear, the sun is bright, and the temperature is perfect, as it always is in Hawaii. You’re enjoying a cup of coffee as two out of your three children sleep in, eff yeah (winning!).  Then you hear a buzzing sound from your phone and pick it up to see this:


My husband, who read the same mobile phone warning looks at me and we jump to action waking up our kids, getting on shoes and jackets, grabbing our emergency backpacks to get the hell up out of our 10th floor condo. We pile into the elevator and as we wait for the elevator to reach the lobby, we instruct our three sweet little girls to be good listeners and to walk with haste as get leave our home to seek shelter across the street at the nearest hotel with a basement.

Out on the street, on our way to the hotel, we see a group of twenty or more teenagers who look to be a part of a rowing team, hurrying toward the same hotel. All of them are barefoot and wear the same shocked looks on their faces as we do.

“Where are we going? What’s happening?” were the recurring questions from our seven year old, as we hustle across the intersection to join the group of barefoot, teenage rowers.

The group of teenage rowers turn around, as the adult in the group tells them to go back.

It Was a False Alarm

When we reach the hotel, G overhears a hotel valet say “Yeah, there was a news flash just now, it was a mistake.” We had just entered the lobby where there was a group of at least 100 people standing around. G goes over to the valet to confirm what he’d overheard. The valet tells him, “Yeah, it was a false alarm.”

By this time, me and G share a look of relief and let our girls know, it was a false alarm. We head back home.

On the way, I do a quick Google search on my phone, searching for answers and confirmation of the false alarm and find this:


We’re back home now.

I’m sitting down at my computer writing this and I receive another buzzing mobile warning:

WTF! Man!

Here’s what I want to know

Who’s the person responsible for this false alarm?

How is it even possible to mess up like that? Was it a button pressed incorrectly? I mean… It’s a pretty big mistake.

Why did it take so long to send a follow-up false alarm warning?

Is a ballistic missile a nuclear warhead?

What’s the estimated blast zone of a ballistic missile?

I mean, are we talking one missile will wipe out the entire island? Or, one missile will wipe out all of Waikiki?

May sound silly to ask, but, if a missile is headed to the island and it’s going to blow up the entire island, do I really need to seek shelter? I need to know what we’re working with here.

On doing another search I find another sobering piece of information:

“Oahu Has 3 Fallout Shelters in Case of North Korea Nuke Attack”


So….. It’s been one heck of a Saturday morning on Oahu! Our survival backpacks are at the ready, if anything to give a false sense of preparedness and comfort. Of which, I’ll happily take it.

I’m back, on the couch sipping coffee, about to hit publish. But, I can’t help but look up and glance out the window and wonder, “What if it wasn’t a false alarm? What if, one day missile really does find it’s way to this beautiful island?”



Our Survival backpacks are from Amazon and we purchased them after the Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011 when were were living in Japan. (Below are affiliate links.)



11:05AM it has been confirmed that an employee “pushed the wrong button”

Read the full story here:


And…. Just in case you want to nervous laugh about all of this. Here’s a song for you “Galvanize: My Finger is on the Button”

  1. Everything you said here is exactly what happened at our house. The panic and fear was real. I felt so unprepared for this. Thank you for sharing this information on the shelters and now I’m going to make our emergency backpacks

  2. I do not have a cell phone and did not hear about the false alarm until 3 hours after it had happened. My husband was at work and got the message, but he suspected it was not correct information and did not panic or call us. He got the all clear and went about his day. I don’t even remember how I heard about it later. It was crazy, regardless. I find myself a little on edge these days about that kind of thing. Between the volcano (we’re on the Big Island) and missile threats, island life is exciting sometimes. The earthquakes here are quite unsettling lately too. Oi! Fun times in paradise! Your missile experience sounds crazy. I am so glad I didn’t have to freak out the kids.

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