Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

This Is Not A Drill

January 13th, 2018

This morning I was sitting in my office, working on the novel, when my phone bleated an emergency alert. We get alerts now and then. They’ve always been flash-flood warnings…but it was a sunny morning and hadn’t rained in days so a flash flood didn’t seem likely.

I picked up the phone and read this message: BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. That’s the sort of thing that will get your attention.

The family gathered, phones in hand:
“Did you get it?”
“Is it real?”
“Do you think the system was hacked?”
“Turn on the TV.”

I checked Twitter, because that’s where you get breaking news these days. I tweeted the event, simultaneously with several others. There was no emergency bulletin on TV. I found that reassuring, an indication that the mobile alert was a glitch. Then the TV started issuing the same emergency notification.

Not much to do at this point but wait and watch Twitter. By the way, it was a beautiful sunny Saturday morning here on Maui.

There was nothing from civil defense, Maui County, Pacific Command… but around twelve minutes after the initial alert, our Congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard, was on Twitter announcing that she’d talked to officials and the missile alert was a false alarm.

A sigh of relief, hugs all around. Of course we always knew it was a mistake! Sort of.

Really, it was one of those Schrödinger’s Cat moments. You just don’t know until the box is open, and what can you do anyway?

That said, I’ll leave you with this tweet:

Posted on: Saturday, January 13th, 2018 at 11:11 am
Categories: Hawaii.

2 Responses to “This Is Not A Drill”

  1. Robert Says:

    The whole situation at the moment is really disturbing.

  2. allynh Says:

    Your “writing goals” page is closed. Watch this short film to give you an idea for future stories. It reminds me of your latest, The Last Good Man, and what may come after.

    Sci-Fi Short Film “Seam” presented by DUST