Hawaii’s Missile Scare is a Wake-Up Call for All of Us


Just think about the anxiety level you’d feel if you suddenly heard those words from your radio or TV. Or saw that alert on your cellphone.

That’s exactly what people in Hawaii experienced recently. And after hearing several verbal threats against Hawaii from North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, it was easy to believe it was actually happening.

Everyone’s worst nightmare… a nuclear attack. About to come to life right in front of them.

Test Alert Goes Terribly Wrong

At 8:05 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 13, an employee of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency tried to start an internal test of the emergency missile warning system.

This is not an unusual exercise. It allows the agency to practice sending an emergency alert to the public without actually sending it.

More of these types of tests than usual have occurred since November. That’s when Hawaii reinstated its Cold War-era nuclear warning sirens. This came after North Korea started mentioning Hawaii in its threats.

In other words, it has become standard operating procedure there.

Hawaiians Told Missile Is Inbound

But this time it was different. Very different.

Instead of hitting the “Test missile alert” button, the employee hit the “Missile alert” button.

As a result, at 8:07 a.m., the following alert went to a number of Hawaii residents and tourists on their cellphones:


The Longest 38 Minutes Ever

Television viewers in Hawaii received an even more detailed version of the alert. It said:

“If you are indoors, stay indoors. If you are outdoors, seek immediate shelter in a building. Remain indoors well away from windows. If you are driving, pull safely to the side of the road and seek shelter in a building or lay on the floor.”

Many people panicked. It took 38 minutes before a second wireless alert let folks know the warning was a mistake. That may have been the longest 38 minutes of many Hawaiians’ lives.

The Google search for “how to survive a nuclear attack” was one of the top searches by Hawaii residents following the scare.

And no wonder. It’s estimated that a missile from North Korea could reach Hawaii in approximately 20 minutes. And it would have the potential to kill hundreds of thousands of people and sicken the ones who survive.

So, how does one survive a nuclear attack? Here are some before, during and after tips from Ready.gov:


Create a family emergency plan and an emergency supply kit.

The plan should include evacuation route details, where to shelter, how to communicate with other family members, and a plan to receive emergency alerts and warnings.

The kit should include water, non-perishable foods, a battery-powered radio, flashlights and batteries, a first-aid kit, dust mask, can opener, maps, medications, etc.


Take cover as quickly as possible. Underground is ideal, with a basement being better than the first floor. Remain sheltered in place until emergency instructions tell you it’s safe to leave.

If you’re outside, don’t look at the fireball, as it could cause blindness. Get inside a concrete building quickly. Stay away from windows. Lie flat and cover your head.


Once you’re in a safe place such as your home, remove your clothes and place them in a sealed plastic bag. Shower with soap, but not vigorously enough to scratch your skin.

Wash your hair thoroughly with shampoo or soap, but don’t use conditioner. It can bind radioactive material to your hair.

4Patriots Customer Glad She Was Ready

This terrifying event really hit home for several of our customers. Here’s part of what one of them wrote to us the next day:

“I live on the Big Island. Yesterday morning around 8 a.m., everyone that has an i-Phone or smart phone got a message stating to take immediate shelter. An inbound ballistic missile was heading our way. It ended up with, ‘This is not a drill.’

“My family went into shelter-in-place mode. It would take only 15 to 20 minutes before impact. We got a corrected message, some 30 minutes later, that it was a false alarm.

“Needless to say, we were glad and thankful that it was a false alarm. I am also thankful that I bought a three-month supply of your Food4Patriots survival food. And we use our Alexapure Pro (water filtration system) daily.

“In the type of situation that we went through, we would all need at least a two-week supply of food and water due to the fallout. I am also looking forward now to getting the solar-powered generator soon, so my family and I could be even more ready. Thanks again.”

Two More Prepared Patriots

And here’s another first-hand account…

“My husband and I are customers of 4 Patriots and we absolutely love the food! After the false alarm we had on Saturday, January 13th, we are even more committed to our own survival in any adverse event.

“The false alarm also brought home a serious realization to me that most people don’t have the knowledge or proper supplies in the event it is needed.

“We saw similar problems ourselves when Hurricane Iselle hit our island in 2014. Although, the Red Cross and the National Guard came to help us, it was still very apparent how we are literally alone out here in the middle of the Pacific.”

Alert Cancelled… But Threats Live On

One thing is for sure, although this alert turned out to be a false alarm, the threat from North Korea continues.

And other threats – including extreme weather events – are very real. They have caused massive power outages, interrupted food supply chains, contaminated water and much more, just this past year.

As our friends in Hawaii just told us, the key is to be prepared. That’s what brings real peace of mind when the storm clouds gather.


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