I’m writing this at about 8:30pm. Just a little over 12 hours ago I was getting my 13 year old son up to get ready for his Kamehameha Schools interview when I received this alert on my phone…
Suddenly all of the other phones in my house started blaring and we all went into panic mode because we had absolutely no idea what to do. I grabbed my 2 year old, buckled her into her car seat and Kahele and Kūha’o got in the car and we drove to the nearest high school to seek shelter. My 10 year old daughter had stayed with my mom last night and my 19 year old slept out. I called my mom and told her to go to the nearest grocery store and called Maui and told him to go to the mall which was 5 minutes away from where he was. All the while in my head all I could think was “this is it I’m never gonna see my 2 kids again”.
We parked the car in the lot of Aiea high school, still wondering why we weren’t hearing the sirens. I grabbed my daughter and we started walking to the gym. At this point it’s 8:28. We’re waking to the gym (still in a panic and alternating calls to Maui and Téa) to find that the gym is locked up. We start running back to our car. The emotions that were going through me was something I never want to experience again. At one point I just stopped walking because when I looked to my left I saw Pearl Harbor and thought ‘we’re dead’ and just squeezed my 2 year old and buried my face in her neck and just prayed. I don’t remember what I was saying while praying but I do know that I’ve never prayed so hard and with so much feeling in my life. My dad called me at that moment and said that there was an alert saying it was a false alarm. I told him I didn’t believe it while sobbing. He said the alert came Tulsi Gabbard. Then people around us started yelling out “It’s a false alarm!”. I still didn’t believe it, how could that be a false alarm and why did they wait so long to get that alert out? 13 year old just hugged me and said it’s ok Mom you can calm down. I received the official alert on my phone soon after.
I was in a complete daze as we walked back to our car. We all got in the car and I just had a complete mental break. I couldn’t get myself under control. I called my mom and she had ended going to a store in Kailua and Maui had just ended up going into the concrete addition of my dads house, which was safer than where we were.
When we got home we sat for a little bit still crying and decided to still take Kūha’o for his interview. I’m glad we did because it was a much needed distraction even though I kept having these moments of anxiety and crying. We picked up my daughter from my mom and my son from my dad and just spent the day at home together watching the news alerts and interviews and just being thankful to be alive. We are planning to make emergency kits for everyone tomorrow that we will have ready in case this happens again. We also are going over where the best place to go will be. This was a huge wake up call to us all.
I’m so upset that they’re saying a “wrong button” was pushed! Are they serious?! A wrong button?! Can we please see a picture of this button? Is it some big red button? Is it next to the false alarm button? But that’s a rant for another post.
We’ve been hearing stories of the experiences of people all around the island and thought that this was a good place to document mine. I hope that I will never have to experience the fear that I had today ever again! God bless you all!