❝ The 13th – just over a week ago – was the one-year anniversary of the Hawaii false alarm, in which the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency sent out a text alert to thousands of Americans in the Hawaiian islands that told them that a ballistic missile was incoming, that they should take shelter, and that “THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
❝ I’ve spent the last few days in Hawaii, as part of a workshop hosted by Atomic Reporters and the Stanley Foundation, and sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, that brought together a few experts (I was one of those) with a large number of journalists (“old” and “new” media alike) to talk about the false alarm and its lessons.
❝ When you are in Hawaii, everyone has a story about their experience of the false alarm. And they’re all different, and they’re all fascinating. On “the mainland,” as they call us, we got only a very small sampling of experiences from those here in Hawaii, often either put together by people who were interested in being very publicly thoughtful about their feelings (like Cynthia Lazaroff, who we heard a talk from, who wrote up her experience for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists), or the kind-of-absurd responses that were used as examples for how ridiculous the whole thing was (e.g., the guy who was trying to put his kids down a manhole). Out here, though, every taxi or Lyft driver has their own experience, along with everyone else.
And what follows is interesting and relevant. Whether you are for or against this dedication to mutually-assured destruction.