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False Alarm This Is Not a Drill Text

sets students in a panic mode

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It was quite early in the morning and we all had about three hours of sleep. Church lock ins have always been my favorite because it felt like a big sleepover with all my friends and we made smores and played games all night. There were blankets scattered everywhere and we were all getting ready for breakfast. I remember folding up my blanket in the corner when I heard an alarm coming from all of our phones simultaneously. One of the adults began reading the message out loud. My first thought was that we were having a drill and I shrugged it off until she announced, “this is not a drill.” those words immediately sent chills down my spine and I went into a state of panic. There was too much to process at once and my breathing started getting heavy. The adults suggested we would all gather and pray, but in my mind all I could think about was “I need to see my mom and dad” and “we need to find adequate shelter”. I began to hyperventilate and soon realized that I was having a legitimate panic attack. I felt my stomach turn and ran closer to the trash can because I thought I was going to throw up. Seeing all my close friends and both of my sisters in tears added to my despair. I called my mom with shaking hands and she quickly drove to the church to say our goodbyes. I remember going to each person in the room to embrace them and say “I love you” one last time. I kept waiting for an impact or to see chaos break out, but everything was still and all I could hear were sniffles and the cars driving by. About 20 minutes passed by until someone found a site that explained that it was a false alarm. My heart felt ten times lighter and relief flushed over me. After the false alarm I finally checked my phone that housed various texts from friends and family saying I love you and goodbye. My best friend Juliana later told me her story. She said it was only her and her mother at home while her sister was in Oahu and her father in Miami, as soon as the alarm on the phone went off her mom screamed and they ran into the bathroom with their dog and closed the door hoping for the best. “It was such a scary moment, I thought I was gonna die” Juliana said. It was a very scary moment for her family as her sister was on Oahu and that seemed like a more likely target than the Big Island. Although traumatic, this experience really showed me the value of appreciation. Post the alarm I seemed to take things into consideration more and found a deeper sense of thankfulness for the life I live.

By: Eloisa de Farias

What a morning. This false alarm has not only shaken up the citizens in Hawai’i, but also the people on the Mainland. I was having a nice, peaceful sleep until all of a sudden, I was woken up by my Dad’s loud exclamations. “What?! A missile?” “Rachel get up we gotta go to the school!” Now during this time, my mom and my brother were up at our school for a wrestling tournament while my Dad and I was at home. I was still groggy because I had just got up and my mind wasn’t completely functioning yet so of course, I was really confused. When I had finally processed what was happening, I thought this was a joke and my Dad was just messing with me. I then proceeded to get ready and then headed downstairs to see what was going on. Deep down, I knew this wasn’t a joke but I still told myself that this wasn’t real. I even confronted my Dad and asked him if he was joking and to stop messing around. He told me it wasn’t a joke and gave me a hug telling me if anything happens, at least we’re here together. The realization hit me and I knew that this was not a drill. I was in such shock that I didn’t know what to do. I went upstairs and grabbed my phone to get in touch with everyone that I knew to say my last goodbye’s. I then went online to see if I could get any information on what they’re saying about the missile. While I was looking, I found out that it was a false alarm and there was no missile coming. The sick feeling had gone away and I’ve never felt so relieved. I’m not going to lie, I shed a few tears because I genuinely thought that this was it and we were going to die. While my Dad and I had a little more calming experience, my mom had a whole different insight on this. She recalls seeing the students gathering in the middle of the gym huddled together and the doors being closed. My mom even said that she went to my Aunty’s house to get her to take her up to the school. Overall, she was a little bit panicked and was trying to warn people on the side of the road to take shelter. This was definitely a wakeup call for me and I hope that we never have to experience something like that ever again.  

By: Rachel Sato

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False Alarm This Is Not a Drill Text