For sheer memorableness, the highlight of our recent trip to Hawaii was the missile alert.
It was just after 8 a.m. Adam was getting dressed and I was enjoying a cup of coffee when his phone made that annoying emergency-alert noise. (I turned those off long ago. Too many thunderstorms in New York City were leading to flash-flood warnings.) I glanced at it, even though I try not to look at Adam's phone, because I figured a tsunami could be coming our way.
Can you imagine the shock? "What did you do?" many people have asked since, and the honest answer is that I screamed Adam's name in a freaked-out tone. "What?!" he replied, running over, and I held the phone out at him like it was burning my hand.
We stood there for a minute. I have an idea of what to do it many emergency situations, but not this one. Rationally, we knew we probably weren't in a lot of danger. Anyone firing a missile at Hawaii would probably aim for Honolulu, not the Big Island's relatively unpopulated Kona Coast. But North Korea is certifiably crazy, and the warning said it wasn't a drill. Adam turned on the TV, figuring we might learn something that way, but I knew from experience that breaking news comes out much faster on Twitter. Mostly, I found people wishing their loved ones well as they prepared to meet their maker. I did, however, communicate with someone who confirmed that the island of Oahu got the alert, too, which was comforting. (See the part about Honolulu, above.)
The resort never made any announcements, at least to us (if it even had that capability), but Adam noticed a stream of workers and guests heading one direction. We gathered up some stuff—if I'm going to have to hunker down for a while, I'm bringing my laptop—and joined them. Our destination turned out to be the resort's food warehouse. My guess is that it's the best destination in the event of a hurricane, being a more substantial building, located farther inland, with generators. We were still making our way deeper into the warehouse when a managerial type said, after reading something on his phone, that it was a false alarm. Good enough for us! We decided later that we were more afraid of being trapped in a windowless building with hundreds of panicky people than we were of pretty much all non-nuclear situations involving a missile. If it happened in New York City, we might sing a different tune....