USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL,” the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency warned cellphone users Saturday. Television viewers saw a more detailed alert:
“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.”
Panic was widespread. People presuming they were doomed bid terrified and sorrowful goodbyes to loved ones. A video emerged of parents putting their child in a storm drain.
And as terrorized residents learned almost 40 minutes later, it was a false alarm. An employee performing a routine internal shift change test on the alert system had chosen the wrong drop-down menu option.
Why a system was set up that did not require verification and approval before alerting the entire network is a valid question. Equally valid is both the outrage and the scorn Hawaii’s government is receiving for inexcusable incompetence – not just on the part of the employee, but on the lack of adequate management systems, procedures and controls that would allow such a monumental foul-up to occur in the first place. It’s only through dumb luck that people did not have heart attacks.
And as further corroboration to the observable truism that for “progressives” every day is Opposite Day, Hawaii’s government, which only supposedly exists to protect lives, property and freedom, once more endangered all.
I asked friend and colleague George Pace, who lives in Hawaii, for a recount of his experience, partially included here:
“As for the actual preparedness, I wouldn't want you to sit through the hour-long civil defense video, which includes many minutes of purely speculative political blather about North Korea, but basically there is no public plan for an immediate ‘take shelter’ order, as was issued yesterday. Most of the buildings here on the Big Island (Hawaii) are either wood frame or made entirely of corrugated metal (roof and walls… yeah, even Home Depot, etc.). The only heavy-duty masonry constructions in downtown Hilo are the county and state buildings (of course, spare no expense for government buildings!) and, as you can well imagine, they were all closed on Saturday. One report said that people attempted to take shelter at a Walmart on Oahu but that the store locked its doors so no one could take shelter there (the suggestion is that if you are in a car you pull over and attempt to take shelter in a building).
“Also some of the alarm sirens went off on Oahu, which the government officials claimed didn't happen. When it was pointed out to them, at the live news conference, that some of them did their response was ‘Oh. Really? We'll have to look into that.’
“I happened to be downtown doing my Saturday shopping errands and did see some people who were visibly distraught, but most people seemed to be just waiting for more information, and of course the 911 lines were busy, and the cops lines were busy, and the civil defense lines were busy, etc., so no one could find anything out. I listened to all the radio stations and there was not a word about it, I guess they figured ‘Hey, we're all gonna die in the next 10 minutes (the time allotted between the warning and strike), so what better way to go that listening to hits of the 70s, 80s, and 90s’?”
The Hawaiian state government’s emergency preparedness guidelines are equally deficient. Note the total lack of any discussion on having the means of defense, that is, on having adequate firearms, ammunition and training to deal with catastrophic disasters that will leave people on their own for untold lengths of time.
No, of course a gun won’t defend against North Korea launching a nuke, but there would be plenty of survivors of such an attack. They would have an almost unimaginably horrible aftermath to deal with, one in which emergency responders would be triaged to where focused efforts could be best employed. And anticipating substantial desertions like we saw in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina hardly seems unreasonable.
Whole areas would be left on their own, and increasingly desperate people who have not stored food, water and supplies as recommended – not to mention opportunistic looters and other predators – could soon be looking for those who have. With civil authority tied up with the most demanding emergencies, there's not that much to dissuade those who would take from others by force. That's because Hawaii as a whole has encouraged an anti-gun culture, and that’s more than corroborated by near total Democrat dominance and by the draconian gun laws and effective absence of “ordinary” citizens bearing of arms.
As a personal tangentially-related aside, I lived in Los Angeles during the riots. The lesson evidently still lost on residents (who continue to vote in the same types of politicians) is how people suddenly realized they didn't have a gun when they needed one — and Mayor Tom Bradley ordered a suspension in ammuntion sales. Also lost on most L.A. voters is the lesson of the Korean community, protecting itself when those tasked with “law enforcement” were nowhere to be found.
Don’t expect to see a sea change in lessons learned, either in Hawaii or in any of America’s Democrat strongholds and urban areas, the most vulnerable to mass disaster. Instead, expect to see more demands for citizen disarmament everywhere, by the same impotent control freaks that not only are utterly incapable of providing protection, but often times, are the ones whose policies and incompetence cause the threat to arise in the first place.
Expect to see more weasel words and promises that he cannot possibly keep from Gov. David Ige and the bloated bureaucracy he presides over.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.