A couple from Stratford, P.E.I., is happy and relieved to be returning home to the Island after what they describe as a terrifying experience when they received what turned out to be a false alert that a ballistic missile was inbound to Hawaii.
Dave Flanagan and his wife Kate were in Maui with their friends from Nova Scotia when they all received the wireless emergency alert that warned of an incoming ballistic missile to Hawaii.
“I was sitting on the patio looking out at the beautiful Pacific ocean,” Flanagan explained. “All of a sudden an alert came over my phone from their local emergency response system saying there was an imminent threat of a ballistic missile.”
The emergency alert, sent to cellphones, said in all caps, “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.” The alert also aired on television and radio.
‘It was the real deal’
Flanagan said it only took five minutes before his family and friends were out of the room and following instructions from hotel staff to seek shelter.
“We gathered up what we could and went to the hotel lobby area and they put us in the grand ballroom, which has no windows in it.”
Flanagan said there were no televisions in the ballroom, so guests at the hotel were using their phones to try to get information about the alert.
“We all kind of sat around a table and started using social media to try to find out what was going on,” Flanagan said.
“We were contacting loved ones, of course, and telling them the situation, which is some pretty bleak news when you’re telling your folks back home that you’re sitting there waiting for something like that to happen.”
Flanagan said he spoke with his mother and sister back…