Local couple in Maui: 'I guess we're going to war'

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- A local couple was just starting the first morning of a week-long vacation in Maui when the an emergency alert popped up on their phone saying: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

The alert ended up being an error but panic broke out before people knew it was a false alarm.

Dave and Julie Strong said they were impressed by how calm people remained around them as they tried to figure out what was happening.

"We were just having our first cup of coffee and all the phones went off at the same time," Dave said. "My first thought was 'Well, I guess we're going to war' and we started to figure out what was going on."

Information was hard to come by at first so they spent time talking with a neighbor at their complex.

For the Strongs, Hawaii is a special place where they've gathered with family members through the years. They said this event won't deter them from returning and bringing grandchildren who haven't had a chance to go yet.

Dave said given the tensions with North Korea, this was a distinct reminder that we need to have a plan and know how to prepare for that kind of emergency.

"There was a lot of consternation on the island," Dave said. "There were a lot of people that were pretty freaked out over this."


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