Saturday, January 13, 2018

Buttons Are Back

(screenshot of mobile phone alert from USA Today)
Today's false alarm may inspire a few chuckles from those who are thousands of miles removed--in other words, the rest of the world--but to Hawaiians it was no laughing matter. Trapped on an island and with many homes being of lightweight construction, they instantly became aware of their vulnerability.
Celeste Russell was driving near the 7-Eleven in Waimanalo.

“There was a red light and people were beeping their horns for people to go through it, instead of stopping, because obviously, they wanted to get home themselves. So it was bad,” she said.

After the alarm went out, 32 youth flag football games scheduled throughout the day at Mililani Mauka Community Park were canceled, with some families leaving their tents and running to their cars....

United Airlines cleared its lobby at Honolulu airport and sent passengers downstairs to the baggage claim area. Workers at Pearl Harbor were scrambling to get off the base.
(Image from
The reason for the false alarm? "a state employee accidentally hit the wrong button on a computer." For all their recent bluster, we have been assured that neither Mr. Kim nor Mr. Trump have "buttons" that could trigger a nuclear war. Maybe not, but here's one important button that needs to have better controls.

In first grade we practiced diving under our desks when the monthly air-raid sirens went off, an action that would be helpful under very limited circumstances but better than nothing, I suppose. Today Hawaiians discovered that nothing's improved in 60 years.

No comments: