I spent the weekend off the grid and of course, we ran the knife edge of nuclear war. Having lived for a time on Oahu, I have a hard time believing it was an ‘accident’, especially considering the process by which EAS is actually activated. The other side of that coin is also that I’ve lived on Oahu, and the local government is every bit as competent as they appear in this SNAFU. It is what it is- but it ran dangerously close to sparking a possible nuclear war. My assessment is not far from the one contained here, with the most interesting information contained in the comments:
This whole thing stinks.
I don’t know how the infrastructure in Maui and Oahu held up, but when the 8:07 alert went out, the Big Island effectively lost internet and phones (cell and landline both). My family there couldn’t contact anyone, not even locally, after getting the alert. So those (eventual) cancellation notices via twitter and FB were useless. Not until the text went out again did they know it was a false alarm.
I just thought to ask (via social media) if the warning sirens went off, haven’t heard back yet.
No way to check if the local shelter was even open (shy of driving there) or anything else.
So they just buttoned up the house, and hunkered down. Mom’s closest neighbors, a nice Marshallese extended family (about 20 people in 800 square feet of house – with limited English) sent a boy about 12 as a runner to ask what they should do. Mom told them “gather everyone in the house like for a hurricane, and pray. If it’s real, we’ll know soon. Then you come back and we make plans”.
And that story right there folks, one that I’ve read a hundred times in a hundred scenarios, is why having a communications alternative matters. It’s why knowing how to build improvised antennas and network with those close by means you control matters. And its why constant training matters. Getting a radio means you just have stuff. Testing for a amateur radio license just means you memorized some data. Both equate marginal success. Getting in the field and getting quality training, however, is a big step in the right direction.
Being a self-starter and networking with others who are the same is the answer to bureaucratic incompetence.