Current & former Louisville residents in Hawaii reflect on missile scare

Updated: Jan. 15, 2018 at 6:25 PM EST
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Jennifer Adrio (Source: WAVE 3 News/ Rachael Krause)
Jennifer Adrio (Source: WAVE 3 News/ Rachael Krause)
Melissa Dye posted this to her Facebook page after the alert went out. (Source: Melissa Dye/...
Melissa Dye posted this to her Facebook page after the alert went out. (Source: Melissa Dye/ Facebook)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – For the past 48 hours, people all over the world have been asking themselves what would they do if they got a missile alert like the false alarm that went out in Hawaii Saturday. Some people from Louisville know the answer to that question all too well because they lived it.

Heart stopping, that's how one woman described the feeling, thinking a missile was coming. Red Cross Louisville CEO Jennifer Adrio was going for a run Saturday morning while on vacation in Hawaii. She got an alert, but ignored it. Soon after came a call from a friend staying on the island with her.

"She said you've got to get back here and I said, what's going on? She said there's a missile attack and it's real. So I stopped to look at my phone and it was like a heart-stopping moment," Adrio said.

She ran back to where they were staying. There was nothing on local news or social media, she said no one knew what to do.

"There was really no information other than take cover, stay away from windows, those kinds of things. And in my head, I'm thinking, none of that would really matter," she said.

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Melissa Dye and her husband Zane moved from Louisville to Hawaii a few months earlier. They thought they moved to paradise but when that alert came in, she says she felt helpless. She called her parents to say goodbye.

Just 20 minutes after the alert, reports came out that it was sent out by mistake. It took the government 38 minutes to correct it. In that time, people panicked.

"How they were running, leaving their cars, abandoning their cars, leaving their children in manholes. It really had an effect on folks here," Adrio said.

St. Xavier grad and pro golfer Justin Thomas was in Hawaii, tweeting out "glad to know we'll all be safe" after the alert was confirmed a mistake.

Dye said it was the most terrifying 20 minutes of her life. She hopes it's something people here don't ever have to go through again.

Adrio says working with the Red Cross teaches you to prepare for everything. While this time turned out to be nothing - she says people here should put together a plan in case they an alert like that comes in again.

"Being prepared really does save lives. And you could tell, that people here were not ready to have something like that happen," Adrio said.

While Adrio will soon be flying back home to Kentucky, she said this weekend's scare won't keep her from coming back to Hawaii in the future. And if something does happen, she knows the Red Cross will be there to help.

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