8:15 a.m. It’s that “oh s‑‑t” moment: Four to five white Suburbans with blue lights blazing a streak behind me toward Waikiki on Nimitz Highway. I think I see federal seals on their doors as I whip my head around. Too fast, can’t tell. The lack of real information is deafening.
8:16 a.m. Phone lines are busy, so I text my daughter at the airport. She tells me they’ve heard about it but don’t know much more than I do. Now believing this is a real threat, I start weighing the devil’s options. I’ve now wasted six of the approximately 15 minutes before impact from North Korea. My family is spread all over Honolulu and probably 10 to 15 minutes away in any direction. What to do? Should I attempt to find myself shelter in the area? Do I run back to the airport? It’s probably the closest, but it’s next to Pearl Harbor and Hickam Air Force Base — probably the missile’s target.
8:17 a.m. I text my wife and oldest daughter that I love them, tear out of the parking lot and head home to my youngest daughters. It’s where I have the most family in one place and in a location in the direction away from the suspected target. I did get to hug my oldest daughter this morning, I reason, and I hope my wife will get the message and head home. I’m driving but not believing I will make it anywhere before the impact, still stopping for red lights while hitting 80 mph between them. The next three minutes are a blur of text messages and speeding.