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Doomsday False Alarm Sparks Panic, Outrage

On a balmy January Saturday morning, an alert warning of nuclear doom was erroneously sent to millions of people across the state of Hawaii.

"BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL." Those were the words that flashed on cell phones and televisions screens across the state, the result of a gaffe by an employee of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency who selected the wrong option in a text-based dropdown menu.

Though the agency eventually issued a correction, residents and tourists, as well as Hawaiian natives tracking the impending disaster on the mainland, in real-time on social media, criticized the government for taking 38 minutes to issue the retraction.

"If it was a mistake and someone pushed a button they shouldn't have pushed, then why the 38 minute delay?" asked Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, in an interview with Fox News. "The next question is, why don't we have a better fail-safe?"

The employee who made the mistake has expressed profound regret for the mistake, but the blunder has since been overshadowed by the obvious, ominous hypothetical: what if the threat had been real?

In July of 2017, news reports confirmed Hawaii as the first U.S. state with an attack-warning system designed to detect nuclear threats. This latest development seems to have shaken the public's trust in its effectiveness.

Potential Preaching Angles: The end can come at any time; will you be ready? What would you do if you had just a few moments left? In times of calamity, to whom can we run?

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