Winter Warm-Up is typically a time for fans to meet their favorite Cardinals personalities in a joyous preparation for yet another new baseball season just around the corner. That bubbly atmosphere can be impacted when the turmoil of the real world infringes on the anticipation of baseball world as it did for Kolten Wong Saturday morning.
While eating breakfast Saturday, Wong saw social media reports of an emergency alert stating a ballistic missile was inbound for his native Hawaii. The alert was ultimately determined to have been a mistake, but not before inciting legitimate panic from those on the island—including many of Wong’s family members. Wong began instinctively calling his family, including his dad, who had just woken up to the alert.
“I called my brother, this guy is on the beach fishing right now,” Wong said of his brother Kean, a second base prospect for the Tampa Bay Rays. “It’s insane how that’s an accident.”
The alert was sent to cell phones across the island, and according to media reports, was recalled after approximately 40 minutes. Wong speculated around 30 minutes went by before family in Hawaii got the message that the alert was a false alarm. That is longer than the amount of time it would take for an actual missile to reach the island from North Korea.
Yo sick false alarm! How do you do that!!?!?— Kolten Wong (@KoltenWong) January 13, 2018
“They said the whole beach started panicking. Guys were freaking out, throwing their poles, throwing everything. Guys were storming out of the beach, just freaking out. What else are you going to do? A missile is supposed to come and take out the whole island. It was insane.”
The false alarm certainly has people wondering what productive actions they should take in case of an actual incoming missile threat to Hawaii. The grave truth: there’s not much anyone would be able to do in such a situation.
“Pray?” Wong said. “There’s nothing really… We don’t have underground shelters there. We don’t have basements. If that thing hits, it wipes out everything.”