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Thirty-EightMinutesofMyLifeI'llNeverGetBack

Alana Higa
Alana Higa Head of Mogul @ Work // President of Fordham University
5mo New York, NY, United States Story
Thirty-Eight Minutes of My Life I'll Never Get Back

I woke up this morning to the sound of blaring phones throughout the house. I thought it was just another flash flood warning here in Hawaii, but I was instead greeted with the fearful news of an incoming missile and the words "this is not a drill." I jumped off of the couch I'd slept on, ran and grabbed my purse off the table, and yelled around the house for everyone to get up and find cover. 

I've spent the last eighteen months away living in New York City, and was given the wake up call of a lifetime when I was faced with the harsh reality that my humble little home of Hawaii was no longer the safe paradise I'd grown up in. I've always taken pride in being the tough girl that doesn't let anything or anyone break her, but I broke down in tears on the edge of my stairwell as I realized just how powerless I was. 

I frantically refreshed my Google search and Twitter feed looking for any news from government or state officials, only to come up with nothing after the first ten minutes of the warning. My parents turned on the TV, and every doubt that this was a false alarm vanished as the warning sirens blared across the screen and the text said that the military had confirmed this missile attack. 

I'll never forget the tears rolling down my face as I held my grandmother in the middle of the dining room while I witnessed her cry for the first time. I'll never forget watching my mother kneeling at the edge of the stairs while she prayed for my brother's safety as he and his teammates drove towards the mountains in the middle of baseball practice. I'm still in shock knowing that my mom thought she might be saying goodbye to her son. 

I will forever remember the Saturday morning I spent crammed inside my pantry as my aunt held onto her cane next to me. I now understand just how important having those emergency kits and supplies are, and how precious life and time are. I am glad my family and friends are safe, but am outraged that it took government and state officials nearly forty minutes to confirm this as a false alarm.

We can no longer downplay the possibility of these attacks, and I can only hope and pray that this serves as a wake up call for state and government officials to ensure that we are properly prepared for these situations. I will never get back those heart-wrenching thirty-eight minutes as I feared for my life and the future of my community, and hope that we can someday live in a world where we don't have to even worry about the possibility of being attacked by foreign enemies.

To all of my friends and family, thank you for your prayers. To those of you who also shared this experience today, I'm here for you, and I'm glad you're okay too. If there's anything we can take from this experience today, I ask that we all see above the politics today and hug each other a little tighter, and urge our government to take the actions necessary to ensure that we are as best equipped for a potential attack as possible.

Here's to being blessed with another day, and I can only hope that someday my children won't have to experience something like this.


17 replies

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  • Bethany Heinrich
    Bethany Heinrich Mogul Influencer
    5mo ago New York, NY, United States

    @Alana Higa I'm so glad you all are okay and that you all had to go through this. It's unbelievable

    @Alana Higa I'm so glad you all are okay and that you all had to go through this. It's unbelievable

    • Alana Higa
      Alana Higa Head of Mogul @ Work // President of Fordham University
      5mo ago New York, NY, United States

      Thank you for the kind words. <3 So glad to have such a supportive Mogul fam!

      Thank you for the kind words. <3 So glad to have such a supportive Mogul fam!

  • Tiffany Pham
    Tiffany Pham Founder & CEO, Mogul
    5mo ago New York, NY, USA

    This made me tear up, @Alana Higa. I'm so sorry you had to endure this terrifying incident today, in Hawaii, and completely concur with you that this made me realize we need to be better equipped for this.

    This made me tear up, @Alana Higa. I'm so sorry you had to endure this terrifying incident today, in Hawaii, and completely concur with you that this made me realize we need to be better equipped for this.

  • tiffanycarvalho
    tiffanycarvalho Girl Starter Season 1 Contestant on TLC
    5mo ago New York, NY, United States

    Such an inspiring story. Thank you for sharing this. Often times I feel that our humanity is becoming more and more desensitized to these experiences. You sharing yours really resonates with so many people. I'm elated to know that you are okay. <3 

    Such an inspiring story. Thank you for sharing this. Often times I feel that our humanity is becoming more and more desensitized to these experiences. You sharing yours really resonates with so many people. I'm elated to know that you are okay. <3 

    • Alana Higa
      Alana Higa Head of Mogul @ Work // President of Fordham University
      5mo ago New York, NY, United States

      Thank you so much for the love and support! I definitely agree with the desensitization you mentioned--it breaks my heart to see how common things such as these and violence caused by political unrest are becoming. Hope your new year is off to a great start!


      Thank you so much for the love and support! I definitely agree with the desensitization you mentioned--it breaks my heart to see how common things such as these and violence caused by political unrest are becoming. Hope your new year is off to a great start!


  • Johanna Hartford
    Johanna Hartford MOGUL Influencer
    5mo ago Boston, MA, United States

    What a powerful account of such a harrowing experience. Thank you for sharing. I can’t imagine what those thirty-eight minutes were like. I’m glad you and your family are OK. 

    What a powerful account of such a harrowing experience. Thank you for sharing. I can’t imagine what those thirty-eight minutes were like. I’m glad you and your family are OK. 

    • Alana Higa
      Alana Higa Head of Mogul @ Work // President of Fordham University
      5mo ago New York, NY, United States

      Thank you for your kind words. Definitely cherishing every moment a little extra lately. 

      Thank you for your kind words. Definitely cherishing every moment a little extra lately. 

  • namisha
    namisha Inquisitive, Avid Reader, Food Lover, Amateur Chef, Digital Sensei
    5mo ago New York, NY, United States

    I am so glad you and your family are safe.

    I am so glad you and your family are safe.

    • Alana Higa
      Alana Higa Head of Mogul @ Work // President of Fordham University
      5mo ago New York, NY, United States

      Love my Mogul fam so much <3333 glad to be back and safe

      Love my Mogul fam so much <3333 glad to be back and safe

  • Danica
    5mo ago

    Hopefully this never happens again and stricter guidelines will be put into place.

    Hopefully this never happens again and stricter guidelines will be put into place.

    • Alana Higa
      Alana Higa Head of Mogul @ Work // President of Fordham University
      5mo ago New York, NY, United States

      Couldn't agree more Danica. Definitely raises the question as to whether or not we can even really prepare for these situations. Glad to be back!

      Couldn't agree more Danica. Definitely raises the question as to whether or not we can even really prepare for these situations. Glad to be back!

    • Alana Higa
      [deleted]
      5mo ago New York, NY, United States

      [deleted]

      [deleted]

  • donnadawkins@att.net
    [email protected] Mogul Influencer
    5mo ago Pearland, TX, United States

    Oh my..reminds me of when I drove home from work..and saw..giant size soldiers with giant guns..helicopters..exploding school building..cars moving by slowing being directed by police..I lived five blocks away..got home quickly and locked myself inside..didn't know if I should get a rifle down..heard the explosion and hit floor scared..


    Turned out it was a military practice drill

    Glad y'all are ok and safe

    Oh my..reminds me of when I drove home from work..and saw..giant size soldiers with giant guns..helicopters..exploding school building..cars moving by slowing being directed by police..I lived five blocks away..got home quickly and locked myself inside..didn't know if I should get a rifle down..heard the explosion and hit floor scared..


    Turned out it was a military practice drill

    Glad y'all are ok and safe

    • Alana Higa
      Alana Higa Head of Mogul @ Work // President of Fordham University
      5mo ago New York, NY, United States

      Thank you so much for the heartfelt note and sharing your personal experiences as well. Glad to be blessed with many days to come! 

      Thank you so much for the heartfelt note and sharing your personal experiences as well. Glad to be blessed with many days to come! 

      • Donna Dawkins
        5mo ago Houston,Tx..employed Pearland,Tx

        Avatar..the giant soldiers..really scared me..I just know how scared y’all were...I put what I had seen on Facebook..people on Facebook and the news explained ..as a kid I attended a brand new elementary school..1963..it’s gone (I had seen my IQ score on a test..I had accidentally opened a draw)

        Avatar..the giant soldiers..really scared me..I just know how scared y’all were...I put what I had seen on Facebook..people on Facebook and the news explained ..as a kid I attended a brand new elementary school..1963..it’s gone (I had seen my IQ score on a test..I had accidentally opened a draw)

  • Joyce Short
    Joyce Short Mogul Influencer and Author: Combating Romance Scams, Why Lying to Get Laid Is a Crime!
    5mo ago New York NY US

    I grew up during the days when US residents had fall-out shelters, and when every so often, our school drilled us on getting under our desks when the alarm sounded. I hope everyone who experienced the trauma in Hawaii does everything in their power to hold Trump accountable for stepping down his war-mongering rhetoric with North Korea. Our heartless leadership seems to be oblivious to the fact that real people, not just numbers, will pay the ultimate price for his bullying stupidity. Your post is truly heartfelt, and a rude awakening about the extreme costs involved in real warfare in the nuclear age. Well done!

    I grew up during the days when US residents had fall-out shelters, and when every so often, our school drilled us on getting under our desks when the alarm sounded. I hope everyone who experienced the trauma in Hawaii does everything in their power to hold Trump accountable for stepping down his war-mongering rhetoric with North Korea. Our heartless leadership seems to be oblivious to the fact that real people, not just numbers, will pay the ultimate price for his bullying stupidity. Your post is truly heartfelt, and a rude awakening about the extreme costs involved in real warfare in the nuclear age. Well done!

    • donnadawkins@att.net
      [email protected] Mogul Influencer
      5mo ago Pearland, TX, United States

      I will never forget what I SAW on that property that day..I have lived on a military base..I saw large men ..my ex was large..tall...everything I saw was like in the Avatar movie..we were like ants...we should be afraid..as least it was the US military

      I will never forget what I SAW on that property that day..I have lived on a military base..I saw large men ..my ex was large..tall...everything I saw was like in the Avatar movie..we were like ants...we should be afraid..as least it was the US military

    • Alana Higa
      Alana Higa Head of Mogul @ Work // President of Fordham University
      5mo ago New York, NY, United States

      Thank you for sharing your personal experiences and the kind words! I do feel that government authorities should not be downplaying these situations and only worsening the problem by adding fuel to the fire. Praying that this mishap never becomes a reality. Hope your new year has been off to a great start!

      Thank you for sharing your personal experiences and the kind words! I do feel that government authorities should not be downplaying these situations and only worsening the problem by adding fuel to the fire. Praying that this mishap never becomes a reality. Hope your new year has been off to a great start!


Alana Higa
Head of Mogul @ Work // President of Fordham University

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