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38 Minutes of Fear: Locals Affected by Hawaii’s False Alarm Left Shaken

FOLSOM -- As hard as it was to be in Hawaii Saturday morning, it was plenty hard to have family there too.

"You know, I fear being too dramatic because it didn't happen, right?" said Tiffany Ellison. "But we went through those emotions. We went through that 'what if.'"

Ellison's daughter, Savannah, and her daughter's husband grew up in Folsom and went to Folsom High School. Now the couple lives in Hawaii and were left fearing for their lives after Saturday's text message with those infamous words came across their screens: "This is not a drill."

An emergency alert broadcast by the State of Hawaii woke them up with the warning that ballistic missiles were inbound. Savannah called her mother.

"There's really nothing I can do here," Tiffany Ellison said. "I'm not sure anything I could offer would be of any help."

Tiffany Ellison says in those 38 minutes between that first message and the message saying it had been a mistake, she held on to hope that United States technology meant to shoot down missiles would save the day. She says it was a wake up call, both literally and figuratively.

"It was a wake-up call for us to talk about this. What would you do?" Tiffany Ellison said. "What would be the safest thing to do in this situation? So, I guess maybe that's just trying to find the silver lining?"

She said she was angry about what her family went through, and now expects someone to be held accountable for the monumental goof.