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Former Hillcrest Resident Experiences Missile Alarm in Hawaii

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TOWN OF FENTON, NY -

Confusion, panic, and survival - that's how a former Hillcrest resident, now living in Hawaii describes receiving an alert that a nuclear missile was going to hit the state Saturday morning.

"All I could really control was making sure we had water, stay inside, close the doors, and just pray for the best," said Bethannie Hartley, Former Hillcrest Resident.

Bethannie moved to Waialua, Hawaii five years ago for work and now lives there with her husband Jesse Sr. and two kids Isabella and Jesse Jr. Within minutes of getting the message, she called her mother, Mary Jo Bowie who still lives in the Southern Tier.

"She specifically said, mom we're under a missile alert, don't worry, if something happens, I will be in heaven, I love you," said Bowie, Bethannie's Mother.

Because Hawaii is under threat of incidents such as a missile attack or natural disasters like a tsunami or hurricane, the Hartley's had around two weeks worth of food with them and a small emergency survival kit.

"The alert read, there's a missile crisis coming, seek shelter, this is not a test," said Hartley.

But none of it was necessary because more than 30-minutes after the original alert went out, state officials said it was a mistake.

"That 35 minutes when you don't really know what's going on and there really didn't seem to be a really good plan in place, that's where the concern came in," said Bowie.

The Harley family is feeling lucky that there was no actual threat this weekend but recognizes that they need to be prepared for anything just in case. Bethannie's mother says the entire event is giving her a new perspective on what's really important in life.

"It really gives us all reason to pause and think how important our families and our friends and our communities are to us," said Bowie.

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency eventually tweeted out that there was "NO missile threat to Hawaii." The state's Governor David Ige says "it was a mistake made during a standard procedure at the change over of a shift" and that "an employee pushed the wrong button."