This is one of Hawaii’s emergency alert sirens. There are different styles, but I like how this one, at Kawaihae, emerges from the palm trees. The sirens are intended to warn of impending tsunamis and, these days, nuclear attack.
These sirens did not go off during the recent false missile attack fiasco. That issue concerned messages sent to residents’ phones and to radio and TV. In the aftermath of that incident, I read in a news report that “According to state officials, the watch officer had been a cause for concern to his colleagues for more than a decade and had twice before mistaken drills for real alerts. It was unclear how he had managed to remain in such a sensitive post for so long.” Not in this household. Our ‘joke’ is that a person has to kill three people here before it’s considered serious enough to be fired from a government job. I guess causing widespread panic and embarrassing the state worldwide must be roughly the equivalent.