While it’s unlikely North Korea would actually fire a missile at Hawaii, the state says it’s been preparing for a worst-case scenario.
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) is launching a public information and education campaign to alert residents about what do in case of an missile threat.
If a launch were to occur, it would take about 20 minutes to reach Hawaii.
The first five minutes would be used by the military to determine if it poses a threat. That would leave just 15 minutes to respond.
“We’re going to trigger the siren system, the second siren sound. We’re going to send messages out on radio and TV, so if you’re listening to a radio or TV station, you’re going to see this,” said Toby Clairmont, HI-EMA executive officer. “If you have a smart phone, a text is going to come out with a big banner in front of it. It’ll make a strange sound and tell you something is happening. All that will happen within the first few minutes.”
If you’re indoors, you should stay away from the windows. If you’re outside, seek shelter immediately, preferably in a concrete building such as a commercial building or parking structure.
“Now we have to activate a series of procedures to detect and measure radiation to see where it’s safe and where it’s not,” Clairmont said.
You could be asked to shelter for a few days or up to two weeks. Therefore, like with hurricanes, be sure to have at least 14 days of emergency supplies.
Emergency officials have been working on these plans since December 2016, though they stress Hawaii is still safe.
“Our job is, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, is to work on preparedness and protect the citizens, the residents of the state of Hawaii and all our visitors. So by getting ahead of this and getting the public aware of what may happen, that’s what we’re doing,” said Maj. Gen. Arthur Logan, state adjutant general and HI-EMA director. “We want our tourism industry to continue doing what it’s doing and we want our visitors to come and enjoy Hawaii, and we’ll worry about the preparedness and how to keep Hawaii safe.”