Residents calm their nuclear fears at emergency preparedness meeting

More than a hundred people gathered in Pearl City Friday night to listen to a presentation on what to do in the unlikely event of a nuclear attack.

They were hoping emergency officials would help calm their concerns.

For many people in Hawaii, this week has been anything but normal.

After 38 minutes of not knowing whether a ballistic missle was headed towards the state, many people are still shaken up. “I’m frustrated that it took the state or the agency 38 minutes to react to the false alarm. I can understand the mistake that’s acceptable, people make mistakes but to take 30 minutes to rectify the situation I can’t accept that,” said Sam Watanabe, who attended the meeting Friday night.

At Hawaii Tactical Outfitters in Wahiawa, employees have been fielding dozens of calls asking for disaster kits, gas masks, and MRE’s or Meals ready to eat, Along with water purification tablets.

In Pearl City on Friday, community members sat intently listening to a presentation that included what to do in a worst case scenario of a nuclear attack.

If a missle was fired, it would only be about 20 minutes between launch and impact.

The state wants people to shelter in place. In other words, get inside, stay inside, and stay tuned.

A 14-day-survival kit is also reccommended.

At the meetings end, feelings were mixed. Janis Saiki, a Pearl City resident, said she worries about how prepared the state is to handle the threat, “I think that we are totally unprepared as a state and we’re close to what will happen if something happens, and I think state wide we all need to be on the same plan.”

Emergency Mangement Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi was also asked questions about just what happened in that room inside emergency management for those 38 minutes.

He responded that the investigation is still underway, and when it’s finished, findings would be released.


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