In response to increased tensions with North Korea as it pursues nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them, Hawaiian officials have decided to reinstate a Cold War-era warning signal beginning Dec. 1.
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) said the signal is part of a comprehensive ballistic missile preparedness program.
When it sounds, residents of the island state are instructed to immediately “get inside, stay inside, and stay tuned” for further details.
Alerts will be sent to residents’ phones, while also being broadcast on TV and radio.
“When [HI-EMA] started this campaign there were concerns we would scare the public. What we are putting out is information based on the best science that we have on what would happen if that weapon hit Honolulu or the assumed targets,” said HI-EMA Administrator Vern Miyagi during an emergency preparedness presentation.
Officials estimate that should North Korea launch a missile at the state, there would only be a 15-minute window for residents to react.
“There will be no time to call our loved ones, pick up our kids, and find a designated shelter. We should all prepare and exercise a plan ahead of time so we can take some comfort in knowing what our loved ones are doing,” said Miyagi.
The U.S. Navy has conducted successful tests involving missile intercepts, but HI-EMA warns there are no guarantees that anti-missile systems will be 100 percent effective. [source]
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