Much to the dismay of Hawaii’s tourism industry, the state is rolling out a public education and information campaign to let residents know what they should do in the event of a nuclear attack by North Korea.
If North Korea were to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile at Hawaii, officials say it would only take 20 minutes for it to hit – leaving them with just 12-15 minutes to warn the public.
Hawaii Emergency Management is updating its emergency guidelines, as North Korea emerges as a greater, new threat. Since the Soviet Union collapsed, the state’s emergency plans have primarily addressed natural disasters.
The Honolulu Star Advertiser reported:
“We do not want to cause any undue stress for the public; however, we have a responsibility to plan for all hazards. We don’t know the exact capabilities or intentions of the North Korean government, but there is clear evidence that it is trying to develop ballistic missiles that could conceivably one day reach our state. Therefore, we cannot wait to begin our public information campaign to ensure that Hawaii residents will know what to do if such an event occurs,” Vern Miyagi, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency administrator, said in a release.
Miyagi asserted, “The point is, whether it’s nuclear events, whether it’s hurricane or tsunami, the same thing that we need to get out to the folks is that they need to have a plan.”
Testing of the warning sirens is scheduled to start as early as November, Hawaii News Now reported. More details are expected to be released by Hawaiian emergency officials on Friday.
Charlene Chan, communications director for the Hawaii Tourism Authority, said the threat of a missile attack by North Korea is “a very remote possibility.”
“Everyone’s safety in Hawaii is always our top priority. We support the efforts of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency to prepare for any threat to Hawaii’s well-being, be it man-made or a natural disaster,” Chan said in a released statement.
She added, “However, we also know from speaking to our tourism industry partners that if reports are misinterpreted about the state’s need to prepare for an attack, this could lead to travelers and groups staying away from Hawaii. The effect of such a downturn would ultimately be felt by residents who rely on tourism’s success for their livelihood.”
A federal judge in Hawaii has attempted multiple times to halt President Trump’s travel ban, claiming it too would hurt the tourism industry.
Gen. Paul Selva, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, gave the following up date earlier in July:
“I do agree, in principle, with the assessment that the North Koreans are moving quickly to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capability. I, however, am not saying that the test on the Fourth of July demonstrates that they have the capacity to strike the United States with any degree of accuracy or reasonable confidence of success. What the experts tell me is that North Koreans have yet to demonstrate the capacity to do the guidance and control that would be required.”
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