HONOLULU, Hawai‘i – An attentive crowd filled the auditorium at the State Capitol to hear what the state Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) is doing to prepare for the possible, but unlikely, nuclear strike on Hawai‘i.
Senator Clarence Nishihara, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs, organized the public meeting in light of the recent concerns regarding North Korean nuclear and missile tests.
Representatives from HI-EMA presented its coordinated public message of “Get Inside, Stay Inside, Stay Tuned.” HI-EMA recommends residents and visitors seek shelter in a building or other substantial structure should an attack warning siren be sounded as the public will have less than 12 to 15 minutes before missile impact. They stressed the importance of personal preparedness, including having emergency supplies ready and keeping enough food on hand for 14 days. HI-EMA suggests listening to local AM-FM radio stations for official information.
HI-EMA has been working on improved communication with the U.S. Pacific Command and the State Warning Point to enhance a missile launch notification process. It has also conducted a nationwide survey of evidence-based best practices in 28 states and federal agencies and is currently launching five working groups to conduct ongoing preparedness and response planning. These groups are analyzing new laws and plan to work with state lawmakers and other local officials on how to improve emergency response efforts. In collaboration with all counties, HI-EMA has developed a response guide to help with immediate response following a warning system activation.
HI-EMA is currently going out to communities throughout the state to provide education and awareness on emergency preparedness.