WATCH: State briefs people on what to do if NKorea launches attack

State to brief people on what to do if NKorea launches attack
Published: Sep. 20, 2017 at 2:48 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 21, 2017 at 11:27 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - What would you do if North Korea launched a nuclear missile at Hawaii?

Where would you go? What would the damage look like? And what about fallout?

A legislative briefing Thursday is aimed at helping residents begin to answer those questions — or at least better prepare for the unlikely but not impossible threat that North Korea poses to the state.

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency is talking about what the state is doing to prepare given rising tensions between North Korea and the United States and "planned responses to potential regional military threats to the state."

"We're not talking about the complete destruction of Hawaii and loss of life that's apocalyptic. We want them to know what they can do about it, individually ... and we want them to know what we're doing," said Toby Clairmont, executive officer of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

It's the latest effort in an educational campaign aimed at helping Hawaii residents and vistors figure out what to do if the state is the target of a missile attack.

The state's emergency management agency has said the threat to the islands from the rogue nation is "currently assessed to be low."

But officials added ongoing North Korean missile tests — and growing public concern — have prompted officials to work on preparedness and disaster management plans.

Vern Miyagi, administrator of the emergency management agency, has also stressed that the public shouldn't be alarmed by the planning.

Rather, he said, the public should see the preparation and education much like the work being done to prepare the public for hurricane and tsunami, which pose a greater risk to the state.

"We need to tell the public what the state is doing," Miyagi said. "We do not want to cause any undue stress for the public; however, we have a responsibility to plan for all hazards."

Officials say it would take 20 minutes for an intercontinental ballistic missile to travel to Hawaii from North Korea. The public would have eight to 12 minutes of notice before the attack started.

The legislative briefing is set to start at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in the state Capitol building auditorium.

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