If a missile attack on Hawaii was actually real, here's what you should do

Students run for cover after receiving missile alert mistake
Published: Sep. 21, 2017 at 7:46 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2018 at 10:25 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Get inside, stay inside and stay tuned.

Those are the instructions emergency officials want you to follow if Hawaii is the target of a nuclear missile attack.

Officials outlined the guidelines in a public briefing at the state Capitol in 2017, in what was the latest in a series of efforts to educate the public about the unlikely but not impossible threat of a missile attack that North Korea poses to the islands.

The briefing came amid rising tensions between the United States and North Korea. On Thursday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called President Trump "deranged," and a North Korean diplomat said the rogue nation might test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean.

Vern Miyagi, administrator for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, told attendees at the briefing that Hawaii doesn't have fallout shelters. And even if it did, you probably wouldn't have time to get to one in the event of an attack.

Once the emergency alert system is activated, residents will have between 12 and 15 minutes to find shelter before the impact.

"Try and put as much concrete, brick, reinforced material between you and the blast. That's what you try to do," Miyagi said.

During the briefing, Miyagi stressed that North Korea doesn't pose a high threat to Hawaii.

But the threat it does pose, he said, Hawaii can't ignore. That's why everyone needs a plan.

Miyagi said if you're indoors, you should stay inside and away from any windows.

If your outdoors, seek immediate shelter.

And if you're driving, officials want you to get out of your car and get inside a building if you can. If not, lie flat on the ground.

"If you remain in your vehicle, we know the effects of the weapon would be amplified," said Toby Clairmont, executive director of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

It's estimated 90 percent of people on Oahu would survive the direct effects of the blast.

After the blast, officials said, you should be prepared to remain sheltered for 14 days — or until you're told it's safe to come out.

Household emergency kits should be stocked with at least two weeks of food, water and supplies.

"The first responders in the community is all of you," said Hawaii Adjutant General Joe Logan. "Whatever you can do as a person to take care of yourself and your family in whatever facility you live in, you're better prepared for that."

And don't depend on that smart phone to link you up with assistance.

After an attack, most communication technologies would be destroyed. Officials say the best way to get information would be through an AM-FM radio.

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