University: That 'in the event of nuclear attack' email could have been worded better

Published: Oct. 9, 2017 at 7:31 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 10, 2017 at 4:51 PM HST
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MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An email to all University of Hawaii students and faculty with the subject line "In the event of a nuclear attack" not only caused quite a stir locally, it generated national and international headlines.

And on Tuesday, UH Director of Communications Dan Meisenzahl acknowledged that the email should have been re-worded.

"This is entirely my responsibility -- right down to the subject line," Meisenzahl told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. "So I take full responsibility and the last thing I wanted to do was cause any unnecessary concern among our community."

He said the body of the email wasn't problematic.

It told students and faculty to be aware of emergency sirens and to follow instructions on "sheltering in place."

Meisenzahl said that the email was prompted by an increasing number of inquiries about how to prepare for the unlikely but not impossible threat of a nuclear missile attack that North Korea poses to the islands.

The email, which was sent to more than 60,000 students and faculty, comes amid a state campaign to educate residents and visitors on the nuclear threat.

"In light of concerns about North Korea missile tests, state and federal agencies are providing information about nuclear threats and what to do in the unlikely event of a nuclear attack and radiation emergency," the UH email said.

Tensions with North Korea have been rising for months and, in recent days, the president has indicated that diplomatic efforts may have stalled.

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