State explains what schools should do in event of real missile threat

Published: Jan. 17, 2018 at 11:05 AM HST|Updated: Jan. 17, 2018 at 12:37 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The false missile alert that went out to Hawaii's 1.4 million residents and hundreds of thousands of visitors on Saturday left many wondering: What if this happened while my child was at school?

In a letter to parents, the state Department of Education said it met with the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency on how it would handle a ballistic missile threat.

DOE Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said the safest response to a missile threat would be to follow HI-EMA's mantra of "Get Inside, Stay Inside, and Stay Tuned," meaning students should "shelter in place" by looking for the nearest shelter.

Kishimoto said parents should rest assure that the DOE holds emergency drills that include "shelter in place" drills.

In the event of a real ballistic missile threat, parents should also "shelter in place" -- at home, work or a nearby shelter – and avoid picking up their children at school.

The DOE will also keep the public informed on its website and social media accounts.

If any students experienced any kind of emotional trauma following Saturday's missile alert mistake, the DOE is offering crisis counseling services upon request. Talk to your school principal for more information.

The University of Hawaii is also making changes by working to identify safe rooms and shelters on its campuses.

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