Hawaii lawmakers are asking state officials to update plans in a worst case scenario where North Korea will target Hawaii with their dreaded nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles that can hit the islands.
Hawaii officials said that their island's prime location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and with military commands including the U.S. Pacific Command being based there makes the state a possible strategic target for North Korea. The U.S. Pacific Command alone is responsible for the military operations covering more than half of the earth's surface.
Nuclear arms experts have also said that North Korea either has or may soon have, the ability to target Hawaii with a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile possibly with the same level of great destructive force as the 15-kiloton to 20-kiloton bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.
The legislators also said that airborne electromagnetic pulses coming from a nuclear disaster may have a radius of approximately 1,500 miles, and could greatly affect the operation of electronic devices nationwide, and can shut down devices. They also referred to President Donald Trump's warning that the U.S. may take unilateral action against North Korea unless China commits to doing more to contain North Korea's nuclear program.
Given said geopolitical realities, Hawaii lawmakers said it is to the best interest of Hawaii to prepare for a nuclear disaster by updating its fallout shelter plans. The state House Public Safety Committee on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution asking the state to modernize its disaster preparedness plans.
Officials were quick to clarify that they do not wish to spread fear, but that the public has to know that the government is taking steps to protect them in the worst case scenario.
The Hawaii officials are asking for state funding to re-equip Cold War-era fallout shelters. The resolution also mentioned that in 1981, Oahu had hundreds of fallout shelters, many stocked with medical kits, food, and sanitary kits. In later years, however, funding dried up, and stocks were thrown out.
Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said the response plans have not been updated since 1985.