Hawaii now has an ‘attack warning’ siren amid North Korea threat

A missile is launched during a long and medium-range ballistic rocket launch drill in this undated photo released by North Korea's Central News Agency in Pyongyang on August 30, 2017. KCNA/via Reuters

Hawaii will now have a state-wide “attack warning” siren to warn citizens of an air attack amid North Korean tensions.

Starting Friday, Hawaii will begin sounding its air raid siren during its usual monthly testing of its “alert warning” siren typically used to notify of natural disasters.

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HEMA) announced last month the siren, which according to CBS News, hasn’t been used since the Cold War, will be reinstated as of Dec. 1.

READ MORE: South Korea reportedly using loudspeakers to broadcast news of North Korean defector across border

“The attack warning siren advises everyone to take immediate shelter. Get inside, stay inside and stay tuned,” Vern Miyagi of HEMA said in a public service announcement.

Miyagi told CBS that when the agency started the campaign, “there were concerns we would scare the public.”

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“What we are putting out is information based on the best science that we have on what would happen if that weapon hit Honolulu or the assumed targets,” Miyagi said.

North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3 and hasn’t launched a missile since lobbing one over Japan on Sept. 15.

Hawaii has been hosting emergency preparedness town halls and early this month, updated an information pamphlet on HEMA on how to stay prepared.

The document tells citizens what to do in the event of a hurricane, tsunami, flooding and a missile attack.

The document warns that in the event of a North Korea missile launch, citizens will likely have less than 20 minutes to brace for impact.

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According to the document, an Emergency Alert System (EAS) will be broadcast on television and radio stating: “The U.S. Pacific Command has detected a missile threat to Hawaii. A missile may impact on land or sea within minutes. This is not a drill.

“If you are indoors, stay indoors. If you are outdoors, seek immediate shelter in a building. Remain indoors well away from windows. If you are driving, pull safely to the side of the road and seek shelter in a building or lay flat on the ground.”

READ MORE: Guam tell citizens what to do in event of nuclear attack

In August, the tiny island of Guam issued similar information to its citizens on ways to prepare for “imminent missile threat.”

The two-page information pamphlet includes warnings and advice to the likes of:

-Make a list of potential concrete shelters near your home, workplace and school.
-Do not look at the flash or fireball – It can blind you
-Lie flat on the ground and cover your head. If the explosion is some distance away, it could take 30 seconds or more for the blast wave to hit.
-If you were outside during or after the blast, get clean as soon as possible to remove radioactive material that have settled on your body.
-Remove your clothing to keep radioactive material from spreading. Removing the outer layer of clothing can remove up to 90 per cent of radioactive material.
-When possible, take a shower with lots of soap and water to help remove radioactive contamination. Do not scrub or scratch the skin.
-Wash your hair with shampoo or soap and water. Do not use conditioner in your hair because it will bind radioactive material to your hair.

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South Korea‘s spy agency said on Monday, it is possible North Korea can develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland this year and that it is monitoring developments closely.

North Korea is pursuing nuclear weapons and missile programs in defiance of UN Security Council sanctions and has made no secret of its plans to develop a missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland.

-with a file from Reuters.

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