For the first time in over 35 years, Hawaii will be activating and testing its attack warning siren. This is being done as a precautionary measure against the threat of a North Korean missile attack. I previously wrote about the threat of a North Korean EMP attack, but obviously the threat of a nuclear attack is at another level entirely.
Nuts and Bolts of the Attack Warning Siren Test
Hawaii’s attack warning siren has multiple settings, depending on the hazard. The test will start with a 50-second severe weather tone, followed by 50 seconds of a nuclear attack tone. The former is a steady tone and the latter is a wailing tone that is accompanied by a message to take immediate shelter. This siren testing will be performed monthly going forward, and the state issued a public service announcement (PSA) to alleviate fears.
Local schools, government offices, business entities and HECO all have protocols in place for reacting to an attack warning siren, and they plan to exercise these protocols during the test, similar to the objective of a fire drill. In every case, the initial main course of action – all else being equal – is to shelter in place.
It is a shame that North Korea has put itself forth as a major threat to the U.S., but at least the country is doing something about it. In fact, utilities everywhere should incorporate a nuclear attack scenario into exercises and drills. You see, we can’t prevent psychopaths like Kim Jong Un from causing terror, but we can at least be prepared for the worst.