Hawaii to test missile sirens in November in case of North Korea attack

Written by: 
Courtney Bow Nielsen

This November, the state of Hawaii will begin a statewide air raid warning siren test to be used to warn of North Korean missile attacks, according to Honolulu Star Advertiser. BYU-Hawaii students expressed concern that not enough people on the island know that the tests are going to happen until closer to the time of the alarm.

“I heard about the attack sirens recently only because a friend informed me about them,” said Cole Embrey, a sophomore from Utah studying accounting. “I feel word of mouth will spread and more people will hear about it. Also I feel… come November, there will be many announcements and directions to the public on how to react when they sound.”

Toby Clairmont, executive officer for Hawaii Emergency Management, told the Star Advertiser, “We need to start getting people thinking about this, because we are going to be triggering these sirens in November.”

In a press release, Vern Miyagi, state Emergency Management Agency administrator, said, “We do not want to cause any undue stress for the public; however, we have a responsibility to plan for all hazards.

“We don’t know the exact capabilities or intentions of the North Korean government, but there is clear evidence that it is trying to develop ballistic missiles that could conceivably one day reach our state. Therefore, we cannot wait to begin our public information campaign to ensure that Hawaii residents will know what to do if such an event occurs.”

This public information campaign will benefit residents all over the islands and provide more information on what to do in the event of an emergency, which is exactly what students like Eric Harline, a junior from Colorado studying accounting, think the state should be doing.

“It’s kinda scary to think about,” said Harline. “I don’t think anything is going to happen, but it would be nice to have a warning. Nothing we could do would save us from the nuclear warhead but I think the state could probably educate us a little more.”

According to the New York Times,

“On July 5, the United States toughened its military pressure and invective against the Communist nation after North Korea conducted a successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that appeared capable of hitting America’s two most western states: Alaska and Hawaii.”

Shannon Gomez, a sophomore from Hau’ula studying Cultural Anthropology, thinks the state should also give Hawaii residents a place to go.

“Since this is such a new situation, I think they should definitely approach it somewhat like tsunamis. They should have approved bomb shelter locations in all areas just like they have for tsunamis that way we all know where to find one.”

These kinds of alarms have not been heard since the Cold War, according to the Star.

Date Published: 
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Last Edited: 
Saturday, October 28, 2017