SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As tension with North Korea escalates and people weigh their disaster plans, Hawaii is already preparing for a possible nuclear attack.
“We’re going to activate a new alert attack sound and what this will do is alert people to take shelter,” said Major General Vern Miyagi, of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.
Weapons experts say North Korea has developed a miniature nuclear warhead that could strike the West Coast.
But does California have a plan?
State emergency officials turned down our request for an interview. They did provide us with a short statement:
“Our focus is on ensuring Californians are safe and prepared and we’re ready to respond no matter the threat or disaster—natural or human-caused. to that end, we continue to work and collaborate closely with our local, state, tribal and federal partners and encourage Californians to stay emergency ready.”
“What does that mean?” said Bonds.
The state’s office of emergency services wouldn’t elaborate on what Californians should do to get “emergency ready.”
And a Red Cross spokesman referred us to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for additional information on radiation (from a potential nuclear blast).
The message? Get inside a building, and stay inside. Then, stay tuned for updated instructions from emergency response officials.
CBS13 obtained a draft of the state’s latest emergency plan.
The 2016 200-page document has recovery plans for earthquakes and other natural disasters, as well as terrorist and cyber attacks. A nuclear attack isn’t on the list.
But a Cal OES official tells us, the state would use plans in place for existing disasters.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the best chance of surviving a nuclear attack would be to go far underground—at least a couple stories beneath a five-story apartment building or underneath a high rise office or large apartment building.
For now, California may not have specific plans for how to handle a nuclear explosion, but for some, public awareness is a start.
“It’s real. It has always been real,” said Bonds.
State lawmakers return from recess at the end of the month.
It’s still unclear if examining a nuclear plan is on the agenda.