Last weekend, many residents of Hawaii, including the agents and staff of LUVA Real Estate, were awakened by a shrill alarm coming through their phones from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency alerting them to an incoming ballistic missile strike. The dreaded words have now made numerous local and national headlines and newscasts with the now familiar image of the text message saying, “THIS IS NOT A DRILL”. But it was a drill. For many of us, those 35 or so minutes between getting that first warning message and then being told it was a mistake made us look around and wonder what we were going to do besides hug or call our families.
In the wake of the “drill”, thousands of residents and tourists wanted to know what had the Emergency Management Agency done to ensure this would not happen again.
These are the actions that HI-EMA has already taken.
- On the recommendations of the HI-EMA Administrator, Vern Miyagi, the Governor has suspended all future drills until HI-EMA has completed a full analysis of the event.
- HI-EMA has already instituted a two-person activation/verification rule for tests as well as actual missile launch notifications.
- A cancellation command that can be done automatically that can be triggered within seconds of an error, has been put in place.
As with all emergencies that occur in the Hawaiian Islands, our isolation makes us vulnerable, so when disaster strikes —whether it is natural or manmade—you need to be prepared. Remember that emergency responders will be hard at work assisting the public, but you may need to survive on your own for a while immediately after the event. There are many things you can do to prepare before disaster strikes, and one of them is preparing an emergency kit.
To get started on the kit, think about all the people who you care about and the things you and they will need to get through the day. Those are the things you will need to prepare and stock up on for your emergency “go-kit.”
To ensure you have enough food, water, and other supplies for yourself and your family, plan out what you need for at least 14 days, according to the Emergency Management Agency.
You may think that is not realistic, but here’s something to consider: If the airport is damaged or our ports are out of commission, there is no way for supplies to get onto our island. Beyond food and items for our grocery shelves, if you need prescriptions filled, getting those filled during a disaster could be a challenge.
Of course, most people believe that if a missile strike WERE to happen, that Oahu would be the most likely target due to Pearl Harbor and other military installations. That offers a little comfort for those of us on Hawaii Island, but since we DO have a military training facility, we can’t be completely blase about the potential. The point to consider here is that when people started looking around and thinking about locking themselves in their homes for a few days, they would not have enough food, clean water, and supplies for any length of time. Also, many people could not reach their loved ones and did not have a plan in place in case people could not reach one another due to mobile phone users jamming the system or even if a few power lines went down and took out basic WiFI for most of West Hawaii, which has happened in wind storms.
Our suggestion is simple for feeling more confident when danger threatens Hawaii. Have a plan in place and have your emergency supplies. Here is a fantastic link to getting your family, home and business ready in case of a disaster.
Do you use social media? According to how things played out during the missile threat, Twitter and Facebook played a role in getting real time information. Below is a list of contacts and resources for the State and County including links to Twitter and Facebook.