It was a humid morning in Wailuku town. The sun was shining, but misty clouds shrouded most of the West Maui Mountains. In the small park at Wells and Market Streets, a guy lay on the grass with his feet propped up on a tree.
I was in the bank when doomsday siren started wailing. It was 11:45am on Dec. 1, the day the state tests their emergency sirens.
“They’re supposed to start the new siren this month,” one person said.
As I finished my deposit with the teller, the normal tsunami warning siren ended. I was outside by the time the new nuclear attack warning siren started whooping. Think of it as sounding like a police siren, except that it’s warning us that pretty much everything around us is about to be incinerated in a radioactive holocaust and that everyone should immediately seek shelter (bomb shelter, basement or some sort of building that doesn’t have a lot of glass). How likely any of us will be able to find such a location at a moment’s notice–and how long we’ll have to stay there until we hear the “all clear”–are questions none of us can really answer until it happens.
Sorry if all that sounds, well, alarming. Wouldn’t want to scare tourists away.
“It is imperative to remember that the threat of a missile attack against Hawaii by North Korea is a highly unlikely possibility, according to the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency,” George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), said in a Nov. 29 statement. “Leisure and business travelers planning a trip to Hawaii should not be alarmed by the testing of this new Attack Warning Signal. Its implementation is consistent with the state’s longstanding policy to be prepared and informing the public well in advance of any potential threat to Hawaii’s well-being.”
As the attack siren wound down, I walked back to that little Wailuku park near my bank. There, that guy with his feet propped on the tree didn’t look like he’d moved an inch. Shrugging my shoulders, I walked back to the office.
Click here for official State of Hawaii nuclear attack information.
Photo courtesy Hawaii Emergency Management Agency