On Saturday, January 13, just minutes after eight o’clock in the morning, an error occurred at the state Emergency Operations Center: a worker from the incoming shift sounded the emergency alert by mistake. All reading the alert were notified about the unthinkable.
“Emergency Alert. BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
The one thing true about the alert was that the notification was not a drill. The problem was that it was a slip-up. A grave mistake that sent residents into shock because they believed – as the text on their cell phones read – that this was a genuine alarm, meant to alert them of a grave danger in regard to a nuclear bomb.
Six minutes after the alert was sent, the state tried to retract the alert, while canceling the message so that further texts about a nuclear threat would not be sent to the remaining cellphones that had not yet received the false alert.
We won’t get into the hot water that the poor employee that triggered the false alarm is in, nor the political drama behind the error. What this article is here to do is to educate homeowners, renters, and commercial property owners about what to do to protect themselves and their families in the event such an emergency should unfold.
If you do not have an emergency kit prepared, now is the time to do so.
Have the following items stored in an accessible spot of the home:
• Two weeks’ worth of non-perishable food items and sealed water bottles enough for each person in the household
• flashlights and batteries
• first-aid materials
• battery operated radio
Once you have packed the necessary items, it’s time to learn how to proceed, should a nuclear emergency truly occur.
Five Things to Do When there is an Immediate Nuclear Risk
• Go to a shelter as fast as possible. The best type is a structure made out of thick concrete or bricks.
• The best shelter is one that is underground and a defense against the intensity of heat that is produced from a nuclear bomb
• Never attempt to leave the shelter immediately following the attack, Beware that the effects of a nuclear bomb are greatest just after it has been let off and up to two weeks following it
• Do not leave your shelter until the officials have sanctioned it.
• Do not go to places that have been marked as danger spots by the officials.
• Go to a medical center if you are in doubt about your physical well-being.
Six Things to Do if You are Out of Doors During a Nuclear
• If you are outside at the time of a nuclear bomb, lay down and cover your eyes. Do not gaze at the fireball – it can cause you to become blind.
• After the nuclear blast, run to shelter, remove your clothing, and wash yourself all over with running tap water and soap.
• Make sure to dispose of the clothing you were wearing while outside in a sealed plastic bag.
• Never leave your shelter until the authorities okay it.
• Listen to the instructions of the authorities in regard to avoidance of hazard spots.
• Go to a medical center if it is necessary.
Is there insurance coverage for nuclear risks?
In this day and age, the question is a pertinent one. While there is no insurance coverage for damages and losses originating from nuclear discharge, some homeowners and commercial policies will cover the losses that occur from fire, smoke or explosion occurring from the nuclear blasts.
For more on nuclear threat, war and terrorism insurance related topics, speak to a qualified independent insurance agent.