How will you be notified if North Korea strikes

While we hope never to be attacked by North Korea, it never hurts to be prepared. The United States is already taking steps to ensure that we do not go off guard if a catastrophic event occurs.

In fact, Hawaii has just started testing nuclear warning sirens and plans to do so monthly. The goal is to alert residents of an impending nuclear missile attack. This is the first batch of tests since the end of the Cold War.

At 11:45 a.m. on the first business day of every month, a steady alert signal will appear from the speaker for 50 seconds. There will be a 10-second pause followed by another loud tone for 50 seconds. Hawaii residents are expected to seek shelter soon after hearing a warning sign.

Due to its proximity to North Korea, the Hawaiian Islands would only have a 20-minute heads-up in the event of a missile launch.

wireless emergency alert
Public safety officers use wireless emergency alerts (WEA) to alert you to natural or man-made disasters. WEAs are made available through the Integrated Public Warning and Warning System (IPAWS).

Timely alerts can help keep you safe during an emergency. WEA is able to send alerts to your mobile device. No need to download an app or subscribe to any service.

WEA will look like a text message and show the type and time of alert and if there is any action you should take. It will not exceed 90 characters. Messages have a particular tone and vibration that is repeated twice. There is no charge for the service.

If you should receive a WEA message, take any action it suggests and try to get more details from local media or government experts.

WEA became available in April 2012 but many older mobile devices are not WEA-enabled. All new mobile devices should be able to receive WEA messages.

Who can send WEA?

The WEA may be referred to by state and local public safety and law enforcement, the National Weather Service, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the President of the United States.

make a plan
It is always a good idea to have a plan ready in case of an emergency. Remember, your family may not be together if a disaster strikes. To begin your emergency planning, talk to your family, friends or household about how you plan to receive emergency alerts and warnings.

Next, figure out what your shelter plan is along the evacuation route. You will also want to create a family/household communication plan. You should have a wallet-sized emergency communication plan printed that you and your family members can carry with you at all times.

How can you sign up for WEAs?
You can sign up for Wireless Emergency Alerts at You’ll also find information on how to make a disaster supply kit. Be sure and share it with family and friends so that they too have a plan.

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