By Daniel Lang
April 18, 2017
As Tensions Mount in North Korea, Hawaii Lawmakers Want to Reopen Fallout Shelters
If North Korea ever develops a functional, long-range ballistic missile, it’s not exactly clear if the weapon will have enough range to reach to the contiguous United States. However, it wouldn’t be far-fetched at all if North Korea develops a nuclear tipped missile that can at least reach Hawaii. So as tensions mount between the US and North Korea, and as the Kim Jong-un regime promises to continue missile tests into the foreseeable future, Hawaii is getting ready.
Last Thursday lawmakers with the Hawaii House Public Safety Committee introduced a resolution that would revamp the state’s nuclear preparedness capabilities. Specifically, the committee is looking to restock and repair hundreds of Cold War fallout shelters that have been neglected for years. In addition to restocking the shelters with food and medical supplies, the resolution calls for state government to “conduct public awareness campaigns to ready the public for a nuclear disaster.”
Because of budget cuts, the shelters haven’t been touched since the 1980’s. According to Vice Chairman of the Committee, Matt LePresti, “They haven’t been updated since 1985. I was 11 years old when they were last updated. Many of the buildings that are on the fallout shelter list don’t exist anymore.” The lawmakers also fear that because Hawaii is so reliant on outside food sources, the state could be cut off during a nuclear attack. So the resolution also calls for the state to look for additional locations where food could be delivered, in case Honolulu Harbor is destroyed.
As it stands now, North Korea already has missiles such as the Taepodong-2, which can reach Hawaii but not the contiguous US. However, the despotic nation has yet to prove that it can attach a nuclear payload to the missile.
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