Attack warning tone test Friday

This Friday, Dec. 1, Hawaii will test its new Attack Warning Tone, advising residents of possible nuclear attacks.

Designed to take place on the first day of every month following the test of the tsunami and hurricane warning siren, the attack tone will produce a “wailing” noise to differentiate it from the other one.

The state made the decision to add the nuclear attack warning because of the tensions between the United States and North Korea.

On Nov. 8, Vern Miyagi, administrator of the state’s Emergency Management Agency, said in a public service announcement that the warning tone should cause residents “to take immediate shelter — get inside, stay inside, stay tuned.”

Testing of the tone will last for around 50 seconds Friday.

As this is written Tuesday morning, word has just come in that North Korea tested another ballistic missile, ratcheting up the tense standoff with the U.S. even more. While no one is certain of the range of the North’s missiles, Hawaii is just a little more than 4,500 miles from the rogue state, while the West Coast of the United States is about 7,000.

So, we are certainly a closer target for Kim Jong Un than a city in California.

We think the Ige administration and the Emergency Management Agency deserve credit for being proactive in setting up and testing the Attack Warning Tone. If the worst happens — and it probably won’t — a lot of people will survive if they heed the “get inside, stay inside” advice.

The situation with North Korea brings back memories — bad memories — for those of us who lived during the Cold War. The threat of a nuclear trigger makes for scary times.

But it should make all of us feel a bit safer that our state is determined to be prepared.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.

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