Alaska taking different tack from Hawaii on missile alerts
In the case of a ballistic missile launch toward Alaska from North Korea state officials here will not call for a general evacuation, after Hawaii falsely warned people of a ballistic missile Saturday morning.
Jeremy Zidek, with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said because of a missile’s short flight time from Asia -- as little as 20 minutes -- putting people outside of their homes and businesses is potentially more dangerous than staying indoors. Reports coming from Hawaii said people took cover in gymnasiums, parking garages, and bathtubs.
Sheltering in place is the recommendation put forth by the state of Alaska.
"It's reassuring that our nation has a missile defense system," Zidek said. "This North Korea missile technology and nuclear capability is certainly something that could occur."
But Zidek said Alaska's more imminent threat comes from natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, wildfires and tsunamis.
"We know these things will happen. It is better to prepare for known events that are likely to happen again,” Zidek said.
State officials want this to be a reminder that Alaskans should take time to prepare their emergency kits at home and in their vehicles, and be ready with family plans for communication.
For information on preparing for an emergency, you can visit the state's emergency preparedness website.
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