Last week the State of Hawaii Emergency Management Agency posted a news release regarding the increased threat to the islands of a potential nuclear threat from North Korea. As tensions continue to escalate on the Korean peninsula, tensions are also on the rise with another formidable nuclear power, Russia. Multiple news outlets reported on April 19, 2017, that Russian bombers were once again spotted within 100 miles of Alaska and escorted out of the region by U.S. fighter jets. While the Russian bomber event is not a new occurrence, it adds fuel to the fire for increased concerns of a nuclear incident.
Even though the real threat to the United States is a highly guarded secret, many agencies have been asking themselves, what are our plans in the event of a nuclear incident? News media agencies have also been doing updated stories about old tools such as fallout shelters, food storage areas, and “duck and cover” drills in schools.
As a profession, our history was born out of the Civil Defence era but unfortunately, the majority of Emergency Managers today don’t have the background or knowledge of the old plans that existed 30 – 40 years ago for nuclear war. If you fit into that category, your first step should be to review the FEMA website section on nuclear blasts to get a background on the hazard. And while the information on specific threats is normally classified, we recommend contacting your state emergency management agency to determine if there is a need to start looking at resurrecting old fallout shelter plans.
Regardless of your area of responsibility in the Emergency Management or Crisis Management spectrum, be aware of the changing political climate, and at least think through potential implications for your organization or community.
Crisis Focus, LLC has focused expertise in crisis communications and emergency management. Please visit Crisis Focus’ contact us page for more information.