(BIVN) – Hawaii Governor David Ige held his first “Capitol Connection” livestream over the Facebook platform on Monday, sitting down with Hawaii Emergency Management Agency administrator Vern Miyagi to discuss emergency preparedness with social media users.
The talk centered on readiness for the “unlikely threat from North Korea” and recent guidance issued by the state concerning what residents should do in the event of a nuclear attack.
Ige and Miyaga also talked about preparedness during hurricane season, as three distant storms (Tropical Depression Greg, Hurricane Hilary and Hurricane Irwin) churn in the East Pacific. The systems do not pose any threat to Hawaii but serve as reminders of the increasing activity in the region.
HI-EMA has been working on nuclear detonation preparedness and consequence management plans since December 2016, as the “bellicose rhetoric” from Kim Jong-un’s Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has increased, along with ballistic missile tests.
During Monday’s livestream, Governor Ige and Miyagi took questions from viewers who messaged them through Facebook.
“The possibility of a missile or bomb from North Korea is very, very low,” Gov. Ige assured his online audience. “It’s a very unlikely event. Our whole focus is to make sure that we’re prepared… We are aware of the things that we need to do in order to help our community move beyond an event, whether it should be a hurricane an earthquake… or other activities.”
Although emergency plans are focused on Oahu, the two officials said the individual county civil defense agencies will be included “so all the neighbor islands concerns will be considered within our current operation plans.”
The HI-EMA guidance drew a cavalcade of comments on the Big Island Video News Facebook page, with opinions ranging from deep concern to disdain towards the guidance.
“This is playing on the public’s fears and parallels the ‘Cold War’ manipulation of the public,” stated Hawaii Island resident Nelson Ho. “Using fear, the military-industrial-corporate complex gets to further their grip on Hawaii, and increase their weaponry on this stolen Nation. My biggest disappointment in all this is that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is backing this move.”
Rep. Gabbard has been a leader in raising awareness in Washington over Hawaii’s unique concerns in regards to U.S.-North Korea tensions.