Maui Discussion

Ask the Mayor: What Should We do if Another Missile Attack Warning Goes Off?

January 22, 2018, 9:56 AM HST
* Updated January 22, 9:57 AM
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PC: Nikki Schenfeld

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his staff. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column. Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa at (808) 270-7855, [email protected] or mail them to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793.

Hey Mayor;

Q: When the Ballistic Missile Attack Warning was activated, it caused people to panic. I feel the panic was caused by no one knowing what to do and the lack of information on shelters.

In the future, what are we supposed to do if the Missile Attack Warning goes off again?

A: My office has been receiving numerous calls regarding last week’s activation of the Ballistic Missile Attack Warning System. Yes, this incident did cause a lot panic and confusion. We should count our blessings that this wasn’t the real thing. This was a wake up call on our preparedness if an actual event did take place. Some good things did happen, but we also know where we—as a community need to improve on.


We should stop concentrating on who is to be blamed for this mistake, but concentrate our time and energy to reflect the lessons learned from this incident and move forward so we are better prepared if there is ever the misfortune of an actual missile attack.


I urge everyone to take the time and develop a plan on what you and your family will do in the event of a missile attack or nuclear detonation. If there is ever an Attack Warning signal and since there only minutes to take protective action, everyone needs to remember these three things. GET INSIDE–STAY INSIDE!–STAY TUNED!

GET INSIDE: If you are outdoors, go inside the nearest building. If you are at home, stay inside your home. If you are shopping in a store, stay inside the store. If you are driving, pull safely to the side of the road and go inside the nearest building or lie flat on the ground.

STAY INSIDE: Remain inside until you are told it is safe to leave.


STAY TUNED: Listen to local AM-FM radio stations on a battery powered radio for official information.

Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency tells us it is important to remember the three things, for there are no designated blast or fallout shelters in Hawaiʻi. For additional information on registering for Emergency Alerts and information regarding Emergency Preparedness, I suggest you visit the Emergency Management Agency on the Official Maui County Website.

Maui Emergency Management Agency may be contacted at 808-270-7285.

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