The state of Alaska is preparing for a potential war with North Korea. The Alaskans are being urged not to evacuate, though should Kim Jong-Un launch a missile toward Alaska, it would only take 20 minutes to get there.
Emergency planners in Alaska have warned it will not attempt evacuations if a warhead is fired because time would not be on their side. Jeremy Zidek, from the state’s disaster planning team, will urge locals to find shelter rather than risk being caught in the open. He also urged families to have an emergency stash of food and water, flashlights and radios, and medical supplies including the anti-radiation pill Prussian Blue – medication that lessens the radiological impacts on your body.
Tensions have escalated lately on the Korean peninsula after a series of missile tests in the hermit kingdom and propagandized media threats were made sentencing president Donald Trump to death. Tyrant Kim Jong-un has since threatened a “nuclear holocaust” and there are fears the regime will soon have a missile capable of reaching the US mainland.
Zidek admitted that the state’s defensive facilities could be picked for an attack. Alaska is home to Fort Greely, where the US has interceptor rockets designed to destroy incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). The state also has missile defenses at the Pacific Spaceport Complex as well as radar warning systems at Clear Air Force Station.
“We have the missile defense system here. We have missiles and radars in a number of different locations,” Zidek said. “Perhaps there would be some type of attack on those military facilities to try to hinder our ability to react to any missile launches.” But Zidek’s warnings for Alaska get even more terrifying.
He also warned that Alaska no longer has any bomb shelters and there would be no new measures to deal specifically with a North Korean nuclear threat. “There could be evacuation notices put in place but are we going to be able to get that amount of lead time to instruct people to actually evacuate an area?” he said. Remember, once a missile is launched toward Alaska, it would take less than 20 minutes to make an impact.
“Really the recommendation for people during a nuclear attack is to shelter in place and find some type of secure location that will protect them from that blast,” said Zidek. “So with a mass evacuation – if people leave their homes, schools, and businesses to try to get out of the area, we may be putting more people at risk.”
Emergency planners in Hawaii have already confirmed that their state is within 20 minutes of Kim Jong-un’s missiles – and Alaska is even closer. Guam is closer still, and Kim has already threatened that island territory too.
Zidek said Alaska had reviewed its radiological threat plans and prepared social media warnings to be published at short notice. Otherwise, he said Alaska would respond to a nuclear attack using the same plans already devised for disasters like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
“The thing with disasters is – while disasters may vary a great deal – the consequences of the disasters don’t really change very much. With something like a nuclear attack, of course you’re going to have mass casualties, a hazmat event, and you’re gonna have the need to transport a large number of people,” said Zidek. “When we look at these problems, the consequences of the attack, they may be the same as if we had another large earthquake or we have a massive chemical spill. On a state level, when we look at our all-hazards plan, we say to ourselves ‘we are preparing for the consequences of any type of disaster’. And that’s exactly what we want our residents here in Alaska to do. Prepare for the consequences of any type of disaster.”