Hawaii: First state to prepare for nuclear attack

Mitsuko Heidtke shakes her head in disbelief after hearing that Hawaii is now the first US state to prepare for the possibility of a nuclear strike by North Korea.

She lives on the island of Oahu now, but 72 years ago she was in Hiroshima, Japan, and was only 10 years old when she experienced firsthand the utter devastation and the terrible consequences a nuclear bomb can deliver.

Growing tensions between the United States and North Korea over North Korea's weapons program have led Hawaii to take action, and now the threat of a nuclear strike is being assessed and planned for just in case, although US officials dialed back rhetoric on Wednesday.

No matter how remote the chance, Hawaii is getting prepared, just in case, because state and military officials know there will be little time to react if North Korea does launch a nuclear warhead aimed at Hawaii.

"If North Korea uses an intercontinental ballistic missile, from launch to impact (in Hawaii) is approximately 20 minutes," said Lt. Col. Charles Anthony, director of public affairs for the state's Department of Defense.

"Pacific Command would take about fives minutes to characterize a launch, where the missile is going, which means the population would have about 15 minutes to take shelter," said Vern Miyagi, administrator for Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency, adding: "It's not much time at all, but it is enough time to give yourself a chance to survive." cnn.com