Hawaiin ponderings

So, you’re on an island and you get word that a nuclear missle is..what?..20 minutes away….from hitting. What do you do?

The media reported about people running around screaming, stuffing kids into storm drains, and people calling their loved ones for that dramatic ‘final phone call’. I wonder if anyone thought to get in a boat and motor away from the island as fast as they could.

Malmstrom AFB is a couple hours east of here and is the closest real nuclear target to me. What would I do if I got that text alert that there was a missile heading in that direction? Well, I wouldn’t be standing around crying and praying like the Hawaii folks. I’d grab the people important to me and cart them off to my basement. (Which , in retrospect, sounds very serial killer-y.)

Dreams like this happen every once in a while. I’ll have a dream that I see The Big Flash on the horizon and the world turns into the first fifteen minutes of World War Z. Maybe I stay put in my house, maybe I head to a secondary location, maybe I grab a shopping cart and race through WalMart like my life depends on it. But what I don’t do is stand around wailing and crying.

What about you? Have you actually told the loved ones what the drill is for when Something Big happens?

Secret message to Pedro begins: Received. Much thanks! Will report on it.

20 thoughts on “Hawaiin ponderings

  1. “ I wonder if anyone thought to get in a boat and motor away from the island as fast as they could.” Out side a few who were at the docks when they heard the news probably not. As slow and congested as hawaiian traffic is there is no bugging out and it’s horrably lacking on good places to bug in.

  2. I was a teenager in the mid-1980’s living about 20 miles from a Trident sub base (Naval Base Kitsap). Me and my little group of weirdo friends all had army surp wool clothes,10/22’s, and our bicycles. We did as much research as we could and talked at length about what might happen if there was a nuclear exchange or a problem with one of the trains that delivered the missiles and warheads to to the base and so on. Those plans were my into to survivalism, and frankly, we got a hell of a lot more right than wrong. Bicycles, wool clothes, 10/22’s, and canned goods are your friends when the zombies are roaming.

    My family never talked about the nuke threat back then, but I knew others that did and a least one of my friends parents were a bit on the survivalist side of things. I also knew a few anti-nuke “peacenik” types that also had rather full pantries and a .30-30 or two stashed away (.30-30 is pretty much the official caliber of the Olympic Peninsula).

    As an adult I’ve chosen a fairly solitary existence and my parents have passed away so there’s not really a big group of people to have discussions with. My dad and I did have the occasional talk about what to do if bad times came, but it was always more along the lines of the return of the great depression.

    As for Hawaii, I’ve spent time on a couple of the islands (it’s nice!). Steady trade-winds, lots of steep valleys and lava tubes. Get underground in one of those valleys and at long as a nuke doesn’t go off right on top of you, you’ll probably get though it OK.

  3. Given its historical legacy as a militarily strategic position, I should think there is a lot of reinforced concrete in big pile under which one could hide. Bunkers that could withstand 18-inch Japanese naval gunfire should do fairly well at deflecting blast.

    As much as people may cluck, chide and shake their head about the folks who dived into the storm sewers, those folks were a) at least making an effort and b) may have actually stood a fighting chance that way.

    A really interesting question is this: suppose a relatively small tactical nuke had popped over Hawaii and done some major damage. Given the blindfolded clusterf*** that has been Puerto Rico, how would the Aloha State fare for re-construction. PR is a lot closer to the mainland than Hawaii, and look how that’s going!

    With the CZ mantra in mind (“Never be a refugee!”) it really does look like your best rescuer is going to be yourself.

    Time to lay in the freeze-drieds, water, ammo and fuel. Actually, it’s -always- time to lay in the freeze-drieds, water, ammo and fuel!

    • I suspect that the military value of Hawaii, versus that of Puerto Rico, would have made rebuilding Hawaii a bigger priority than rebuilding Puerto Rico.

  4. what i find “interesting” about it is that they are all mad at the govt et al for scaring them shitless, yet after months of warning they haven’t given one thought as to what to do nor made any prep whatsoever. they should be mad at themselves. so i have an outlaw josie wales quote for them. i’ll let you figure out which one 🙂

  5. April 27th 2011. The kids finally understood why dad (me) freaks out in bad weather and gets the radios, the bags and the important documents in the bathroom. An EF-5 tore through the kids school a mile away and destroyed the house of one my daughter’s best friend. A mile seems a fair piece, until its a 300 yd wide EF-5.
    After that week I didn’t get so much rolling of the eyes while I went about my stashing and updating lists.
    Growing up under the big Red Scare, my parents would entertain my questions about atomic weapons and the like but since we were in a top 20 strike city, unless we were at Grandma’s house, we wouldn’t get a chance to see the flash. Didn’t stop us from getting ready for it though.

    • Yep, 4/27/11 was quite a day around here, as was the following week. Being on the eastern side of things, it never even rained that day but we too were without power for a week. And people wonder why I talk about `Wilderness First Aid`; if there is no power, it is wilderness because you are your own first response.


  6. 500,000 people on Oahu, many of them tourists. If there ever were a situation that called for “shelter in place”, I’d say Hawaii is the text book example. You need an independent water source (rain catchment), 2 months of food (rice and canned soup), and a way to defend your front door.

    Stay indoors to mitigate fallout (if that’s the concern), and stay the F@ck away from large crowds. If USPACOM can’t fend off a ballistic missile attack, the die-off should be quick.

  7. I have a cabin in the woods, which is where I would go. I have enough firearms and ammo, a portable generator and a fair amount of food. I could live off the land where the cabin is, through hunting and fishing. My first stop on the way to the cabin would be to break into a Batteries Plus and load up all the batteries I could get. Think about the crucial things which need batteries: flashlights, red dot sights, vehicles, radios, GPS (if it still works), range finders, night vision optics. Whatever excess I had could be traded to others for things I might need.

  8. Fortunately, Malmstrom and the missile fields are down wind…

    While you can’t plan on surviving a near detonation (at least not very practically), fallout is easy. And being upwind of it makes it even easier: You don;t have to deal with fallout, just societal collapse.

  9. Unless you’re within the blast wave radius, the first thing is to determine if you’re downwind of any potential fallout. If not, then don’t panic, because you’re not in danger from at least the radiation. The panicked masses on the other hand might be a danger!!!

  10. also, if you’re in hawaii and looking at a 38 minute old alert, it was false. it only takes 15 minutes from korea. 25ish to kalifornia, 38 or so to eastern seaboard. can you get hunkered down in your retreat in that amount of time?

  11. Just got word I’m relocating from missoula to Hawaii starting next week for 6 weeks. I’m a directv installer. Since I’m flying I won’t be able to take my normal kit. Once my boots are on the ground I’ll put somega things together. I’ll buy 8 weeks of food since I’m there for 6 weeks. Anything left over will get donated to the hotel staff. Not sure if the hotel has a kitchen so I’ll probably pack a portable cooking arrangement of some sort. I’m also thinking of getting some fishing gear just incase.anyone have any suggestions?

    • Probably can’t take a firearm of most types, but you may look into that just because.
      There are no “carry permits” available and no reciprocity for yours if you got one, magazine limits for pistols if you are even allowed to bring it, and last I checked you couldn’t even have a blaster in the vehicle unless (like New Jersey) on the way to or from the shooting range.
      SO, self defense is going to be “improvised” to say the least.
      Water filters would be a good plan, and maybe look for the nearest hardware store so as to pick up an extra few “tools”.
      Though if you’re Directv, you may be able to bring some stuff along, right?
      My free advice, worth every pennies.

      • Since it’s a business trip I’m forgoing the firearms, besides I don’t have much to choose from that fits Hawaiis laws kwheel gun or .380 maybe). I’ll have a van full of tools but will still bring some along. I’ll also being some edged tools along ;). I have water purification tabs, a life straw and will fill a few of our non penetrating water weight containers and stick in the hotel closet.

        Thanks for the cash idea hadn’t thought about the power grid being fragile there.

    • Bring cash. The electrical grid in Hawaii is very fragile. When it goes down, the WHOLE STATE goes dark. No stop lights, no cell phones, no AM/FM radio. Nothing.

      Cash will be king in a down-grid scenario.

    • Hawaii does not honor any other state’s CCW permit. I’d still look into HI gun laws, and bring a lawful firearm in your checked luggage.

      Your food plan sounds solid. Consider stocking water in your hotel room as well. In a disaster, the plumbing could go out, and water may not run in your hotel, especially if your room is on a high floor.

      I’d skip the emergency fishing gear. Deep sea fishermen might do OK for a while, but if it comes to the point that people on shore are throwing lines in the water in order to not starve to death, you’re pretty much screwed.

    • http://hawaiirifleassociation.org/hawaii-gun-laws/
      All firearms brought into the State must be registered with the county police within 72 hours. Aliens may bring in firearms for 90 days only for bona fide hunting or target shooting. You do not need a permit to bring your own firearms into the State.
      Just one thing you need to have a signed bill of sale(copy OK) for when you originally purchased the firearms you brought with you, still how hard is that to “get”.

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