Views on the News: Emergency Drills
According to a Nov. 29 New York Times article, Hawaii plans on reinstating tests for a Cold War-era warning system that will inform citizens of an impending nuclear attack. Beginning on Dec. 1, the alarm will play on the first business day of every month, along with the already regular natural disaster warning tests. Though the system has not been used since the mid-1990s, recent threats from North Korea make this precaution necessary, according to Richard Rapoza, spokesperson for the state's emergency management agency. What do you think of this decision, and is it appropriate?
Adina Scheinberg ’21
I think that current tension between the United States and North Korea deems Hawaii’s warning system extremely necessary. The possibility of a nuclear attack becomes more and more likely each day, and the United States needs to take preemptive measures to keep its citizens safe. Though one could argue that this alarm will only instill fear in Hawaiians, I believe that, like other warning mechanisms, it will inform people what to do in case of an emergency, ensure that equipment and procedures run smoothly and, most importantly, avoid panic. It can be easy to go about our daily lives without thinking about the threat of a nuclear attack. For this very reason, the government needs to make citizens aware and prepared for the worst so that if an attack does occur, citizens will know what to do and respond as calmly as possible.
Adina Scheinberg ’21 is the interfaith coordinator for Brandeis Hillel.
Ilana Blumen ’21
I believe that the decision of reinstating the Cold War-era warning system would only serve to contribute to the growing fear culture in America today. The alarms themselves are pointless; there is no action a civilian can take to contribute to their safety in the event of a nuclear attack. These sirens, when they first appeared during the latter half of the twentieth century, created a period of near-constant panic over an attack that never came. The resources dedicated to the renewed operation of this alarm system would be better spent developing an air defense system similar to Israel’s Iron Dome to protect Americans from foreign nuclear threats.
Ilana Blumen ’21 is a member of Brandeis Hillel.
Amanda Kahn ’20
I think that the decision to reinstate the nuclear attack warning system is an appropriate one, given the current political climate. It is extremely important to be as prepared as possible for situations like this, and having drills to help prepare people is crucial to that end. The threat of a nuclear attack from North Korea is becoming more and more real, and it is important that the proper precautions are taken. The threat seems especially imminent as our president continues to exacerbate the situation by insulting Kim Jong-un. Therefore, I think reinstating this warning system is a wise decision.
Amanda Kahn ’20 is majoring in Biology with a minor in History.
Tafara Gava ’20
I find nothing problematic in Hawaii’s plans to reinstate Cold-War era warning systems. It’s more important these days to ensure the safety and well-being of citizens. The fact that North Korea has already conducted several missile tests and that its media employs aggressive rhetoric toward the United States and Japan warrants this level of panic. Politically, the world rests in a very fragile, awry state. Outside of this crisis, terrorist attacks (both religiously-motivated and secular) in the west are on the rise. As such, it’s more exemplary than a problem that this state is conscientising its citizens about what to do and how to keep safe in potentially life-threatening moments. It’s important not only for the North Korea threat — however threatening — but also in general. The times we live in necessitate that we know how to get to safety in times of crisis.
Tafara Gava ’20 is a staff writer for the Justice.