Law will allow for nuclear missile preparation

It’s unclear what exactly would happen if Whidbey Island were to receive a message of an impending missile attack, because for more than 30 years Washington state has banned nuclear war preparations in emergency planning procedures.

A bill has been introduced in the state House and Senate to remove this prohibition.

The 1983 ban specifically applies to planning for evacuation and relocation of citizens, and was put in place over concern that preparing for nuclear war would agitate the Soviet Union, according to the WNPA Olympia News Bureau.

HB 2214 unanimously passed through the House Committee on Public Safety on Wednesday, and the Senate companion bill is scheduled for a vote in the Senate Committee on State Government, Tribal Relations and Elections.

For now, this is an expert’s advice for action if a missile heads this way: “Get inside, stay inside and stay tuned,” said Eric Brooks, director of Island County Emergency Management.

He said the old videos about ducking and covering aren’t particularly helpful.

The best thing to do is to go inside whatever the closest building is and go as far into the interior as possible; basements are the best location. He said don’t try and drive around looking for shelter because that will likely take a lot of time.

The county annex building does have a shelter, but only go there if you are already nearby. Once inside, it’s important to have a radio and extra batteries, water and plenty of food.

“You may be inside your house for quite a while,” Brooks said.

Outside may be dangerous because of nuclear fallout, the residual radioactive material in the atmosphere after a nuclear blast.

The department recommends having a weather radio, which will automatically turn on if an emergency alert is sent out. These radios are also useful for staying caught up during an ongoing situation.

Brooks recommended downloading the county’s emergency management phone application, which allows individuals to create plans, develop checklists and notify emergency contacts.

“It’s got a lot of great tools for building your preparedness.”

More in News

Man facing prison for sexual assault

A former South Whidbey man faces a prison term for sexually assaulting… Continue reading

Nortier leaving Island Transit

Executive director deboarding bus system next month

Crumpled napkin discovered in shoe | Island Scanner

The following items were selected from reports made to the Island County… Continue reading

Rapist sent to prison

An Oak Harbor woman who was chased by a man with a… Continue reading

Girl Scouts make emergency kits

South Whidbey just got better prepared for an emergency. On Aug. 29,… Continue reading

Whidbey Island Grown Week spotlights Maxwelton Valley

Annual tour features farms, produce, wine, spirits

Settlement reached with former police chief

Marks to receive $80,000, resigned Sept. 7

Getting ex-cidered!

Cider Festival features food, fun and Muscle and Arm Farm

Musical tributes to honor DjangoFest founder

‘Forever and ever, this will be Nick Lehr’s festival’

Most Read