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In October, the University of Hawaii sent out a message to all students and employees with the subject line "in case of nuclear attack." The email message featured links to various resources and explained, "In light of concerns about North Korea missile tests, state and federal agencies are providing information about nuclear threats and what to do in the unlikely event of a nuclear attack and radiation emergency." The email message received national press attention, some of it mocking.

On Saturday, the state of Hawaii went into a panic when a false alarm -- sent out by human error -- warned that Hawaii was facing a "ballistic missile threat." It took 38 minutes for the state's emergency systems to notify people that the alert was a mistake.

Hawaii News Now reported that many students at the University of Hawaii at Manoa were terrified by the first notification, with many running to classrooms, where they perceived they might be more safe than in their dormitory rooms.

Daniel Meisenzahl, a spokesman for the system, said via email that the October message resulted in more people on university campuses having some information about how to react. He said after the alert Saturday, residence life officials reached out to students to offer help.

In the event of a real attack, Meisenzahl said, the university and the state lack appropriate facilities. "Currently, there are no official or established nuclear fallout shelters in Hawaii. The university, and society as a whole, have more work to do to refine the general guidance on a building-specific basis. The university's emergency managers are in the beginning phases of identifying and assessing locations on the campuses," he said.