Donald Trump will arrive in Hawaii later as the islands step up emergency preparations to deal with a possible nuclear strike from North Korea.
The US President is making his first visit to the country’s Pacific outpost en route to a critical 12-day swing through Asia.
And Hawaiians are growing increasingly nervous that Mr Trump’s war of words with Kim Jong Un is putting them in Pyongyang’s firing line.
A nuclear warning siren, not used since the height of the Cold War, will be reinstated next month. Public meetings are being held to advise people on how to be prepared for an attack and its aftermath.
Vern Miyagi, the head of Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency, denies that it is causing unnecessary alarm to islanders. He says that although the risk of attack is small, preparation is vital.
He told Sky News: “It is the elephant in the room and we can’t ignore it.
“We have to take measures to educate the public and facilitate our early warning notification to the public.
“I can’t be doing this when something has happened. We have to get this done ahead of time.”
It is estimated that it would take just 20 minutes for a missile from North Korea to reach Hawaii.
At a public meeting in the small community of Pearl City, Mr Miyagi answered questions from locals on the likelihood of an attack and what to expect.
Mother-of-four Jasmin Pacheco brought her eldest daughter to the meeting. She said: “There are times when she’s the oldest one at home and if something does happen and I’m at work and my husband is at work she’ll know what to do.
“It’s hard to talk to the kids about it because they don’t understand that it’s a real threat.”
Eric Juback, at the meeting with his wife and two daughters, echoed those thoughts.
He said: “If I can’t provide for my family then I’m probably not doing a very good job of being a father so talking about this is the best way to respond to it.”
North Korea is likely to dominate Mr Trump’s first visit to Asia with American allies keen for reassurance from the president of his commitment to their defence.
He will push China to put more pressure on Pyongyang while talking tough with Beijing on trade. He is also due to meet the controversial and authoritarian president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte.
But containing North Korea will be the chief aim and, in Hawaii, some say more is needed to prepare for the possibility of attack.
State representative Gene Ward said: “Right now in the schools they don’t have evacuation drills for Kim Jong Un but we do for an active shooter.
“Those are the things they’re doing in Japan and Guam and I have written to the Governor to say we have to speed up the evacuation drills here.”
While in Hawaii, Mr Trump will visit that perpetual reminder of surprise attacks – the memorial at the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbour.