3 new bills introduced requiring businesses to open their doors during a state of emergency
When panicked people tried to take cover during Hawaii's missile scare, many wound up inside Planet Fitness in Ala Moana. The gym opened its doors to the public that morning but not all businesses did.
HONOLULU - When panicked people tried to take cover during Hawaii's missile scare, many wound up inside Planet Fitness in Ala Moana.
The gym opened its doors to the public that morning but not all businesses did.
Hawaii lawmakers are now considering three bills that would prohibit public businesses from denying access to the public when people are being advised to seek immediate shelter during an emergency.
"My own personal belief is that if a business is open during a time of an incoming missile threat that it shelter people that are in the store and people who are immediately outside, they should be allowed to come in," Rep. Greg Takayama said.
Tina Yamaki, president of the Retail Merchants of Hawaii says her organization supports the bills, but wants protection, too.
"The part that we are really looking for is the liability part. We want to make sure we are exempt from that. Unfortunately, this society is very sue happy and we want to be good citizens, but we also want to protect and do everything else we can as well," Yamaki said.
Yamaki says up until now, most businesses have not done nuclear drills since the 1960's.
She says the focus lately has been on active shooter drills and dealing with suspicious packages. She adds the events of January 13 have now caused many business to look into what to do in the case of a real ballistic missile threat.
"We are formulating plans and looking at what we have. It's not a simple solution, it's something that is not going to happen overnight and we really have to take a strong hard look at it," Yamaki said.
The bills were approved and will move onto the next reading.