Practical Family is about encouraging families to build strong foundations and healthy homes, and when unexpected things in life happen, our prayer is that you will be equipped with the knowledge and wisdom to support your family and community.

On Saturday, January 13, 2018, the residents of Hawaii received an emergency alert message on their phones:


After 38 minutes, residents were assured this alert was just a false alarm, but this message put our world into perspective. Many realized the need to prepare for such an event, and turned to state leadership and one another for answers.

I talk more about our own family’s reaction to the news here in my January 2018 Video Blog.

In the wake of such a terrifying wake-up call, I’ve put together this blog post with an objective to educate families on what this type of threat actually means, because the more we understand something, the less we tend to fear the unknown. Our goal is to lessen the concern surrounding any ballistic missile threat, and to prepare our families to survive and serve others in our community should such a disaster occur.

This post includes:

  • Special Edition of the Practical Family Podcast – audio interview with Karen Hogue
  • Emergency Preparedness List from the American Red Cross

Podcast Guest

Karen Hogue is a nuclear engineer who works at a United States national security site on nuclear non-proliferation, which is preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. She spent a number of years in the United States Navy teaching future nuclear operations on submarines and aircraft carriers, subjects on nuclear physics and reactor theory.

Karen use to live in Honolulu (where we met in a mommy group through church) but now she resides in east Tennessee with her husband (formerly in the Navy, now the reserves), and two little boys who are four and three.

In this recording, Karen and I discuss the science and stages behind a nuclear blast, what real life effects would look like if a family was close in proximity, and steps we could take to protect ourselves. I’ve also included links below to the American Red Cross for information on building up an emergency supply kit.

Click “play” below to listen to our conversation:

Emergency Preparedness

See this article by Hawaii News Now on Hurricane preparedness. Hurricanes are most common in coastal regions, but this checklist is a good rule of thumb for any disaster. Have a plan for food, water, and shelter.

Hurricane Checklist

Nuclear Terms Referenced

Stages of Nuclear detonation:

  1. Blast
  2. Thermal Energy
  3. Radiation



Critical Mass

Fission fragments

Beta / Gamma radiation


3 Ways to Protect Yourself:

  1. Time
  2. Distance
  3. Shielding

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This