In the event of a nuclear attack, the city of San Francisco's Department of Emergency Management is where an emergency response plan would be coordinated.
With the fiery exchanges flying between the U.S. and North Korea over the latter's missile tests and threats against U.S. allies, questions have emerged about how prepared big cities are for an attack.
San Francisco's emergency operations center is prepared for just about any emergency.
"We take an all-hazards approach," said Francis Zamora of the Department of Emergency Management. "We have something called the city’s emergency response plan, and in that plan, we examine things like how we alert the public to an emergency, how we manage mass casualties ..."
President Donald Trump's reaction to North Korea's nuclear stance Wednesday, saying it would be met with "fire and fury," has raised questions about different scenarios in the Bay Area.
"You know, the more likely scenario for us is not that of a nuclear missle but is that of a radiological device, or what is commonly known as a dirty bomb," Zamora said. "And that’s something that, as local agencies, we actually have the resources to help detect those type of activities and help prevent them. That’s something that we train and exercise on."
Thomas Fingar, a fellow with the Shorenstein Asia Pacific Research Center at Stanford University, believes the international rhetoric around North Korea's missile testing is not helpful. Diplomacy is key.
"Why would (North Korea) start it? Why would we start it?" Fingar said. "If we can just get past this obstacle of saying there's no way to manage this problem, then we've got a better chance of managing the problem."
Experts told NBC Bay Area being prepared for a nuclear event certainly is important, but making changes over short-term concerns about what might happen is going too far.