The Japanese government is warning its citizens that they may have as little as 10 minutes, if any time at all, to seek shelter from an incoming missile attack from North Korea, the Washington Post reports.

Publicly disseminated information from the office of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, called “actions to protect yourself” were released this week, paints a starkly realistic picture of what the beginnings of a war with North Korea would look like.

The instructions come in an easy to read format, with soothing colors and cartoon characters navigating the steps necessary to respond to a pending disaster. But the message is unmistakable: Japan is readying itself for any and all possibilities from an increasingly provocative North Korean regime.

Among the instructions are how to seek shelter in the event of an aerial attack, be it from fighter jets (relatively easy to spot) or missiles (relatively difficult to spot). It instructs citizens to seek hard cover shelter, and to clear the roads as best as possible before abandoning their vehicles.

In the event of a nuclear, biological, or chemical attack, clear and concise instructions are listed on how to shelter in place, remove contaminated clothing, and wash the body to clear it of harmful substances. Taking no chances, the guidance even reminds Japanese citizens to not stare directly into the mushroom cloud of a nuclear explosion, as it will likely cause blindness.

In a first for post-World War Two Japan, the national government is hosting meetings with local municipalities to direct emergency response services in the event of a missile attack. Cities and towns across Japan are already enacting their own evacuation and response drills. In the event of a confirmed attack, Japan has an alert system called “J-Alert”, described in The Japan Times as: “local governments will relay warnings via outdoor loudspeaker systems, emergency broadcast channels on cable TV, FM radio broadcasts and cellphone alerts.

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If you are outside when a warning is sounded or received, the government’s advice is to proceed calmly to the strongest concrete building you can quickly get to, or to go underground, if possible. Families in their homes are advised to stay low to the floor, take cover underneath tables and to stay away from glass windows.”

Tensions between the U.S., Japan, and North Korea have been steadily rising over the past few months. Japan, long a target for North Korean missile tests and belligerent threats, is participating with the United States in joint naval exercises as a show of force as the it ratchets up its security posture. This past weekend, North Korea conducted a highly publicized show of force drill with many hundreds of artillery pieces. The North Korean regime has threatened to escalate immediately to nuclear war should the United States take any military action against it.

Image courtesy of the Seattle Times