How To Survive If A Nuke Goes Off In Your Town

Lifestyle
Photo via Pixabay

Since the world was first exposed to the devastating power of nuclear warfare when the United States dropped bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to close out World War II, the fear of such an attack has loomed ever-present in the minds of people around the globe. Or, at least, I am one such person, and at the risk of sounding paranoid, I have to wonder, “What do you do and where can you hide from a nuclear bomb?”


First, if you're within 50 miles of ground zero, you'll know what's happening when you see a flash of bright light, which could give you flash blindness, according to Lifehacker.

Next, the best thing to do is hide.

If you can find a dense, protective shelter within five minutes of exposure, you should, according to researcher Michael Dillon from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. But if getting there would take longer, it’s best to stay where you are for at least an hour before making moves.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has an infographic that can help you figure out the safest place to hide, based on the surrounding buildings.

Your best option is to be underground, surrounded by concrete, where the dense material will prevent radiation exposure. Wooden structures, though better than nothing, will not protect you from radioactive fallout.

If you can, while sheltering, the EPA suggests you avoid doors and windows. You should also lose your contaminated clothing by sealing them off in a plastic bag and keeping them away from people.

As soon as you can, shower, using shampoo and soap, but no conditioner. It binds radioactive material to your hair, Lifehacker writes. In addition, you should avoid scrubbing or scratching your skin, which could make it more susceptible to exposure.

And if you can't get to a shelter, try to find a depressed area to hide in, exposing as little skin as possible. After the blast, you have 10 to 20 minutes before a lethal amount of radiation comes down from the mushroom cloud.

During a talk on surviving a nuclear attack, professor Irwin Redlener, U.S. specialist on disaster preparedness, said, "In that 10 to 15 minutes [after the bomb is detonated], all you have to do is go about a mile away from the blast.”

With the resurgence of Cold War tensions and North Korean sabre-rattling, fear about nuclear winter is on the rise. While I used to think doomsday preppers took things too far, maybe there is something to that whole, having-a-nuclear-bunker thing?

U.S. Army Astronaut Lt. Col. Anne McClain is captured in this photo during a media opportunity while serving as backup crew for NASA Expedition 56 to the International Space Station May, 2018, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. (NASA photo)

NASA is reportedly investigating one of its astronauts in a case that appears to involve the first allegations of criminal activity from space.

Read More Show Less
New York National Guard Soldiers and Airmen of the 24th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team (CST) and 106th Rescue Wing prepare to identify and classify several hazardous chemical and biological materials during a collective training event at the Plum Island Animal Disease Research Facility, New York, May 2, 2018. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Harley Jelis)

The Department of Homeland Security stored sensitive data from the nation's bioterrorism defense program on an insecure website where it was vulnerable to attacks by hackers for over a decade, according to government documents reviewed by The Los Angeles Times.

The data included the locations of at least some BioWatch air samplers, which are installed at subway stations and other public locations in more than 30 U.S. cities and are designed to detect anthrax or other airborne biological weapons, Homeland Security officials confirmed. It also included the results of tests for possible pathogens, a list of biological agents that could be detected and response plans that would be put in place in the event of an attack.

The information — housed on a dot-org website run by a private contractor — has been moved behind a secure federal government firewall, and the website was shut down in May. But Homeland Security officials acknowledge they do not know whether hackers ever gained access to the data.

Read More Show Less
A U.S. Marine with Task Force Southwest observes Afghan National Army (ANA) 215th Corps soldiers move to the rally point to begin their training during a live-fire range at Camp Shorabak. (U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Luke Hoogendam)

By law, the United States is required to promote "human rights and fundamental freedoms" when it trains foreign militaries. So it makes sense that if the U.S. government is going to spend billions on foreign security assistance every year, it should probably systematically track whether that human rights training is actually having an impact or not, right?

Apparently not. According to a new audit from the Government Accountability Office, both the Departments of Defense and State "have not assessed the effectiveness of human rights training for foreign security forces" — and while the Pentagon agreed to establish a process to do so, State simply can't be bothered.

Read More Show Less
The Topeka Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Public domain)

The Kansas City VA Medical Center is still dealing with the fallout of a violent confrontation last year between one of its police officers and a patient, with the Kansas City Police Department launching a homicide investigation.

And now Topeka's VA hospital is dealing with an internal dispute between leaders of its Veterans Affairs police force that raises new questions about how the agency nationwide treats patients — and the officers who report misconduct by colleagues.

Read More Show Less
Jeannine Willard (Valencia County Detention Center)

A New Mexico woman was charged Friday in the robbery and homicide of a Marine Corps veteran from Belen late last month after allegedly watching her boyfriend kill the man and torch his car to hide evidence.

Read More Show Less