Have you ever thought about nuclear disaster preparation? I have, but then I grew up during the Cold War. You might have come to the conclusion that having a fallout shelter is pointless because everybody is going to die from a nuclear bomb anyway.
That’s not true.
It is true that people at the center and for a 30-mile radius will probably die. However, the further you are from the blast, the better your chance of survival. Nuclear disaster preparation should be part of your prepping plan.
Blast from the Past
One of my favorite movies is Blast from the Past. It is set in the time I grew up, and has some of my favorite actors: Christopher Walken, Sissy Spacek, Brendan Fraser, and Alicia Silverstone. Calvin (Walken), the husband, has secretly built a huge, elaborate bomb shelter under their house with everything they need to survive underground in the event of a nuclear blast. Talk about nuclear disaster preparation!
One day, an airplane crashes on their home. Thinking THE BOMB has dropped, Calvin and his wife, Helen (Spacek), descend into the shelter, which automatically locks behind them.
The timer is set to unlock the door in 35 years, at such time when Calvin believes it will be safe to leave the shelter. Since no one knows about the shelter, people assume the family burned up in the fire resulting from the airplane crash.
Their son (Fraser) is born and raised in the shelter, and the story really begins when he leaves the shelter for the first time. By the way, it’s a romantic comedy, not an apocalyptic drama, and a fun watch.
So How Long Does Radioactivity Hang Around?
There are lots of people throwing out lots of statistics about how long radioactivity would be a serious health hazard. However, the earth is amazing at healing itself.
Radioactivity will start to decay immediately. Smaller particles lose most of their radioactivity after 24 hours, while sand-sized particles will take 3 to 4 days.
If you have sheltered from a nuclear blast, chances are that you will be able to emerge within a week and see what needs to be done to resume life.
Nuclear Disaster Preparation
In the 2nd part of our “Surviving a Nuclear Explosion” series, I covered the astounding aftereffects of a nuclear explosion.
You learned how radioactive fireballs can be created instantly upon the detonation of a nuclear weapon. Tons upon tons of earth can easily be displaced by such an explosion to create radioactive fallout.
Now it’s time to discuss essential nuclear disaster preparation guidelines that will help you deal with the immediate aftermath of a nuclear explosion. Here are some tips on how to prepare for a possible nuclear explosion so that you can keep your family relatively safe and well in the aftermath.
How can you prepare your family for a nuclear-related emergency?
Your chances of survival depend on how much planning and implementing you’re willing to do in the name of nuclear disaster preparation.
What Is the First Step?
If you’ve read my entire series on nuclear explosions, you’ve already begun fulfilling the first requirement of nuclear disaster preparedness which is: be aware.
Knowing what you’re up against is important, especially if you’re dealing with man-made disasters like nuclear incidents. Knowing what to expect can also help you negotiate risky situations such as going out into the open or traveling into areas that are nearest the nuclear blasts.
Below are several nuclear disaster preparations that you need to carry out in order to be fully equipped in the event of a nuclear emergency:
Stock Sufficient Disaster Supplies
Aim to stock 30 days worth of food and clean water first. Store your food and water in durable containers that can be covered tightly. Also stock other emergency items, such as tools, that will keep your family safe and comfortable.
One item you might not have sitting around the house that you should stock is potassium iodide tablets. These are tablets that should be taken after a nuclear disaster has occurred. They help to prevent thyroid cancer, which is sometimes the result of being exposed to radioactivity.
Be Prepared to Put Out Fires
There is an overwhelmingly common belief that once a nuclear bomb goes off, everything is going to be burned and pulverized right down to the last molecule.This type of destruction only happens in movies. In reality, the widespread destruction caused by a nuclear explosion is actually due to fires starting in different locations all at once.
Nuclear fallout doesn’t directly cause the mass damage and uncontrollable fires associated with a blast – it’s the shockwave and immense heat that you have to be careful about. As for the radioactive fallout, that won’t even come for another 30 to 40 minutes after an actual blast.
In the event that you live within the effective blast radius of a nuclear explosion, focus on keeping everyone safe and putting out fires inside your home. Heat from a nuclear blast is of course invisible but it doesn’t mean that it can’t cause fires. Curtains, wooden furniture, office supplies – these are just some of the things that can easily catch fire.
Familiarize Yourself with First Aid and Basic Home Nursing
Due to the extreme nature of manmade disasters like nuclear blasts, physical injuries are exceedingly common and everyone living/working within the effective radius of a nuclear explosion is at risk. Knowing first aid is essential to the survival of your loved ones should they experience burns and other injuries after a blast. Below are some skills that you should learn/acquire in preparation for disasters:
- Caring for an unconscious individual
- Transporting injured persons
- Basic wound care (including cleaning/disinfection and application of proper dressings)
- Caring for bone injuries or fractures
- Caring for infants, children and seniors
- Emotional counseling and psychological support for victims of disasters
- Care for individuals that may have been exposed to high levels of radiation.
- Proper removal of radioactive materials from clothes and the body
These are just some of the essential skills that are vital for your family’s survival in the aftermath of a nuclear explosion. As part of your nuclear disaster preparation, read survival manuals or attend first aid seminars to learn more about these skills.
The Luckiest Man in the World
Most of all, don’t despair. A Japanese man on a business trip was in Hiroshima when the U.S, dropped the first atomic bomb. He suffered burns, temporary blindness, and his ear drums were both blown out.
However, he went home and showed up for work, despite his injuries. He was just explaining the bomb in Hiroshima when the second bomb was dropped on his home town – Nagasaki. Mr. Yamaguchi died in 2010 at the ripe old age of 93, so survival is possible.
Do you feel a little better about surviving a nuclear explosion? I’d love for you to leave a comment and share this with your friends if you found it useful.
Don’t be scared … be prepared,