As tensions continue to rise between the United States and North Korea, many people are understandably becoming deeply concerned about the possibility of a nuclear strike on America.
While those in power and authority have an escape route in the form of densely fortified and well provisioned nuclear bunkers, ordinary people in a nuclear fallout zone have to survive by their wits and sheer luck.
This is how to survive a nuclear blast
What can an ordinary person do to give themselves the best chance in such a situation?
First, it is important to understand exactly what is going on. The blast site of a nuclear bomb is immense compared to conventional weapons. Anyone within a few miles of the landing site will die instantly in the extreme heat.
The ‘light damage’ zone – the region between one and three miles of the nuclear blast – is also extremely dangerous in these early moments. In addition to shattering glass, thermal radiation will zoom through the air at the speed of light which will give exposed individuals third-degree burns. People can be blinded even at thirteen miles away if they happen to be looking at the explosion.
Even outside of this particularly dangerous zone, there are perils following a nuclear blast primarily in the form of the residual radioactive material in the atmosphere which falls out of the sky at an incredible speed. Exposure to this kind of fallout can cause death within a matter of hours. To tell whether you are in this zone, hold out an arm against the mushroom cloud and close one eye. If the cloud appears to be larger than the thumb, then you are in the radiation zone. This means that there is only a brief period – approximately ten to fifteen minutes – to evacuate and get somewhere safe.
The best place to be in this kind of situation is underground. However, if that is not possible then make for the center of the building, shut off all ventilation systems and seal all of the doors and windows. To buffer against the particles of radiation, it is wise to fortify the walls with anything on hand – books or even soil.
Once the shelter has been found, it is imperative than everyone cleans off all of the radioactive material that may have settled on them. If they do not then the consequences could be deadly and very painful. An individual exposed to radiation particles should remove their clothing and place it in a plastic bag which should be disposed of. They should then wash thoroughly with a lot of soap.
Unfortunately, some people may become sick before they can clean off the nuclear debris. In this case, Potassium Iodine tablets are the best way to treat them. If the patient does not begin vomiting until four hours after the exposure, then it is likely that they will survive with the treatment. However, if they begin vomiting immediately, become unconscious or start to experience seizures then the situation is much more severe, and medical aid needs to be sought from a professional.
After all of this is dealt with, the waiting game begins. People may have to be in their shelters for a few days after a nuclear blast, but it could be as long as a month. This is why it is wise to keep provisions on hand. Bottled water is preferable to any tap water which may be contaminated. If there is no bottled water, then all water must be filtered before it is drunk. Canned and packaged goods which have not been exposed to the radiation particles are also essential. Finally, an emergency radio is important in this situation as it will allow people trapped in this hellish situation to learn important information about what is happening. As electronics may not work due to the electro-magnetic pulse effects of the blast, it is a good idea to invest in a hand-crank emergency radio for this purpose.
If all of this advice is followed then a person and their family have the best chance of surviving a nuclear blast. However, in such a terrifying situation, things can often come down to sheer luck.