Practical Steps to Reduce Exposure to Nuclear Attack Radiation
If you receive an advanced warning of an impending nuclear attack. You should listen to the authorities advice on whether you should evacuate or seek shelter underground as soon as possible. If you’re told to evacuate you should listen carefully to the information and advice you are given. For example details of evacuation routes, temporary shelters, and other steps you should take to reduce exposure to nuclear attack radiation.
If you are caught in the path of the fallout and have survived the initial effects of the explosion. Protection from fallout radiation is the most important life-saving measure. This is because fallout material can travel high into the atmosphere and its dispersal pattern cannot be accurately predicted using surface winds. The authorities will recommend whether you should either shelter-in-place or evacuate.
Only if practical to do so and you have time before leaving, you can take steps to prevent radioactive material from being sucked inside your home. By closing and locking your windows, doors and switching off air conditioning, vents and fans.
If you are initially taking shelter in a contaminated area, keep your distance from contaminated exterior walls and roofs.
If you have not received any information or advice from the authorities you will need to decide for yourself whether you need to evacuate or find shelter.
- It is recommended that if a cloud of debris is heading towards you. You should immediately leave the area by a route that is perpendicular to the path of the fallout. (a straight line at an angle of 90°)
- If however there is no visible sign of a cloud of debris or the fallout direction is unknown. You should seek shelter. A basement or the center of a high-rise building away from doors and windows would be your best option.
How To Protect Yourself From Nuclear Radiation
The Department of Homeland Security says there are three key areas you should focus on to reduce exposure to nuclear attack radiation. Whilst some may consider these areas a matter of common sense. These areas are time, distance, and shielding.
Time – Decreasing the amount of time you spend in areas where there is radiation will reduce your exposure to nuclear attack radiation.
Distance – Increasing the distance you are from a radiation source will also reduce your exposure to nuclear attack radiation. For example, if you double the distance you are from the radiation point the radiation dose is divided by four.
Shielding – Creating a barrier between yourself and the source of radiation provides considerable shielding from radiation. For example, If you shelter in a single story building that’s made from brick or concrete your exposure to radiation is likely to be halved. If you are able to get below ground this increases to around ninety percent.
What To Do When Sheltering In Place
If you are sheltering in place you should aim to get as far below ground as possible. Shut off any ventilation systems and seal all doors and windows until the fallout cloud has passed. The amount of time this takes is normally a matter of hours for example 12-24 hours. However, you should stay inside and wait for the emergency responders and authorities to confirm it is safe to go outside.
In the meantime use your stored emergency food and drinking water supplies to stay hydrated. Be aware that boiling tap water does not get rid of radioactive materials so bottled water is the only water that is free of contamination.
Continue to listen to local radio and television broadcasts for official information. Be aware that these broadcasts could be disrupted for some time as a result of power outages. You can also keep an eye out on social media for these updates.
It’s a good idea to get yourself a battery-powered or hand-crank emergency radio. Like this American Red Cross FRX3 Hand Crank NOAA AM/FM Weather Alert Radio so you can stay tuned to emergency broadcasts.
If you are told to stay inside by authorities you should keep your pets inside with you.
If you have family in hospitals, schools or nursing homes do not go outside to fetch them. Going outside could expose you and them to dangerous radiation levels. Any family or loved ones that are staying in these facilities will be taken care of and advised on whats best for them.
What To Do If Your Outside When a Blast Occurs
If you’re caught outside when a nuclear attack blast occurs. Lie face down on the ground and remain flat until the heat and shock waves have passed. Protect any exposed areas of skin such as your hands by placing them under an area of your body. Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth to help filter particulates from the air you’re inhaling.
If you’ve suffered exposure to contaminated dust and debris. Remove your outer clothing as soon as is possible. When possible, shower, wash your hair and change your clothes before entering a shelter. Do not scrub harshly or scratch your skin. Continue to listen out for information from any emergency responders that are on the scene.
If you are traveling in a vehicle, try to get to the cover of a building straight away. Vehicles do not offer great protection from radioactive material. As mentioned earlier you should Ideally try to shelter in a brick or concrete multi-story building or a building with a basement. If this is not possible bear in mind that sheltering inside any building structure is safer than staying outside.
Practical Steps To Reduce Exposure To Nuclear Attack Radiation Summary
The information above provides some practical steps that would help you to reduce exposure to nuclear attack radiation. You can continue your research by reviewing the research credits and recommended reading links provided below.
Research Credits & Recommended Reading