“The very state of the world today is a cruel and frightening reflection of the chaos and confusion that prevails around us. The unpredictability of events makes it impossible for anyone to say that the very next moment will be as good as the present one. Unpredictable, in fact, is one word that defines the world and everything in it and accidents form a big part of this unpredictable life we lead. Nature itself has its way of showing how unpredictable it can be through the numerous disasters that knock the doors at the most unexpected time. Natural or man made, if survival is what you seek, then it is important to prepare yourself for it. One such event that can occur as much unpredictability as any other event is a nuclear blast. Defined as an explosion that gives out a highly intense amount of heat and light, a nuclear blast brings with it a damaging pressure wave and radioactive materials that have the potential to spread far and wide. The radioactive materials contaminate the atmosphere, the air we breathe, the water bodies and the ground surface for miles around.
Since the very advent of the concept of “”nuclear””, governments across the world have been in a discussion about the potential and use of nuclear weapons. The only reason is that there is nothing else in the world that has the potential to destroy the world as much as a nuclear weapon. A single mistake could lead to damage that could never be recovered which is why a nuclear disaster whether accidental or intentional is something that must be avoided and thoroughly prepared for at all costs. However, an accidental blast is something that no one can avoid. The only workable option in this scenario is to prepare for the events that will follow and make sure you protect yourself from the dangers to which you have been exposed. A nuclear blast is not like any other disaster that you have seen or experienced before. The actual impact of the explosion will linger on for a few days in the form of secondary fires and explosions that are started by the heat pulse. There is going to be intensely unbearable amount of heat. Even if you live in a place where a nuclear reactor is not nearby, you must prepare yourself for a nuclear blast for who knows if a nuclear weapon falls into the hands of an unwanted entity. Although the experts in the field may say that the event of a nuclear blast is the one whose likelihood of occurrence is quite low as compared to any other form of attack but you must not forget the accidental nuclear leakage that happened after the tsunami and earthquake in Japan in 2011. So, here we are as always to help you get prepared for a nuclear disaster.
First, let us tell you the hazards of a nuclear disaster and how intensely harmful it is.
A nuclear explosion leads to the release of radioactive materials that cannot be seen or felt by any of the six senses. All you see is fire and smoke, and all you hear are loud noises of explosions after that. The only way to protect yourself from getting exposed to radioactive material is to take an underground shelter. So the first step to prepare for the disaster is to identify such a place. If you cannot find one, then you can also take refuge in the center of a large building. The three factors that you must consider while protecting yourself from getting exposed to radiation include:
- Distance: It is important for you to maintain as much distance as you can from the fallout particles. Basements and underground areas act as a shield between you and the particles. If you have a basement at your home and if it does not have a direct entry point from the outside, then it is a good option. Similarly, the basement of an office building will also act as a safe hiding place. A flat roof has the tendency to collect a lot of fallout particles which is why you must not consider being on the top floors or on a floor that is adjacent to a building with its top floor at the same level.
- Shielding: It is important to look for places that have thick walls. It can be thick because of concrete or because of walls having racks with books in them, libraries for example.
- Time: The intensity of the fallout particle degrades with time. It is only a matter of that period that you need to be in the shelter. According to the experts, the biggest threat due to fallout radiation is during the first two weeks after which the intensity reduces to as much as 1 percent of the level that was present initially.
As a survivalist, you have to keep in mind that any protection is better than no protection at all because without you realizing, the damage is already being done. More the distance, time and shielding between you and the fallout particles, better are your chances of being saved from the effect of the explosion.
Before a Nuclear Blast
Though you have no idea if a nuclear explosion may occur in the region you live but just in case it does, there are a few things you should already have with you.
Emergency Supply Kit: This kit includes all that is necessary for survival in extreme conditions. It includes food items, water, battery-powered radio, flashlight and fresh batteries. The food items must be non-perishable. MRE or meals, ready to eat are a highly considerable option because of a variety of reasons. You may want to check our military grade MREs 1300XT.
The biggest reason is that they are ruggedized for use and resistant against any impact which is the primary requirement of any survival food. Other packaged or canned food items may get affected by the intensity and the hazardous effect of the nuclear blast, but an MRE food pack will be your safest bet.
MREs are packed in a hermetically sealed environment which means the quality of food inside remains unaffected by the environmental conditions outside.
Since you have to be in the fallout shelter for two weeks in the least, you need food that gives you energy and keeps you healthy. A single day pack of MRE contains 1250 calories that are enough for one person for one day. Consuming MREs will make sure you have eaten the right amount of calories. You cannot expect this kind of nutritional value in packaged or canned foods.
The shelf life of an MRE ranges from 3 days to 5 years so you can buy them and store them for a long term without worrying about any degradation in food quality or taste.
MREs are the best kind of survival food that you can look for as compared to any other food. You have to start your preparation well ahead of time so that you can stock enough supplies.
You can create a similar kit that you can keep in at your workplace.
Family Emergency Plan: This includes sitting down together with each member of your family and chalking out an emergency plan of what everyone should do in case of an emergency. This is done keeping in mind that you all may not be together when the nuclear blast occurs. In such a case, you should not be unaware of your family member’s course of action. Another thing that you all must know is how to get back in touch with each other. You can go about this by:
Marking the places where you will meet each other. The places should be both in your neighborhood as well as outside.
You must also be aware of the emergency plan of your community which includes warning systems, disaster plans, and evacuation routes.
Reach out to the apartment or building owners of your area to ask them if they have identified a place as the fallout shelter in case of a nuclear explosion. If there is one, go to the place to know the entry and exit points and how to get there safely. If not, make your list of fallout shelters. Make sure that if you are choosing a basement it does not have doors or windows that open outside. Subways and tunnels are the best options for a fallout shelter.
During a Nuclear Blast
Here is a list of steps that you need to follow in case of a nuclear blast:
- Follow the plan handed out by the emergency response personnel. You can be asked to go to a particular place, go in a fallout shelter or evacuate immediately. Do not forget to carry your emergency kit with you in such a case.
- If you get to know an issued warning about an attack, head for the shelter as soon as you can.
- Stay in the shelter until you get to know that it is safe to come out. Even if you are separated from your family, which is most likely what will happen, do not leave the shelter until instructed to do that.
If you are caught outside
- Do not directly look at a fireball or a flash. It can lead to blindness.
- Look for anything that can shield you. It is better than nothing.
- It takes a little more than 30 seconds for the blast wave to hit once the explosion has occurred. If you hear one nearby, lie flat on the ground and cover your head.
- It might seem strange but to prevent the radioactive material from spreading on you, remove the outer layer of your clothing. It removes 90 percent of the radioactive material. Find a plastic bag, put the clothes in it, seal it and throw it far away from humans or animals.
- If possible, go and take a shower. Apply as much soap as you can. Do not scrub hard or scratch on your skin. Rinse with a lot of water. Make sure that the water you are using has not been exposed to radioactive material or fallout particles.
- Take a wet wipe or a cloth to wipe your eyelids and blow your nose. Also, clean your ears. You can also use these wipes or the wet cloth to clean your body in case it is not possible for you to take a shower.
After a Nuclear Blast
- Be aware of the latest development through news on television or the radio. Keep track of the places that you can go to and places that you must avoid.
- Keep away from areas that have been affected by the explosion.
You cannot see, feel, smell or detect radiation in any way. It is better to be safe than sorry.”