Given the current state of the political world, it's surprising that no one started a nuclear war yet. However, that could all be about to change as North Korea’s Kim Jong-un recently made several threats that have started to get quite a few people worried that a nuclear war could be looming on the horizon.
Surprisingly enough, the scariest thing about a nuclear attack isn’t the actual impact of the missile, but rather the blast as—in most cases—it is responsible for causing the vast majority of the damage as the intense light, heat, and pressure waves destroy almost everything in its path. Furthermore, it also causes widespread radioactive material that contaminates the air, water and ground surfaces for miles.
While the blast has enough power to destroy everything within a five-mile radius, an attack doesn’t always mean certain death. So, as we patiently wait out the threats of the looming nuclear war, here are eight things that can help you survive should a nuclear attack should one ever occur.
Don’t Run. Get Inside
Running from a nuclear blast is never an option as the speed from the blast cannot be outrun or even out driven. If you’re near a nuclear attack, find shelter as fast as possible—if you are within a few miles, you will have approximately 10 to 15 seconds before the heatwave hits you. If you can't get to a shelter in time, be sure to get inside and away from any rooms that may have a window.
Finding shelter isn’t always an option though, so if you cannot manage to find a safe location to hide, it is recommended that you seek a depressed area and lay face down while exposing as little skin as possible.
If you’re within five miles from ground zero, you will receive third-degree thermal-burns - even at 20 miles, the heat produced from the nuclear attack will still burn the skin off your body.
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Listen For Official Information & Broadcasts
Having a radio at your disposal during an emergency event —especially a nuclear attack—will greatly enhance your chances of survival as a radio could end up being your only form of connection to the outside world.
After the initial blast, radiation levels are at an all-time high, and they will remain this way for at least 24 hours after the attack. To ensure your safety and overall well-being, it is important that you listen to your radio for emergency broadcasts that will advise you on your next step.
These broadcasts will also provide information regarding locations that are safe to visit or if they should be avoided until further notice.
Remove Your Clothing To Stop Radioactive Material Spreading
Just because you might be inside, doesn’t mean that you’re safe from the Radioactive Material clinging to the outer layer of your clothing. If you were exposed during the blast, place your contaminated clothing in a plastic bag and seal and/or tie the bag.
It is important to remember to keep this as far as possible from humans and animals to avoid further harm. By removing your clothing and disposing of them correctly, you could be removing up to a staggering 90% of the radioactive material.
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Get As Far Below Ground As Possible
If a nuclear attack does occur, your best chance at survival will be getting as far below ground as possible – this includes the likes of fallout shelters, basements, or even traveling underground to a subway station. Many experts recommend hiding within these locations as they are very dense with building material, and in this case, the thicker the material, the better.
Studies show that hiding in sturdy brick or concrete structure that lack windows or heading underground to a basement can expose you to just 1/200 of the fallout radiation you’d be exposed to outside.
Only Drink Bottled Water & Canned Food
To further your survival, ensure that you are only eating items haven’t been exposed to high levels of radiation. This will most likely include items such as non-perishable foods like rice, beans, sugar, honey, pasta, and powdered milk as they will most likely have been stored in a safe and sheltered area. Given the circumstances, fresh fruit and vegetables will not be a viable option as they will have been in contact with high levels of radiation during the attack.
Keep in mind that you will want to consider storing your water supply in food-grade plastic containers – and only refilling with water that has either been distilled or stored in a sealed container where the water has not been in contact with the outside. As a general rule, you will want to ensure that you have enough water to supply at least one gallon per person, per day.
Stay Inside For a Minimum Of 24 Hours
During the time of the highest radiation levels, it is best to remain inside and sheltered away from the radioactive material.
While the radiation levels are extremely severe after an explosion, the levels are quickly reduced by upwards of 80% in just 24 hours. This is just one of the many reasons as to why staying where you are for a minimum of 24 hours is highly recommended.
This isn’t always the case though, as depending on the size of the explosion, some people may have to stay sheltered for an upwards of a month or more.
Clean Yourself Immediately
Just like your clothing, your skin will most likely have also been contaminated by the blast. If this is the case, you will want to shower as soon as possible with lots of soap and water to help remove the radioactive contamination. It’s important to remember that you must not scrub or scratch the skin during this process.
Also, keep in mind that conditioner should not be used in this circumstance as it will bind the radioactive material to your hair and keep it from rinsing out easily. If you don’t have access to a shower, try and source a wipe or clean wet cloth to help clean your skin that was not covered by clothing.
Be Prepared In Advance
Much like any emergency situation, being prepared is one of the most vital aspects to ensuring your survival.
To start off your survival kit, you will need to ensure that you have a healthy supply of non-perishable foods and sealed water that can last you as long as possible. Along with this, you will also need a first aid kit, batteries, torches, a radio and other means of communication to the outside world.
While many may laugh at your need to be prepared in advance, you can never be too safe – especially given today’s current political situation.