Preparing for the Unthinkable: Surviving a Nuclear Attack
Nuclear explosions can cause significant damage and casualties from blast, heat, and radiation but you can keep your family safe by knowing what to do and being prepared if it occurs. A nuclear weapon is a device that uses a nuclear reaction to create an explosion.
Nuclear devices range from a small portable device carried by an individual to a weapon carried by a missile. A nuclear explosion may occur with or without a few minute's warning.
Fallout is most dangerous in the first few hours after the detonation when it is giving off the highest levels of radiation. It takes time for the fallout to arrive back to ground level, often more than 15 minutes for areas outside of the immediate blast damage zones. This is enough time for you to be able to prevent significant radiation exposure.
Prior to an attack:
- Identify buildings beforehand that may afford you shelter in areas that you frequent. You can review these buildings with family.
- Get an Emergency Supply Kit to keep with you at home, in your car, or in an area that you plan to use for shelter. Do this NOW.
Points to keep in mind: outdoor areas, mobile homes, and cars do not afford protection.
If you are warned of an imminent attack:
- Get indoors immediately into a building made of concrete or brick. Go to the basement and stay away from outer walls and windows.
After an attack:
- If you are outdoors or in your car duck down and take cover from the blast. After the shock, you have 10 minutes to get inside to a shelter.
- If you have enough warning get immediately into a building made of concrete or brick. Go to the basement and stay away from outer walls and windows.
- If you were exposed to radioactive ash, immediately rinse your hair out, taking care not to get any into your eyes. Change your clothing and wash or wipe off skin.
- Stay inside for 24 hours. The family should remain inside where they are and reunite later.
- Battery operated and crank radios will work after an explosion, while cell phone communication may be interrupted.
- Have an Emergency Supply Kit to keep in your car or home.