Nuclear Bomb Threat – What to do


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Text - not a drill

If you’re close enough to hear a siren or get a text like the one above, you are in potential danger.

It doesn’t matter whether the danger is coming from a nuclear plant leak, a terrorist explosion or an incoming missile.

Take action immediately. You may have just a few minutes.

  1. Get to shelter. Get deeper into a building or deeper underground to put as much solid material – bricks, concrete, dirt – between you and the radioactive fallout. Obviously, if your shelter is hit directly by a bomb, it won’t protect you.
  2. Stay in your shelter. Radioactivity is worst at the time of the blast, but dissipates pretty quickly. According to the Department of Homeland Security, radiation will have declined to a little as 1% after 2 weeks.
  3. Don’t come out until it’s safe. This may mean 24 hours or it may mean 2 weeks or even longer! You’ll only know it’s safe if you have a way to get emergency communications from official sources.

Basic preparations to take now

Most preparations for a nuclear disaster are pretty simple, and follow the guidelines that we’ve laid out many times. Here’s a quick reminder list.

  1. Have a survival kit that you can grab at a moment’s notice. Take it with you to your shelter. You may want to have a battery-operated walkie-talkie in each family member’s kit so you can stay together in the dark.
  2. Stock your shelter with food and other supplies so you can shelter in place for days if need be. Obviously, if you are traveling or not at home, it will be difficult if not impossible to have enough supplies for a lengthy emergency stay.
  3. Be sure you have an emergency FM radio so you can monitor official transmissions.

Advanced preparations if you are in a target location

Some areas are more likely to be targets than others. For example, right now the emphasis seems to be on Guam and Hawaii, which could be reached by missiles from North Korea.

However, every nuclear reactor in the country – there are about 100 of them – could also be subject to an emergency or terrorist attack, as could different manufacturing, government or military centers.

If you live near one of these “prime targets,” you may want to make more preparations. These could include:

  1. Find out what your local government’s “emergency plan” is for a nuclear disaster. It probably involves evacuation.
  2. Be ready to seal yourself into your house. Bring in pets. Close all windows and doors, shut off fireplace, heater and A/C.
  3. Have a supply of potassium iodide (KI). It’s nonprescription and FDA approved. You’ll need enough for every family member for several days. Pills cost lessz than a dollar each. Be sure to check on expiry date.
  4. Consider having a way to measure the levels of radioactivity yourself. Geiger counters start at around $150. There are also Smartphone apps to measure radiation.

If you want more info and some specific recommendations for these products, please check out an earlier – now updated! — Advisory: http://emergencyplanguide.org/what-threat-do-you-face-from-a-nuclear-reactor-emergency/

Virginia
Your Emergency Plan Guide Team

P.S. If you get caught in an active radiation blast, you’ll need to protect yourself as best you can and then get the radiation — carried through the air like dust — off you. Steps for decontamination are pretty much removing your clothes and then washing off your body and hair.  Here’s an article from NPR that describes the process and the imprecise nature of that process: Decontamination

 

 

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