The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has scheduled a briefing for January 16 to explain how the public can prepare for nuclear war. The briefing titled “Public Health Response to a Nuclear Detonation” is meant to prepare the American public for the possibility of a nuclear strike on America soil.
“While a nuclear detonation is unlikely, it would have devastating results, and there would be limited time to take critical protection steps,” a notice on the CDC’s website states. “Despite the fear surrounding such an event, planning and preparation can lessen deaths and illness. For instance, most people don’t realize that sheltering in place for at least 24 hours is crucial to saving lives and reducing exposure to radiation. While federal, state, and local agencies will lead the immediate response efforts, public health will play a key role in responding.”
The session in Atlanta, Georgia will include experts on radiation and disaster preparedness. Two of the experts giving presentations at the briefing specialize in radiation studies. Robert Whitcomb is the chief of the radiation studies branch at the CDC’s National Center for Environment Health and Capt. Michael Noska is the radiation safety officer and senior advisor for health physics at the Food and Drug Administration.
The briefing is expected to go over things like what federal, state and local governments are doing to prepare for a nuclear detonation, according to the announcement. The notice went on to say that most people don’t know that sheltering in place for at least 24 hours is “crucial to saving lives and reducing exposure to radiation.”
The program comes as tensions between the U.S. and North Korea are on the rise. President Trump tweeted Tuesday night, boasting about the size of his “nuclear button” and how it’s “much bigger & more powerful” than North Korea’s.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
Given the current tensions, military planners worry things could escalate quickly.
In a recent interview with the Fox Business Network, John Bolton, former US ambassador to the United Nations, claimed North Korea would not hesitate to pass its nuclear technology to paying customers.
Bolton warned that if the United States did not act, there could soon be more rogue nations with nuclear capabilities and said the U.S. is “running out of time” in putting a stop to Kim Jong-un as the regime develops its weapons.
He said: “The President was right in the September speech to the UN General Assembly when he said that denuclearisation is the only way forward.
“The north is never going to give up its nuclear weapons voluntarily, we’ve seen that over 25 years.
“I think the President has tried to put pressure on China, they have not responded, so we are getting down to some pretty unattractive options.
“But I think it is important that the President makes the case that a North Korea with nuclear weapons is a threat to the United States, Japan, others in the region and a threat globally because they will sell any of this technology to other aspiring nuclear powers for hard currency.”
The U.S. Government admits country is woefully unprepared for a Nuclear Attack
Government officials are quietly acknowledging that they have no way to protect the public from a nuclear blast and urged people to “run into the nearest building” in the event of an attack.
New York City has quietly begun removing cold war era nuclear fallout shelter signs saying many are misleading relics that no longer denote functional shelters.
Eliot Calhoun, NYC Emergency Management, said: “Most folks, when they think about a nuclear blast, they think about where they need to go.
“The first things they see are those shelter signs sprinkled around the city but those have been inactive for decades.
“Best sheltering advice is to go into a nearby building and either go towards its centre or the basement.”
This isn’t the first time in the last few months that U.S. officials have taken steps to prepare for the possibility of a nuclear strike. In December, the state of Hawaii announced it would start testing nuclear sirens for the first time since the end of the Cold War.
“We should all prepare and exercise a plan ahead of time so we can take some comfort in knowing what our loved ones are doing,” said Vern Miyagi, administrator of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, in an interview with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
The state plans to continue testing its emergency sirens on 11:45 a.m. of the first business day of every month.
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) told Atlantic magazine in an interview last month that he thinks there may be as much as a 70 percent chance of the United States launching a preemptive military strike against North Korea should it conduct another test of a nuclear weapon.
Surviving a Nuclear Blast
While the thought of a nuclear attack may be frightening, as long as your not at ground zero you have a pretty good chance of surviving if you take the right steps. If it’s a lone single blast, those outside the epicenter have a pretty good chance of survival.
According to the U.S. Government, there are three factors for protecting yourself from radiation fallout: Distance, shielding, and time.
- Distance – The more distance you can put between you and the fallout particles, the better your chances of survival. An underground area such as a home or office building basement offers more protection than the first floor of a building. If you don’t have a basement, then an interior room without windows is going to be your best option.
- Shielding – The heavier and denser the materials – thick walls, concrete, bricks, books and earth – between you and the fallout particles, the better. If you can, create an interior room within your room to shield yourself.
- Time – fallout radiation loses its intensity fairly rapidly. In time, you will be able to leave the fallout shelter. Radioactive fallout poses the most significant threat to people during the first two weeks, by which time it has declined to about 1 percent of its initial radiation level.
Any protection, however temporary, is better than none at all, and the more shielding, distance and time you can take advantage of, the better. If you are driving, pull over to the side of the road and head to the nearest concrete shelter.
In the case of a nuclear attack, you may have only minutes to prepare — and that’s if the government actually puts out an EAS warning in time for people to hear it. So running makes little sense; hell, you have no idea where it’s going to hit so you could be running right into the blast zone.
Your best chance of surviving is getting inside and finding a basement or an area of the building that provides the most amount of shielding, preferably built of brick or concrete, between you and the outside.
The government says that even though these instructions may go against your natural instinct to run, the health risks from radiation exposure can be reduced by:
- Putting building walls, brick, concrete, or soil between you and the radioactive material outside, and
- Increasing the distance between you and the exterior walls, roofs, and ground, where radioactive material is settling.
During an attack:
- Make sure you have a radio nearby ( a Ham Radio is probably your best option) anmd listen for official information and follow instructions provided by emergency response personnel. Based on what is known about the threat, you may be asked to take shelter, go to a specific location, or evacuate a specific area.
- If an attack warning is issued, take cover as quickly as you can, under a concrete structure or below ground if possible, and stay there until instructed to do otherwise.
- Find the nearest building, preferably built of brick or concrete, and go inside to avoid any radioactive material outside.
- Stay where you are, even if you are separated from your family. Inside is the safest place for all people in the impacted area. It can save your life.
- Expect to stay inside for at least 48 hours unless otherwise told by authorities.
If you’re caught outside during the Attack:
If you are outside, and you survive the initial blast, you have around 10 to 15 minutes to seek shelter. That’s roughly the amount of time it takes for the radioactive material to begin falling back to the ground from the mushroom cloud.
- Do not look at the flash or fireball – It can blind you, this isn’t the time for an Instagram shot!
- Take cover behind anything that might offer protection.
- Lie flat on the ground and cover your head. If the explosion is some distance away, it could take 30 seconds or more for the blast wave to hit.
- Take shelter as soon as you can, even if you are many miles from ground zero where the attack occurred – radioactive fallout can be carried by winds for miles. Remember the three protective factors: Distance, Shielding and Time.
- If you were outside during or after the blast, get clean as soon as possible, to remove radioactive material that may have settled on your body.
- Remove your clothing to keep radioactive material from spreading. Removing the outer layer of clothing can remove up to 90% of the radioactive material.
- If practical, place your contaminated clothing in a plastic bag and seal or tie the bag. Place the bag as far away as possible from humans and animals so that the radiation it gives off does not affect others.
- When possible, take a shower with lots of soap and water to help remove radioactive contamination. Do not scrub or scratch the skin, scrubbing to hard could leave scratches and push those radioactive particles into your skin.
- Wash your hair with shampoo, or soap and water. Do not use conditioner in your hair because it will bind radioactive material to your hair.
- Gently blow your nose and wipe your eyelids and eyelashes with a clean wet cloth. Gently wipe your ears.
- If you cannot shower, use a wipe or clean wet cloth to wipe your skin that was not covered by clothing.
After the Attack:
If you made it this far there is some good news: Radiation fallout from a nuclear bomb decays rapidly. In the first hour, the fallout has given up about half of its energy and in 24 hours, it has given up 80 percent of its energy. Within two weeks after an attack people in most shelters could safely stop using them, or could work outside the shelters for an increasing number of hours each day.
- Keep listening for official information about what to do, where to go and places to avoid
- Stay away from damaged areas; areas marked “radiation hazard” or “HAZMAT.” Remember that radiation cannot be seen, smelled or otherwise detected by human senses.