Did you know that you would have 45 minutes or less to react to the warning of a nuclear bomb? When you stop and think about it, that isn’t much time.
So it is important to know how to react before this ever becomes a reality. It is our hope that it never will be a reality.
But these are the times we live in. Which is why I’m going to give you some tips on what to do if you ever get that warning over your phone, through the radio, or the television.
How to React to a Nuclear Attack
Here is what you’ll need to do in the event a nuclear bomb is headed your way:
1. A Nuclear Bomb Has Different Stages
Kids growing up in The Cold War got lots of education as to what to do if a nuclear attack ever happened. I was still young at the end of that war, so I didn’t receive the same type of education or preparation that my parents did.
So with all of this talk of nuclear war, I’ve had to do some research. I think it is important to understand what a nuclear bomb will actually do once it hits. That way you can know how to react and hopefully prepare ahead of time.
First, a nuclear bomb has a thermal pulse. This is the extreme light you’ll see come from it and a huge pulse of heat that comes from it as well. That flash can leave you blinded temporarily if you look at it from a distance.
Second, there is the blast. This is the extreme explosion which sends off lots of pressure and high winds for miles and miles.
Third, you have the prompt radiation. This is the extreme output of both x-ray and gamma radiation. It causes severe burns. If you are close enough to experience this, the blast will have already killed you because this goes away rather quickly after the detonation of the bomb.
Then you have the residual radiation. This is the output of alpha radiation and beta radiation. It will be released by the ground at the actual location where the bomb hit – known as ground zero. You don’t really have to worry about this part of the bomb because this is what will be found in the craters and destructed areas.
So if you weren’t close enough to be killed by the bomb, then you probably won’t have to experience this part of it either.
Finally, you have the fallout. This is what will impact people for miles and miles. It is when the radioactive particles from the explosion are scattered by the wind. It is important to understand the different stages of a nuclear bomb, so you can know what you are up against.
2. Listen Carefully
Most countries have a warning system that a nuclear bomb has been launched, so they can send out warnings to their citizens.
So when the warning has been issued it is important not to begin panicking and listen to every detail of instruction. You’ll need to know exactly what is taking place so you can know if you are in the blast area or an area that could receive fall out.
3. Head Underground
Once you have received the news that a nuclear bomb is headed towards your land, it is important to act quickly and seek shelter.
So you’ll hopefully have made some nuclear preparations. This means that you’ll have a bomb or fallout shelter with supplies in place.
If so, then you’ll need to quickly head for that area. If not, then you’ll need to head to the inner portion of an office building or high rise.
Or you’ll want to head to a building with a basement. You want to put as much soil, concrete, and brick between you and the outside world as possible.
4. Do Not Look at the Fireball
When the bomb hits, if you are outside, do not look at the fireball. This could cause temporary blindness and make it very difficult to get to safety as efficiently as possible.
So as awe-struck as you may be at the time, you’ll need to look away. Once the bomb has hit, if you are outside of the strike area, you could still be in a fallout area.
Which means, the clock begins to tick once that bomb hits. You don’t need to look at it, be temporarily blinded, and make it even more difficult to get to safety.
5. If Outside, Hit the Deck
I realize not everyone can get to safety or get to their bomb shelter in the 45-minute timeframe that you may have of warning.
If this is the case and you find yourself outside during a nuclear attack, you’ll need to lie as flat on the ground as possible.
Then you’ll want to cover your head with your arms and try to protect it as much as possible. Once the bomb hits, don’t immediately jump up and think you are in the clear. It can actually take up to 30 seconds for the blast to hit you.
Even after the initial blast is over, radioactive particles can be carried for hundreds of miles by the wind.
So you’ll need to lay low until the blast is over and then move as quickly as possible to safety.
6. Take a Bath
Once you’ve reached your safe space, you need to use soap and water to wash any exposed skin. Be careful not to scrub too hard or cause abrasions on your skin. This will only allow radioactive material that could be on your skin, to get inside of your body.
Also, be sure to wash your hair.
But know that you should only wash your hair with soap and water. Do not use conditioner as this can actually cause radioactive material to stick to your hair instead of rinsing it out.
Plus, you’ll want to be sure that you wipe off your eyes, eyelashes, ears, and that you blow your nose thoroughly to expel any radioactive material that could be stuck in those areas.
7. Strip Down
So you’ve made it to your place of safety, and you’ve washed off all radioactive material from your skin. Now what?
Well, you now need to take off as many of your outer layers of clothing as you can. If you were outside when the blast happened, there is a chance that you are carrying radioactive material on your clothing.
So you’ll want to remove the clothing and place them in a trash bag that is tied off. Then put the bag as far away from you and others as possible while still staying in your safe space.
8. The Rule of Thumb
I thought this was a really neat tip. Let’s say you are outside during the explosion. You aren’t sure if you are in ‘the fallout zone.’ Remember, the fallout is when the wind picks up radioactive particles and carries them for hundreds of miles.
But how do you judge if you are in that zone or not?
Well, you hold out your arm, raise one thumb, and close one eye. If the mushroom cloud is larger than your thumb, then you are in the fallout zone.
But if it is not, then you should be safe for the time being. You still need to seek shelter and wait for further instruction, but you shouldn’t be as worried about the radioactive material being all over you.
9. You’ve Got 15 Minutes
This gave me some piece of mind when researching for myself what I should do in the event of a nuclear bomb.
Well, you should have about a 45-minute warning as to what is going on. Hopefully, this will give you enough time to get home to your loved one.
Then once the bomb strikes, you’ll have another 10-15 minutes to get into a safe space before the fallout begins to happen. These are all rough estimates.
But just know that once the bomb hits, you need to find a place to go immediately.
10. Head for the Inner Refuge
Again, once you are in your shelter and the fallout is making its way in your direction, hopefully, you’ve done some preparation ahead of time.
If so, then you should have considered putting a table in the center of your fallout shelter. Then you should have layered this table with lots of thick blankets. This is going to be your inner refuge in your fallout shelter.
During the first 24 hours, a lot of radioactive material will be flying around. Some could penetrate your fallout shelter.
Therefore, it is a good idea to have a table with lots of thick covers over it, so you can get under it and stay there during that initial 24 hour period.
Then know that you may have to stay in your fallout shelter from anywhere from two weeks to a month until your area is deemed safe.
11. You’ll Want Supplies
At this point, you’ll probably be thankful if you did some prep work and be kicking yourself if you didn’t. Once you get to your fallout space, you will be there for a while. You are going to need:
- A dust mask
- Moist towelettes
- Non-perishable food items
- A can opener
- Cell phone
- A change of clothes
- An extra cell phone charger
- Extra cell phone batteries
- Garbage bags
- A hand-crank radio
- Flashlight with extra batteries
12. Look for the Signs
Finally, you are going to want to look for the signs of Acute Radiation Sickness. This is something that occurs when people have been exposed to too much of the radioactive particles. Usually, vomiting will follow, letting you know that this is what is going on.
However, you need to know, if someone begins to vomit within the hour of being in the fallout shelter, they are in trouble and will need professional treatment.
But if the vomiting doesn’t occur until 4 hours or later, then they should be okay within a week after getting some rest. You can also give them potassium iodide pills to help with the sickness. It is a good idea to keep them in your first-aid kit.
So you now know how to react to a nuclear bomb warning. It is a scary thing to consider, but the more prepared you are the better off you will be.
Now, I want to hear from you. What is your plan if you ever hear that nuclear bomb warning come over your television or radio? Do you have a family plan in place so you and your loved ones can find each other safely?
We love hearing from you all so please leave us your thoughts and comments in the space provided below.