Around 15,000 nuclear weapons exist in the world today, so you better be prepared!
The first thing you’d see if a nuclear bomb went off, is a flash of light so bright, you may think that the sun exploded. You would see an orange fireball, the flames would rise and darken into a column of black smoke, which would turn into a mushroom cloud looming over the skyline. The shock of the blast would rip through the area blowing you off your feet, busting out windows and leaving fire everywhere. If you happen to be within 11 km (6.8 miles) of range you will instantly get first to third-degree burns. Radioactive fallout from the mushroom cloud will fall to ground level about 15 minutes after the blast.
What Is A Nuclear Fallout?
Nuclear blasts create fallout, which can harm you with large doses of radiation. Exposure to this radiation can affect your immune system and ability to fight infection. It can cause cancer and a condition called acute radiation sickness.
Fallout is a complex mixture of fission products that are created by splitting atoms. Many of the fission products decay rapidly and emit gamma radiation, an invisible yet highly energetic form of light.
The fireball shoots up into the atmosphere at over 100 miles per hour. These fission products mix in with the dirt and debris that are drawn up into the atmosphere from the fireball. The larger and heavier pieces fall to the ground, while lighter “salt-size” particles can be carried by the wind for up to five miles. The gamma radiation coming off of those particles is the most dangerous part of it all.
Tick, Tock, Tick….Time Is Ticking! You Have 15 Minutes To Be A Survivor.
So it happens to be that you were around 6 km (3.7 miles) from the explosion, and you survived.
First of all, do not look at the fireball or the flash because it will blind you!
You must avoid driving after a nuclear explosion because streets will probably be full of crazy drivers, accidents, debris, and of course the destructive after-effect of nuclear blasts called fallout. Furthermore, cars or any other motor vehicle offer almost no protection because of its light metals and glass windows.
Your best shot at survival is to find shelter as quickly as possible because you only have 15 min but at this point, you probably only have ten. A good place to hide is an underground structure such as a basement or car garage if you have one, otherwise any dense, robust, solid, thick, strong structure with the least windows possible. If there is no windows it’s best. Stay away from the roof of your house as radiation will fall on it, the farther you are from it the better. Don’t forget to close all of your windows and any ventilation systems so the contaminated air does not come inside.
Once you have settled into your hiding spot you must remain there for up to 24 hours because the levels of gamma and other radiation that fall down after the nuclear explosion will lose 80 percent of its energy by then. Wooden structures or one story buildings won’t be a good shelter. If you were unable to find good shelter within 15 min but know of one nearby, the best thing to do is wait an hour after the intense fallout radiation has subsided then run for it and wait there till 24 hours has passed.
You must rid your clothes, seal them in a bag and keep them away from you. Take a shower with shampoo and soap (don’t scrub hard because particles may enter your body more easily) or at least wipe down exposed parts of your body with a wet cloth if you can’t shower. Very important! do not use hair conditioner because it will bind radioactive materials to your hair. Blow out your nose, clean your ears, wipe your eyelids and eyelashes to remove any bits of fallout particles.
Only eat sealed or canned foods and drink bottled waters because all other options will be contaminated.
Power is likely to get shut down along with cell phone signals. A hand-cranked, battery or solar powered radio is a good thing to have when emergencies like this occur. With a radio, you can get the latest updates on what areas are safe from radiation, where there are any safe passages to escape to and the availability of emergency services where you can get help or screened for contamination.
Now, as long as you follow these guidelines, you will most likely survive this ultimate destruction.