The nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a terrible and appalling act that shocked the entire world. This led to the formation of an organization of great scientists known as The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, who made a hypothetical clock known as the doomsday clock, and each year it is set minutes or even seconds from midnight, where midnight represents the point of no return. Great minds thought and feared that nuclear war will be the cause of our doom. It cannot be more true than today as an estimated 13,890 nuclear warheads are present in the world and if any of the nations that possess such destructive power unleashes it will wreak havoc. Also, defenses fear that if terrorist groups got a hold of these, it will result in the death of our planet. In any of the cases, it is important that one must know how to protect themselves and what emergency supplies to keep on hand.
Nuclear Explosion and Survival
A nuclear explosion is unlike any other form of explosion. In simple explosives, the shell and tiny sharp shards along with debris are spread around that causes physical damage to anyone in close proximity, but in the case of nuclear bombs, it is much more dreadful. Upon detonation, a ball of plasma appears that can grow up to 2 kilometers in radius within milliseconds of the detonation. If someones happen to be in this region, there is no chance of survival as anyone and anything here will simply vaporize and the heat generated from this blast will set everything on fire within 15 kilometers and will cause fuels in pressurized containers such as petrol and LPG to explode, the only chance of survival in these 15 kilometers are if you happen to be deep underground, other measures can be taken if you are inside a building like ducking under a sturdy table but only the structures that are reinforced will be able to withstand the effects.
After a few seconds of the blast, shockwaves or airblast will be traveling at the speed of sound up to 25 kilometers, and standing near windows and doors is extremely dangerous as glass will simply shatter and burst into minuscule sharp shards and if you happen to be outside in this region, lay down on the ground and cover your eyes and head. These are not really survival tactics, as fallout follows the initial blast. White ash and debris that is extremely hot along with acid rain will start pouring down and sheltering underground is the best option, but if that’s not possible a sturdy shelter is your next best option. As for the supplies you need, it is important to know what to keep and what to ignore.
Nuclear Survival Kit
It is always a good idea to have survival supplies that will last for several days not only at your house but also in your vehicle and workplace. It will not only help in surviving a nuclear attack but also in other forms of a disaster such as earthquakes or in the case of a power outage. According to Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), one must plan these kits as it could mean the difference between life and death. Here is the list of supplies that must be included and one can travel on foot with this kit if need be.
1. Water. It is the most obvious and 1 gallon of water for 1 day per person is recommended.
2. At least, 3 days’ worth of non-perishable food. Canned food is ideal.
3. A battery-powered or hand-crank radio with extra batteries.
4. Flashlight with additional batteries.
5. First-Aid kit, for any injuries.
6. A whistle to signal for help.
7. A dust mask to filter contaminated air.
8. Plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal off the shelter.
9. Local Maps, as the internet will be down.
10. Tools: A can opener, pliers, wrench, a knife, and matches/lighter.
FEMA also suggests that if you happen to be informed of the impending threat and have space to store certain items. These are the ones you must keep with yourself after stocking the previous supplies.
1. Prescription medicine and glasses.
2. Baby food and diapers, in case you have an infant with you.
3. Pet food and additional water for your pet.
4. Sleeping bag and additional layering if you happen to be in a colder region.
5. A complete change of clothing and just like the previous point, additional clothing if living in a colder climate.
6. Plastic utensils.
7. Unscented chlorine bleach and a medicine dropper. Nine parts water to one part bleach can be used as a disinfectant and in the case of emergency, it can also be used to treat water by adding 16 drops of the bleach per gallon of water.
8. Female hygiene products and other sanitation products.
9. Fire extinguisher.
10. Important documents such as insurance, identification, bank records, and medical history in a waterproof container.
These are basic supplies that one must have handy all the time. However, in addition to these what you stock up on will depend on your area and circumstances. The likelihood of survival will ultimately depend on the duration one has to stay in the shelter, the resources of supplies, and the time help reaches them. Nuclear war is something that we must never face, its consequences will be dire and according to experts, it will likely bring another ice age. Therefore, we all must do our part and pledge in order to ban nuclear weapons and destroy them.