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#287631 - 01/06/18 10:30 AM What increases your survival chance after a nuke?
quick_joey_small Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 452
Loc: UK
> What increases your survival chance after a nuke?

Answer: Doing nothing.

'stay where you are, donít try to leave your building, or leave your town ó at least until officials say it is safe....

After a nuclear detonation is when the highest levels of radiation is in the environment. People who are survivors might try to go out to a hospital or evacuate the city. If thatís the case, they would increase their exposure to radiation and thatís where more deaths would occur, even more than the detonation itself....

more than 250,000 people could survive a ten kiloton nuclear bomb on a city by simply staying where they are.'

full article: (and a link to watch the CDC workshop on nuke strikes)
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/05/healt...nav=bottom-well

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#287634 - 01/06/18 03:50 PM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: quick_joey_small]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 854
Loc: Colorado
I think using the word 'nothing' gives the wrong impression.

Hunkering down and actively avoiding any activities that would increase exposure (such as going outside or ventilating the house or leaving the basement) would be a more complete way to express the concept.

There is also the complexity of the fallout cloud footprint. If it wasn't your city that got hit, the fallout cloud will go downwind. Perhaps skeedaddling out of the fallout footprint would be the way to survive. This of course depends on having knowlege of the detonation and the winds aloft pattern for the next day or two.

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#287635 - 01/06/18 04:55 PM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: quick_joey_small]
Montanero Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1294
Loc: North Carolina
Shelter and protect your breathing. The radiation will hit you hardest if you breathe in particles that are radioactive. If you can clean radioactive particles off of you, you can limit the exposure. Water and food can be more problematic, but if it was sheltered as well there is less chance of contamination. Keep the radioactive particles out of you body.

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#287639 - 01/06/18 05:35 PM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: Montanero]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6349
Loc: southern Cal
I would assume that wearing an N95 or even higher rated mask would be a good idea, especially right after the event. This is based on our recent experience with the Thomas Fire, dealing with the copious amounts of ash (=fallout) from that event. It is all over the place!
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#287642 - 01/06/18 06:51 PM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: quick_joey_small]
adam2 Offline
Addict

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 412
Loc: Somerset UK
Staying in place is good advice in most circumstances.
As a CRUDE guide, being inside an average house reduces the radiation dose to one tenth of that received in the open.
A deep concrete basement reduces the level to about one hundredth of that received in the open.
A basic but purpose built fallout shelter might achieve a thousand times less radiation than outside.
A sophisticated shelter with air filtration plant, de contamination showers and the like would be about ten times better i.e. reducing the dose to about one ten thousandth of received in the open.

Standards of construction vary a great deal, so the above is an approximation.

So ten hours fleeing and out in the open has perhaps given you the same dose as one hundred hours sitting at home, or a thousand hours in a deep basement.

The best course of action also depends on the nature of the incident.
The effects of a small nuke as might be used by terrorists, are fairly local, and moving a mile away MIGHT help a lot.
In the case of large detonation, the effects are very widespread and moving a mile would be unlikely to help much and could give you a significant dose whilst so doing.
Fleeing might be the best option in the very early stages before a few million other people have the same idea.
For example, when I worked in London I had two different plans according to whether I was actually at work or within a hundred yards, or if I was out in the open.

If AT WORK or very near, shelter in place, I had a deep concrete basement stocked with supplies..
If out in the open, and I believed that a nuclear incident had occurred, I would IMEDIATLY hail a taxi, not stopping to twit nor tweet, nor to make phone calls, or take photographs.
I would go to the nearest main line rail station, in the direction away from the incident, and get on the FIRST TRAIN to anywhere else.
I would not stop to buy a ticket or make any enquiries.

A dust mask, or better a proper gas mask gives considerable protection against inhaling radioactive particles, as has already been said.
Remember that the used filters may be HIGHLY RADIOACTIVE and should be disposed of with care.

Water or other drink should be fine if from sealed containers that are wiped clean before opening.
Water from other sources should be filtered before use, remember that the used filters may be HIGHLY RADIOACTIVE.
Boiling or chlorination is of no use whatsoever against fallout, but may be prudent against other hazards.

A home emergency kit or bug out kit should include a Geiger counter. EDC of a Geiger counter is arguably a bit OTT unless you have some specific reason to be concerned.

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#287643 - 01/06/18 06:52 PM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: quick_joey_small]
Montanero Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1294
Loc: North Carolina
I would recommend AT LEAST an N95. Very fine dust particles can carry significant radioactive contamination, and if they get into your lungs it will be bad. Activated charcoal filters for your water would be essential. Packaged food that has been sheltered should be good.

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#287682 - 01/09/18 09:38 AM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: quick_joey_small]
Mark_R Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/29/10
Posts: 849
Loc: Southern California
Make that a Tyvek suit plus a respirator. They're sweatboxes, but easier to hose off than street clothes.
_________________________
Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane

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#287683 - 01/09/18 11:17 AM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: quick_joey_small]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1383
How to you prevent your HVAC system from sucking in contaminated air from the outside and blowing it into the house? Do we just have to turn of air conditioning? What would you do if your area is very cold or very hot?

Also, if you have to seal your house, the chances are you are in the midst of a blackout. So you can't use HVAC anyway. But that makes me wonder, again: what do you do for ventilation? Let's say you need to cook with your camping stove, or you need to use your kerosene heater?

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#287684 - 01/09/18 12:01 PM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: Bingley]
adam2 Offline
Addict

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 412
Loc: Somerset UK
Any type of heating or cooling system that uses outside air should be turned off and the vents or openings to the outside air blocked. (except in the extremely unlikely case of the system being designed for use under fallout conditions.)

Any type of flame based cooking or heating should be avoided.
Stock warm clothing, many changes of long underwear and plenty of blankets, preferably wool blankets.
Keep supplies of food that need no cooking and can be eaten straight from the packaging. Lifeboat rations, dried fruit, chocolate bars and the like.
In theory electric heating or cooking could be used, but it is most unlikely that you will have utility service. Do not rely on a generator.
Remember also that water will almost certainly be much too valuable to use for anything but drinking.
No laundry and no dishwashing under shelter conditions.
"water means life, do not waste it"

In warm climates, stock plenty of changes of lightweight cotton clothing, wear as little as decency permits. Consider sacrificing decency to survival.
Battery operated fans help comfort despite not actually reducing the temperature.
In very hot climates where survival without cooling is doubtful, more extreme preps are called for including bulk ice storage.

Provided that you have a serviceable Geiger counter, preferably two counters, you may judge that the radiation level has declined enough that BRIEF visits to the outside are now an acceptable risk, but that remaining in your shelter for most of the time is still prudent.

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#287687 - 01/09/18 05:34 PM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: adam2]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1383
Originally Posted By: adam2
Any type of flame based cooking or heating should be avoided.
...
In theory electric heating or cooking could be used, but it is most unlikely that you will have utility service. Do not rely on a generator.


No fire, no electricity, no generator. This would require a radically different preparation for food. For example, all the freeze dry stuff is out. You basically need to go all ready-to-eat: be it canned beans or MREs. Are there options I'm missing?

If your area suffers from a Sidney heat wave (47 C ~= 117 F), and you're stuck inside a sealed house, then your health may be in danger. But I guess that's kind of like worrying about getting robbed while trying to survive a nuclear fallout. I mean, if a nuclear bomb went off not far from you, you're having a really bad time already.

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