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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: 421
Loc: UK
> What increases your survival chance after a nuke?

Answer: Doing nothing.

'stay where you are, don’t try to leave your building, or leave your town — 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 that’s the case, they would increase their exposure to radiation and that’s 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: 848
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
Old Hand

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1170
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: 6075
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!
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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
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 399
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
Old Hand

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1170
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: 845
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: 1334
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
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 399
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: 1334
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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#287688 - 01/09/18 05:55 PM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: Bingley]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6075
Loc: southern Cal
I may be missing something here. I believe the problem with flames in an enclosed space would be generation of CO...correct? If I really needed my cup of coffee, I would be tempted to crank up any of my backpacking stoves for the brief time required for that essential fluid.

Aside from that, there are lots of nutritious, tasty items - nuts and fruits, many veggies. I could easily consume cold cans of beef stew, etc., although it would be preferable to heat them.
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#287689 - 01/09/18 06:59 PM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: quick_joey_small]
adam2 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 399
Loc: Somerset UK
My favourite option for fallout shelter food would be a mixture of lifeboat rations and chocolate bars and orange juice.

All can be consumed with no preparation or need for cooking or heating. Tinned tuna can be eaten straight from the can.

In the longer term, freeze dried foods like mountain house could be most useful, but not perhaps in the initial stages of a radiation emergency.

I would suggest a months stock of foods that need no heating or preparation of any kind, and another years stock of foods that need a bit more preparation.

Water is vital, keep a months worth of bottled water or long life fruit juice that can be consumed with no treatment or preparation.

If you must have coffee, I would suggest a stock of the ready made self heating canned coffee.
In a cold climate, the self heating canned foods might be worth stocking, both are rather expensive though.
Make certain that any such use a chemical reaction between quicklime and water, and not form of combustion.

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#287690 - 01/09/18 07:31 PM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: quick_joey_small]
Montanero Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1170
Loc: North Carolina
Emergency Air

I don't know how good it is, but it does address the subject.

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#287691 - 01/09/18 08:14 PM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: hikermor]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4620
Loc: SOCAL
I agree, flames in an enclosed space generates CO and other byproducts that will need to be filtered out and that air will need to be replaced by ambient air that needs to be filtered prior to allowing it into your enclosed space. So using MRE heaters (water-activated exothermic chemical heater) may be the way to go. No flame, no CO2 or CO generated, just heat. But those are single use items and you may need a bunch of them. Stock up now.

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#287692 - 01/09/18 08:18 PM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: adam2]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6075
Loc: southern Cal
Freeze dried foods are wonderful when weight is critical, and water is abundant, as in backpacking in the Sierra Nevada. When potable water is scarce, other forms of chow are much better, as well as cheaper. An apple is mostly water, as are other fruits, as well as tasty and nutritious as well. It is probably a good idea to have a variety of staple foods available, as situations can change. Canned goods are cheap, durable, and usually have plenty of water.
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Geezer in Chief

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#287712 - 01/10/18 05:07 AM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: Bingley]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 977
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
The HVAC here is set up with the fan and its coils inside and the compressor and its coils outside. All the air handling is inside the house. With this set-up, what are the benefits of turning it off?

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#287720 - 01/10/18 01:39 PM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: UTAlumnus]
adam2 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 399
Loc: Somerset UK
Originally Posted By: UTAlumnus
The HVAC here is set up with the fan and its coils inside and the compressor and its coils outside. All the air handling is inside the house. With this set-up, what are the benefits of turning it off?


Provided that you are certain that the equipment ONLY cools the interior air and introduces no fresh air whatsoever, then it MIGHT be acceptable to leave it running, subject to it serving only a single room, or perhaps several rooms but with an inside coil and fan for each room.
If however a central fan serves several rooms, then the equipment should be turned off since the air circulation will move fallout from a less protected part of your home and into your fallout shelter/inner refuge.

And in any case, it is most unlikely that you will still have utility service. And if you have a generator, is it connected to a bulk diesel fuel tank ? and if not, can you fuel it without exposing yourself to fallout ?

A serious level of fallout over a significant area implies a very serious situation indeed, and in such circumstances diesel fuel might be far to valuable to expend thus.

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#287743 - 01/11/18 12:57 AM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: quick_joey_small]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1329
I think that the big, big problem is that people would have absolutely no idea what level of radiation exists outside. and how big is the fallout area?

I doubt that the Gov't is set up to easily "map out" this type of information and distribute it to the public quickly. I'm not saying that FEMA and the military don't care. But I think there would be tremendous confusion on the ground if this type of event really occurred.

The expectation seems to be that people would have electronic communications .e.g. radio or television. and that they would have electrical power. If these things were out, I think that confusion would "reign supreme".

Put yourself in the place of the local sheriff or fire brigade. If you were ordered to drive around neighborhoods that had fallout contamination, and broadcast msgs for people to stay inside, would you actually do that? I really don't think that local authorities would accept that kind of risk, and I don't blame them.

Pete

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#287746 - 01/11/18 03:10 AM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: quick_joey_small]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 848
Loc: Colorado
Cooling HVAC doesn't draw in outside air but as stated above, it circulates what's in the house.

Heating with natural gas or oil requires combustion air so modern installations have a 4" or larger pipe to the outside to draw outside air in for the furnace to use in combustion. So, in my case, the basement would provide shielding but if the furnace (which is in the basement) was running that intake pipe would suck in outside contaminants. If there were no power that pipe still would need to be well blocked.


Nukalert is one device that can count radiation. (keychain item my wife bought)

Old Civil Defense radiacs that work (but aren't calibrated) can be bought. (got one in the basement)

Even the foil-leaf personal dosimeters like I used in US Naval nuclear power plants can be purchased. (got two along with the charging station in the basement)

Knowing the levels would bring some confidence in choosing an appropriate course of action.

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#287747 - 01/11/18 04:01 AM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: quick_joey_small]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 1943
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: quick_joey_small
What increases your survival chance after a nuke?

Maybe being on the team that sent the nuke rather than the team that received it?

cool

Actually, I'm not sure I'd want to survive after a nuke. I'd want a quick death rather than a lingering one. Maybe if it was really small and/or really far away, you could survive it and come out OK.

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#287748 - 01/11/18 05:40 AM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: haertig]
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2040
Loc: Great Plains
Originally Posted By: haertig
Originally Posted By: quick_joey_small
What increases your survival chance after a nuke?

Maybe being on the team that sent the nuke rather than the team that received it?

cool

Actually, I'm not sure I'd want to survive after a nuke. I'd want a quick death rather than a lingering one. Maybe if it was really small and/or really far away, you could survive it and come out OK.


I'm kind of that same camp. I love the outdoors- hiking, camping, bush bumming, fishing, etc. But at the end of the trip I want to come back to civilization. I don't know if I want to continue on as an animal if human civilization is gone. Obviously that's not going to happen from a single nuke, depends on the situation.

Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind. wink
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“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

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#287760 - 01/11/18 09:11 PM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: quick_joey_small]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1325
Who here on this forum is actually prepping for a nuclear event? I think there are more every day and less mundane events to prep for.
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Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

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#287763 - 01/11/18 09:17 PM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: Teslinhiker]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1617
Loc: Ocala, FL
Originally Posted By: Teslinhiker
Who here on this forum is actually prepping for a nuclear event?

I am.

Jeanette Isabelle
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"A grain of wheat must fall to the ground before it can do any good. New life springs from fallen grain." -- Fleda Claes Johansson

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#287764 - 01/11/18 09:36 PM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: Teslinhiker]
adam2 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 399
Loc: Somerset UK
Originally Posted By: Teslinhiker
Who here on this forum is actually prepping for a nuclear event? I think there are more every day and less mundane events to prep for.


I am, and yes I agree that that there are other and more likely events to prepare for, BUT most preps would also be useful for other disasters.
About the only nuclear specific preps in my case are Geiger counters, most other items are of more general use.
Food, water, clothing footwear, blankets, tools, fuel, batteries, flashlights, lanterns, camping stoves, defensive equipment and the like are of general use in an uncertain future.

In places liable to hurricanes or tornadoes a shelter is prudent against such events, by spending a little more a storm shelter could also serve as a fallout shelter.
In places liable to earthquakes or wild fires, precautions against such events are sensible, your earthquake resistant or fire resistant storage facility could also serve as a fallout shelter.

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#287765 - 01/11/18 09:37 PM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: Phaedrus]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6075
Loc: southern Cal
Life after the nuke event would have its small compensations. Everything will be glowing in the dark, rendering headlamps and flashlights unnecessary...
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Geezer in Chief

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#287772 - 01/11/18 11:34 PM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: hikermor]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2827
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Life after the nuke event would have its small compensations. Everything will be glowing in the dark, rendering headlamps and flashlights unnecessary...


That sounds HORRIBLE.


chaos("I love flashlights and headlamps")magnet

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#287775 - 01/12/18 12:06 AM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: chaosmagnet]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6075
Loc: southern Cal
Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet


That sounds HORRIBLE.


chaos("I love flashlights and headlamps")magnet


It would all depend upon the light quality - neutral white, high CRI, and all that good stuff -hopefully no garish green or yellow tints. Economical and long lasting - the light would shine for a life time...
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Geezer in Chief

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#287784 - 01/12/18 03:37 AM Re: What increases your survival chance after a nuke? [Re: adam2]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 977
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
I was wondering as much because a local chemical plant had an incident recently and advised that the near by residents turn off the HVAC as in response to a nuclear event.

The only connections between the inside and outside units are electrical and pipes (1 about 2" dia. including insulation, one copper about 1/4" dia. and the condensate pump line).

Power would depend on who and how big the exchange was. Unless they are shooting at the nuclear fuel plant near us, the next closest would be Oak Ridge Labs.

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