Nuclear blasts are probably the furthest emergency from your mind - even though nuclear blasts can happen at any time - and hundreds of thousands of families can be put at risk in as little as 30 seconds.
History - Massive Weapons Testing
In 1945, the US and USSR tested nuclear weapons that were 500 times as strong as the world's first atomic bomb. In a hypothetical situation on Alex Wellerstein's Nukemap, the first ring of the nuclear blast is the fireball, leveling buildings and bringing casualties to nearly 100 percent.
The flash of light from the blast was visible up to 620 miles away.
The Tsar Bomba, as the test was ultimately known, had a yield between 50 and 58 megatons, twice the size of the second-largest nuclear blast.
A bomb of this size would create a fireball 6.4 square miles large and would be able to give humans third-degree burns within 4,080 square miles of the bomb's epicenter.
History - Sinister Ideas
During the 1980s, four missiles were launched as a part of a training exercise by a soviet submarine. Of the four, it was suggested that one of them could be aimed towards the U.S. Officials gathered for a threat assessment conference, where it was determined that there was no threat to the country.
With nuclear explosions, you have to be ready to move and protect your family at a moment's notice - explosions can occur with little to no warning beforehand.
Have a shelter identified before the event of a detonation. Avoid outdoor areas, mobile homes, and vehicles in general when taking shelter - you will only find adequate protection in stationary buildings made of either brick or concrete. If you have no other choice than to take shelter in a vehicle, do so for the initial explosion, and then seek permanent shelter.
It's important that each member of your family has an emergency kit tailored to their needs in your designated shelter area. Especially if you may be taking shelter for a very long period of time.
Familiarize yourself with all dangers that are associated with nuclear blasts - and be sure to have the correct supplies to survive them somewhere you can easily access.
Nuclear blasts can cause other hazards as well - you may experience one, if not all of the following.
As for the blast itself, you should have a separate plan for survival. Have a shelter ready for you and your family.
Preparing a shelter before you are under the threat of a nuclear explosion is crucial. Speak to your family about where to go, and how to get there when discussing your shelter - be sure to keep supplies in your shelter as well.
To take and set up an emergency shelter, take the following advice - and do not hesitate to get started as soon as you can.
If you are unable to take shelter inside, take cover behind anything that may offer protection. Lay face down and avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes. If you are able to get in a vehicle, duck down low and do not exit the vehicle.
After the initial shockwave of the explosion passes, it's important that you find shelter immediately. You will have 10 minutes at most to find shelter.
Staying inside is key to your survival - radiation levels will be at their highest right after the fallout, decreasing as time goes on.
While sheltering in place, turn on a TV or battery-powered radio to listen for updates on the situation. If you are advised to evacuate, grab your gear and do not hesitate to leave the area. Remember that you will not be able to return to your home to gather your possessions until authorities deem the area safe.
Remember that surviving a nuclear blast is a terrifying and traumatizing event, and that members of your family may experience extreme stress during this time. Everyone expresses their stress differently - be ready to offer support to others. Do not be afraid to reach out for emotional support during this emergency.
Emergency Plan (ready.gov)
Emergency Contact Info (ready.gov)
Emergency Plan for Schools (ready.gov)
The gear you'll need to survive. The gear you'll need for evacuation is exactly the same as what you might need when you're staying home to weather out the storm.
It's crucial to gather the proper supplies for yourself and your family before a nuclear explosion happens. When it does, there will be no time to gather what you may need - take the time to stock up while you can.
Avoid panic-buying and hoarding - you never know if you will need to quickly leave an area. It is also important that you do not consume any food or drinks that were outside during the initial explosion.
Tailor your emergency kit to fit your family's specific needs - keep your kit in an accessible part of your emergency safe room.
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