The fallout from a nuclear emergency is some people’s biggest fear.
Radiation can have all kinds of deadly after effects.
Here’s what you need to know if there’s a radiation disaster in your area.
The threat of a nuclear incident is something Americans must live with.
Foreign enemies have the capability to reach our shores with an ICBM.
A nuclear power plant could be the target of attack from a terrorist group.
Also, space anomalies, such as a direct hit from an asteroid, would have a similar effect on the environment.
While a nuclear incident is terrifying, it doesn’t have to be a death sentence.
First, your chances of being exposed to a nuclear attack or fallout are highest in major urban hubs or if you’re in proximity to a military base.
If your home or bug out location matches that criteria, you should factor that into your prepping.
Next, you’ll need to understand the blast radius.
The power of the blast obviously dissipates the farther you get away from ground zero, but it dissipates perhaps more significantly than you think.
Explosions typically follow the inverse-square law of physics, which means the intensity of the blast falls by the square of the distance.
That means that if you’re four miles away from ground zero, you would feel the intensity at one-sixteenth the rate of those at the center blast.
So if you live away from a major metropolis or a military base, or you’re able to bug out quickly, your chances of being affected by the blast decrease dramatically.
Next, it’s important to understand how fallout works.
While a nuclear fallout can be disastrous, it doesn’t make an area uninhabitable forever.
The severity of fallout is determined by a rule of thumb called the 7:10 Rule.
As explained by FEMA:
“The 7:10 Rule of Thumb states that for every 7-fold increase in time after detonation, there is a 10-fold decrease in the exposure rate. In other words, when the amount of time is multiplied by 7, the exposure rate is divided by 10. For example, let’s say that 2 hours after detonation the exposure rate is 400 R/hr (roentgens per hour). After 14 hours, the exposure rate will be 1/10 as much, or 40 R/hr.”
Chernobyl has again been in the news recently in light of the HBO docudrama of the same name.
To give the 7:10 Rule some context, the highest levels of exposure during that crisis were 600 R/hr.
Radiation levels drop to negligible levels within a few weeks.
It isn’t recommended to spend endless amounts of time outside once the levels have plummeted to this extent, but going outside is permissible at this time.
Finally, be prepared to handle a quarantine within your home or bunker for a few weeks to up to a month.
This will include food, water, first-aid supplies, sanitation, and perhaps a hazmat suit if going outside is unavoidable.
Also, have a radiation detector on hand.
During the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown that resulted in one cancer-related death, the permissible short-term radiation exposure was 250 mSv (Millisieverts) per hour, which translates to 25 R/hr.
If you’re reading anything above that, avoid going outside.
With this information and the necessary survival skills to hunker down for a few weeks, you should be able to handle any radiation emergency in your area.