Make Your Plan Now
If you survive detonation of a nuclear weapon, we share here what to do next. This article is aimed at women who are centrepoint in their family. This advice will help your family survive. Start learning. Make an emergency plan. Share with your family. Don’t scare kids but make sure they know where to go & what to do.
Fear is normal, panic is abnormal. Know what to do. Download and print this helpful planning guide:
A Thermonuclear Bomb is detonated.
These are the main dangers to you.
- Extreme blast, (get face down into a culvert or trench)
- heat radiation, (you will melt and die if you don’t stay down and shielded) &
- deadly, invisible radiation (after the physical blast and heat passes you there’s minimal time to get to your shelter).
This article contains excerpts from our previous article RINJ.org/nuclearwar/
Close people will not survive the blast unprotected. We will explain that further. If you survive the initial detonation because you are some distance away or lucky enough to be well shielded you now need to protect yourself from nuclear radiation. Your survival depends on the air currents, where the blast took place, and what you do about these factors. Your family’s safety depends on you as a family centerpoint and a mother staying alive and healthy. Take this seriously. Your babies may perish without you. Take care of yourself. Best advice: know in advance what to do and where to go; don’t leave unless you are 100% sure of an “all clear” from your government; stay in your shelter.
How to protect yourself and your family.
- Plan your shelter NOW.
- You cannot survive three seconds exposure to a nuclear blast. Get down.
- If you sense a bright flash look around fast for a trench, curb, wall, ditch, then dive or just drop where you are if there is nothing better. Lie face down. Clasp your hands behind your head. Close your eyes. Don’t look.
- After the flash, heat and blast waves, peel off your outer clothes and run to your shelter and wash yourself clean under running water with soap to remove radioactive particles. Plan now to do this step. Running water could well be a bucket of water and soap or a tank fed shower. There may be no municipal running water. There may be no municipality.
- Dispose of your clothes in a sealed plastic bag to keep you and your family away from any radioactive dust that fell on you. You will toss this far from your “L”-shaped shelter entrance. Wear a mask while bundling your clothes.
The flash across the sky will be some seconds before the heat, sound wave and the shock waves hit you. Heat will be first. Get down and be shielded. That means if the flash comes from your left, make sure you find a ditch with a wall of dirt between you and where you saw the flash come from. If you don’t know, that’s not too surprising because if you are close the flash seems to come from everywhere. A high curb, a hole in the ground, a ditch, or culvert may save you. If you are indoors, throw yourself down beside a wall or in a corner away from the light coming in the window. Lie flat on your stomach and hold the back of your head with both hands and brace for the worst.
If you sense a flash you are in grave danger. Stay down. If you see a flash, you will likely be blinded. Don’t look. Closing your eyes is not good enough. Face down and cover.
Be Prepared Starting Now
If you think you will not be impacted by nuclear war, consider the tornados, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and other natural disasters you will need to shelter from.
Nuclear war will not be good for any living thing on Earth. Open your mouth today and start encouraging nuclear disarmament. Nuclear war will end our normal lives for a long time to come. (If you are seriously interested from a medical perspective check out: The Medical Implications of Nuclear War.)
If you are unprotected and unsheltered near a thermonuclear bomb blast you will die immediately or very soon after the event. Nuclear war has no winners. Read on.
— Lassina Zerbo (@SinaZerbo) September 28, 2017
If a nuclear bomb is detonated in the Pacific Ocean as has been threatened by psychologically unwell male leaders, massive radioactive waves nearby underwater tests or atmospheric detonations may overwhelm you and your home if you live on a nearby island. Past experience says that on the limited evaluations of tests done already by the USA, that seems unlikely. Your biggest concern if you are far from a blast is that strong radioactive clouds will reach your home within the first seven days. Comprehensive studies have been conducted on underwater detonations.
The blast throws up volumes of radioactive matter that becomes deadly particle clouds of radioactivity. Don’t let that fall on you or near you.
This will kill you and your children. The elderly and infants will succumb to radiation sickness soonest. Please take care now to protect yourself and your family by planning ahead. Where will you go?
We are going to explain how to best protect your family in the event of a limited or extended nuclear war. Think about basements, underground shelters, safe rooms surrounded by dense substances like lots of dirt, concrete, steel and wood, any or all of these materials, and no windows. We will come back to this topic. And we will talk about how to prepare food for storage.
This is an ugly subject. As an organization with a strong medical unit, we have key members with passionate opposition to anyone who would cause this kind of illness among masses of people. It is a horrible way to die. Horrible. And no survivor of this radiation sickness caused by gamma radiation from deliberate nuclear blasts intended to slaughter humans, any humans they can kill, does not survive unscathed.
The RINJ Foundation as a Civil Society NGO would like to ask all medical professionals and humanitarians around the world to remind world leaders with their subordinates and supporters of this diagnosis:
To utter a valid threat of nuclear annihilation with intent against anyone is not a capability guidance, it is a statement claiming the measure of sickness of your mind.
Nuclear disarmament is the only way ahead.
How Does Radiation Kill
Radiation sickness can result from nuclear fallout or the nuclear blast radiation. The gamma radiation does a severe attack on your body’s organs by invisibly bombarding your body’s cell structure with small particles that are destructive to all body cells upon impact. A small amount of radiation will damage organs and a large amount will destroy organs. It is not a pretty sight seeing a person die from radiation sickness. It is horrible beyond the worst science fiction movie depictions. You may learn this first hand.
Radiation sickness in any measure is a serious malady that has significant morbidity. Radiation sickness can force your death in minutes or it can shorten your life by months or years if you survive the initial symptoms. The measure of impact for survivors is dependent on how you were exposed; for how long; and to what measure of radiation. Treat all cases with the assumption the patient will survive.
Hide from radioactive nuclear fallout. Take no chances. Be surrounded by thick, dense materials.
There are many types of fallout shelters. If you do not have one, you may find yourself in public shelters, subway tunnels, mines, mountain tunnel roads, or your basement. Ask yourself now, “What will I do?”.
Where would you go to shelter from a Tornado? Deep basements are very good. Get there. If you think war is coming to your region, prepare for the day when you need to take shelter by taking a shovel and piling up a meter of dirt to cover the basement windows. If you have survived a blast and think you have time to to do this before sheltering from fallout, get it done. Stay low in the basement and don’t come out until you have heard an ‘all clear’ signal or radio announcement.
Beware falling debris, falling buildings and fire.
If you have a shelter, it may be in a gully, trench or ravine and covered over with concrete. It may also be your basement. If you are near a nuclear blast and have survived without spending any time exposed to the blast, you are likely still functional. Your next immediate threat is from flying or falling objects like cars, rooftops, air conditioners, cars, bicycles, concrete chunks or blocks and garbage disposal containers. Anything can be a projectile in a nuclear blast.
A nuclear explosion can throw up over 5,000 tonnes of materiel high into the sky. Duck. The closer you are to a nuclear blast the less you need to worry about immediate fallout and the more you need to worry about falling debris.
Don’t venture from your safe place (fallout shelter) unless you must and then only if minutes after the blast you can find a protected route to where you want to go to find family members, pick up first aid kits and any last minute items you will bring to your shelter.
Prepare your fallout shelter now. It will also be your “climate-change-extreme-weather” hideaway.
Suppose you have decided your basement is the safe place to be. Your house is on the side of a hill facing the safest direction away from city centres and likely blasts. The hill blocks blasts from the city. Good choice. Go and store a fourteen day supply of food and water for yourself and each person who will be with you. We are going to give you some ideas for storing inexpensive items that will be safe to eat long after they have been placed in storage.
Some suggested items for your shelter include:
- 14 day+ supply of food & water for yourself and each person who will be with you,
- N95 breathing masks you will wear while removing clothes upon arrival (and if a family member is infected by virus or bacteria because of a challenged immune system – use a mask on the patient & don’t let the illness spread),
- batteries for everything,
- battery powered portable radio,
- candles and matches,
- cell phone,
- disposable plates and cups, eating utensils,
- first aid kit,
- garbage pail with lid and plastic liner bags (large),
- general medicine( like analgesics, antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, loperamide (Imodium), bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate for radiation sickness symptoms))
- medicine for family members who have chronic medical needs (like a spare asthma ‘puffer’),
- pencils and paper,
- portable gas stove with a supply of propane bottles (at least 14 x 250 gram cans [about the size of an air-freshener can which you might also want to store]),
- pots and pans,
- soap (all types),
- toilet of some kind,
- toilet tissue, plastic bags and baby wipes,
- utility knife and
- wash basins.
Remember this rule of threes: You can survive for about thirty days without food but only maybe three days without water. You will die after three minutes without air. You cannot survive three seconds of exposure to a nuclear blast.
Decide now what is the safest place in your basement or safe room. If you have a family member or friends who are handy with simple construction tools and methods, add a sand-bagged or cement-walled off area in your basement with a right angled entrance. Store your supplies there and plan to live in your fallout shelter for fourteen days at least. This will be your safe room for bad storms, tornado warnings, hurricanes, typhoons (unless basements flood in your area) and war.
What will we eat while we wait in our fallout shelter 14 days or more for the “all-clear”?
Think about each person in your family and their food preferences. Now think about their fist size. That is the volume of food, the volume of their fist, you will feed them each meal. Plan to live on these supplies for a minimum of 14 days. Being prepared for 30 days might serve you better, if you can store that volume.
On the first day of this shelter adventure, give each person water but no food. You will be exploiting their adrenalin rush which will lessen their hunger and at the same time shrinking their stomachs which will make the next fourteen days more comfortable.
Remember, what comes in will come out so a portable toilet needs to be available and maintainable even if you have functioning plumbing to begin with. A metal bucket and plenty of plastic bags can suffice as a portable toilet but be sure to stock up with plenty of toilet tissue and baby wipes. You will appreciate this advise in good time.
Store food in cans. Here is a reminder list:
- canned vegetables like: green beans, peas, carrots, yams;
- canned meats like: tuna, salmon, chicken, turkey;
- canned chili,
- canned soup,
- canned or jarred apple sauce (we will explain why later);
- canned fruits like: pineapple, fruit cocktail, pear halves; dried fruits like: apricots, raisins, apples, mango;
- also think about jerkies, sugar and salt, coffee (and a manual grinder), beans (store extra water), rice (store extra water), flour, nuts, powdered milk, dry cereal or granola, granola bars, power bars, peanut butter or other nut butter, trail mix;
- comfort foods like: candy bars, tea/juice/coffee
- Don’t forget infant formula, multivitamins and medications as needed.
- Iodized salt,
- white vinegar.
- Store as much water as you possibly can. Build wall or two of large stackable water containers.
Suggestion: Print this page. Check the items off the list as you go.
If these canned goods are unavailable to you, store food from the garden. Include what vegetables you have available like potatoes, chayote, cucumbers, squash etc and use your makeshift fallout shelter as their storage for regular consumption often replenishing the stock. You may also store dry rice but remember to also store extra water as it takes a lot of water to prepare rice. Do not under any circumstances save cooked rice. Consume what you cook on each occasion within two hours.
Bacteria grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 °F (4 °C) and 140 °F (60 °C); rice should be discarded if left for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
You can survive a long time on just rice and water if you follow some rules.
White rice, wild rice, arborio rice, jasmine rice, and basmati rice will last forever if kept dry and away from contaminants. Brown rice will last 3-6 months.
Dealing with radiation sickness.
A person who has been exposed to more than 1000 rads (10Gy) of gamma radiation is most likely to die. Don’t assume anything. Most radiation sickness cases will survive. Treat to live.
Unless you have the facilities to evaluate exposure and begin bone marrow damage mitigation (filgrastim, sargramostim and pegfilgrastim may increase white blood cell production and help prevent subsequent infections) you can only treat the symptoms.
A person in your midst who suffers from radiation sickness must be treated immediately. You may save them. There is a high probability that most cases of radiation sickness among those persons who stayed indoors and sought deep shelter will survive low-dose radiation sickness.
- Decontaminate the patient by discarding clothing and do thorough cleaning away from other occupants. If the patient is mobile and functioning, have them do this themselves flinging the bagged, contaminated items around the L-shaped entrance.
- Immediately treat physical injuries like burns and blunt trauma. Wash burns with lukewarm water. Discard water.
- Mitigate Bacterial infections. Give the patient an N95 mask.
- Headache – Treat with analgesic like paracetamol and not NSAIDs until internal bleeding is ruled out.
- Fever – rest and plenty of fluids.
- Treat Diarrhea with meds from your supplies (listed above) or with the BRAT diet or both. (Bananas, rice, apple sauce and toast.)
- Nausea and vomiting – Drink water, sports drinks, or broths. Eat bland foods as tolerated.
- Dehydration – hydrate the patient with water
- Burns – Keep the skin moisturized and lubricated