People in my age group will remember the "duck and cover" drills held at their schools in the early stages of the Cold War. Many people constructed makeshift fallout shelters, and public buildings had signs designating them as fallout shelters. In short, there was some civil defense preparedness for such an attack.
Today we are at more of a threat of nuclear attack, but there is no civil defense preparedness for such an event. Most people wouldn't know what to do before or after the "flash". The farther you are from ground zero, the higher the chances of survival if you are prepared.
This article and the link at the bottom of the article (What To Do If A Nuclear Attack Is Imminent) are very informative and could save lives. Please take a moment to read and pass it on.
The Good News About Nuclear Destruction!
by Shane Connor
In a word, they are all survivable for the vast majority of American families, IF they know what to do beforehand and have made even the most modest of preparations.
Tragically, though, most Americans today won't give much credence to this good news, much less seek out such vital life-saving instruction, as they have been jaded by our culture's pervasive myths of nuclear un-survivability.
Most people think that if nukes go off then everybody is going to die, or it'll be so bad they'll wish they had. That's why you hear such absurd comments as; "If it happens, I hope I'm at ground zero and go quickly."
This defeatist attitude was born as the disarmament movement ridiculed any 'distractions' to their ban-the-bomb agenda, like Civil Defense. The activists wanted all to think there was no surviving a nuke, banning them all was your only hope. The sound Civil Defense strategies of the 50-60's have been derided as being largely ineffective, or at worst a cruel joke. With the supposed end of the Cold War in the 80's, most Americans saw neither a need to prepare, nor believed that preparation would do any good. Today, with growing prospects of nuclear terrorism, and nuclear saber rattling from rogue nations, we see emerging among the public either paralyzing fear or irrational denial. People can't even begin to envision effective preparations for ever surviving a nuclear attack. They think it totally futile, perhaps even lunacy, to try.
Ironically, these disarmament activists have rendered millions of Americans even more vulnerable to perishing from nukes in the future.
The biggest surprise for most Americans, from the first flash of a nuke being unleashed, is that they will still be here, though ill-equipped to survive for long, if they don't know what to do beforehand from that first second onward.
Most will survive the initial blasts because they won't be close enough to any "ground zero", and that is very good news. Unfortunately, though, few people will be prepared to next survive the coming radioactive fallout which could eventually kill many times more than the blast. However, there is still more good news possible, as well over 90% of those potential casualties from fallout can be avoided, IF the public was pre-trained through an aggressive national Civil Defense educational program. Simple measures taken immediately after a nuclear blast, by a trained public, can prevent agonizing death and injury from radiation exposure.
The National Planning Scenario #1, an originally confidential internal 2004 study by the Department of Homeland Security, demonstrated the above survival odds when they examined the effects of a terrorist nuke going off in Washington, D.C.. They discovered that a 10 kiloton nuke, about 2/3rds the size of the Hiroshima bomb, detonated at ground level, would result in about 15,000 immediate deaths, and another 15,000 casualties from the blast, thermal flash and initial radiation release. As horrific as that is, the surprising revelation here is that over 99% of the residents in the DC area will have just witnessed and survived their first nuclear explosion. Clearly, the good news is most people will survive the initial blast.
However, that study also soberly determined that another 250,000 people would soon be at risk from lethal doses of radiation from the fallout drifting downwind towards them after the blast. (Another study, released in August 2006 by the Rand Corporation, looked at a terrorist 10 kiloton nuke arriving in a cargo container and being exploded in the Port of Long Beach, California. Over 150,000 people were estimated to be at risk downwind from fallout, again many more than from the initial blast itself.)
That good news, that these much larger casualty numbers from radioactive fallout are largely avoidable, only applies to those pre-trained by a Civil Defense program in what to do before it arrives.
Today, lacking any meaningful Civil Defense program, millions of American families continue to be at risk and could perish needlessly for lack of essential knowledge that used to be taught at the grade school level.
The public, and especially our children, urgently need to be instructed in Civil Defense basics again. Like how most can save themselves by employing the old 'Duck & Cover' tactic, rather than just impulsively rushing to the nearest window to see what that 'big flash' was just-in-time to be shredded by the glass imploding inwards from the delayed blast wave. Even in the open, just laying flat, reduces by eight-fold the chances of being hit by debris from that brief, three second, tornado strength blast that, like lightning & thunder, could be delayed arriving anywhere from a fraction of a second to 20 seconds or more after that initial flash.
They need to also learn, when promptly evacuating after the blast, that doing so perpendicular to the coming downwind drift of the fallout would be their best strategy. They must also be taught, if they can't evacuate in time, how to shelter-in-place while the radioactive fallout loses 90% of it's lethal intensity in the first seven hours and 99% of it in two days. For those requiring sheltering from fallout, the majority would only need two or three days of full-time hunkering down, not weeks on end, before safely joining the evacuation.
This good news is easily grasped by most people, and an effective expedient fallout shelter can be improvised at home, school or work quickly, but only IF the public had been trained beforehand, as was begun in the 50's & 60's with our national Civil Defense program.
Unfortunately, our government today is doing little to promote nuclear preparedness and Civil Defense instruction among the general public. Regrettably, most of our politicians, like the public, are still captive to the same illusions that training and preparation are ineffective and futile against a nuclear threat.
The past administrations Department of Homeland Security head, Michael Chertoff, demonstrated this attitude in 2005 when he responded to the following question in USA Today;
A: In the area of a nuclear bomb, it's prevention, prevention, prevention. If a nuclear bomb goes off, you are not going to be able to protect against it. There's no city strong enough infrastructure-wise to withstand such a hit. No matter how you approach it, there'd be a huge loss of life.
Mr. Chertoff failed to grasp that most of that "huge loss of life" could be avoided if the survivors of the blast and those downwind knew what to do beforehand. He only acknowledges that the infrastructure will be severely compromised -- too few first-responders responding. Civil Defense pre-training of the public is clearly the only hope for those in the blast zone and later in the fallout path. Of course, the government should try and prevent it happening first, but the answer he should have given to that question is; "preparation, preparation, preparation" training of the public, for when prevention by the government might fail.
The current Obama administration also fails to grasp that the single greatest force multiplier to reducing potential casualties, and enhancing the effectiveness of first-responders, is a pre-trained public so that there will be far fewer casualties to later deal with. Spending millions to upgrade first-responders is good and necessary, but having millions fewer victims, by having also educated and trained the public, would be many magnitudes more effective in saving lives.
The federal government needs to launch a national mass media, business supported, and school based effort, superseding our most ambitious public awareness campaigns like for AIDs, drug abuse, drunk driving, seat belts, anti-smoking, and using smoke detectors. The effort should percolate down to every level of our society. Let's be clear - we are talking about the potential to save, or lose, many times more lives than those saved by all these other noble efforts combined!
Instead, Homeland Security continues with a focus primarily on...
#2 - COG - Continuity of Government for when #1 fails
While the vital component continues to be largely ignored...
This tragic and deadly oversight will persist until those crippling myths of nuclear un-survivability are banished by the good news that a trained and prepared public can, and ultimately has to, save themselves.
Re-launching Civil Defense is an issue we hope and pray will come to the forefront on the political stage, with both parties vying to outdo each other proposing national Civil Defense public educational programs. We are not asking billions for provisioned public fallout shelters for all, like what already awaits many of our politicians. We are just asking for a comprehensive mass media, business, and school based re-release of the proven practical strategies of Civil Defense instruction, a modernized version of what we used to have here, and that had been embraced by the Chinese, Russians, Swiss, and Israeli's.
There is no greater, nor more legitimate, primary responsibility of any government than to protect it's citizens. And, no greater condemnation awaits that government that fails to, risking millions then perishing needlessly. We all need to demand renewed public Civil Defense training and the media needs to spotlight it questioning officials and politicians, until the government corrects this easily avoidable, but fatal vulnerability.
In the meantime, though, don't wait around for the government to instruct and prepare your own family and community. Educate yourself today and begin establishing your own family nuclear survival preparations by reading the free nuke prep primer...
What To Do If A Nuclear Disaster Is Imminent! at www.ki4u.com/guide.htm
Then, pass copies of it, along with this article, to friends, neighbors, relatives, fellow workers, churches and community organizations with a brief note attached saying simply: "We hope/pray we never need this, but just-in-case, keep it handy!" Few nowadays will find that approach alarmist and you'll be pleasantly surprised at how many are truly grateful.
Everyone should also forward copies of both to their local, state and federal elected representatives, as well as your own communities first-responders and local media, all to help spread this good news that's liberating American families from their paralyzing and potentially fatal myths of nuclear un-survivability!
See the Only County In U.S. that's re-established their Civil Defense Fallout Shelters! ...and... How To Do It In Your Own Community, too!
Everyone is invited to copy, post, print, and distribute 'THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT NUCLEAR DESTRUCTION!' article anywhere, as long as they do so without charging anything for it. It must be reproduced in entirety, including this notice, and not be altered or edited. To contact the author with comments, e-mail: Shane Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org