Don’t believe what you see in the movies. According to a 2011 report commissioned by FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security, surviving fallout from a nuclear blast means taking shelter – NOT running away.
The Federation of American Scientists are primarily responsible for bringing public awareness to the valuable report entitled “National Capital Region: Key Response Planning Factors for the Aftermath of Nuclear Terrorism.”
The key question posed by the report is “What would happen if a 10 kiloton nuclear explosive were detonated in downtown Washington, DC?”
Highlights of recommendations made by the report include:
- DUCK and COVER: After an unexplained dazzling flash of light, do not approach windows, and stay behind cover for at least a minute to prevent injuries from flying and falling debris, such as broken glass.
- GO IN, TUNE IN: The best initial action immediately following a nuclear explosion is to take shelter in the nearest and most protective building or structure and listen for instructions from authorities.
- DON’T DRIVE: If in a car, try to find shelter immediately until given official information. A car does not offer protection.
- STAY INDOORS: People should expect to remain sheltered for at least 12 to 24 hours. During that time, the intensity of fallout radiation will decrease greatly, allowing for less hazardous egress from dangerous fallout areas.
- GET CLEAN: Radioactive fallout particles can spread quickly and remain on the body and clothes until removed. Those in potentially fallout-contaminated areas should take off the outer layer of clothing (including shoes) and wipe or wash exposed skin and hair upon leaving a contaminated area.
Read the full report: