If A Nuclear Bomb Is Dropped On Your City, Here's Where You Should Run And Hide

Shutterstock

  • People who survive a nuclear blast may be exposed to radioactive ash and dust called fallout.
  • Finding a good shelter as soon as possible and going inside is critical to surviving fallout.
  • A scientist has come up with a strategy for when and whether to move to a better fallout shelter.

President Trump has egged on a new arms race. Russia violated weapons treaties to upgrade its nuclear arsenal. North Korea is developing long-range missiles and practicing for nuclear war — and the US military is considering preemptive attacks on the isolated nation's military facilities.

Meanwhile, nuclear terrorism and dirty bombs remain a sobering threat.

Though these events are unlikely to trigger the last-ditch option of nuclear war, let alone a blast in your neighborhood, they are very concerning.

So you might be wondering, "If I survive a nuclear-bomb attack, what should I do?"

Michael Dillon, a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researcher, crunched the numbers and helped figure out just that in a 2014 study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

Likewise, government agencies and other organizations have also explored the harrowing question and came up with detailed recommendations and response plans.

The scenario

New York

TTstudio/Shutterstock

You are in a large city that has just been subjected to a single, low-yield nuclear detonation, between 0.1 and 10 kilotons.

This is much less powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima — about 15 kilotons. However, it's not unlikely when looking at weapons like the new B61-12 gravity bomb, which is built by the US, maxes out at 50 kilotons, and can be dialed down to 0.3 kilotons. (Russia and Pakistan are working on similar so-called "tactical" nuclear weapons.)

Studieshave shown that you and up to 100,000 of your fellow citizens can be saved — that is, if you keep your wits about and radiation exposure low enough.

One of your biggest and most immediate goals is to avoid nuclear fallout.

How to avoid fallout radiation

Fallout is a mess of bomb material, soil, and debris that is vaporized, made radioactive, and sprinkled as dust and ash across the landscape by prevailing winds. (In New York City, for example, a fallout zone would spread eastward.)

radioactive fallout zones

FEMA

The best thing to do is to find a good place to hide — the more dense material between you and the outside world, the better — then wait until the rescuers can make their way to help you.

Full Article
Comments

If you liked this story, you'll love these

This website uses cookies

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By continuing to use our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.