How To Survive A Nuclear Attack, According To Science

Don't look at the light! matrioshka/Shutterstock

We know what you’re thinking – dive into the fridge, right? Unfortunately, Indiana Jones’ method may not be the best idea. Although it will reduce your radiation intake somewhat, if you’re already that close to the blast, the heat will melt the metal of the fridge, which will fuse with your skin. The pressure wave will also send you flying and the impact will be so severe that you’ll be crushed.

The radiation of the blast will be extremely high, but levels drop off fairly rapidly a few hours post-explosion. The outside world will still be incredibly dangerous though, so you’ll need to get a move on when the all-clear is given. If there is no all-clear or rescue, then wait at least 12 hours before you make a move.

If possible, take off your outer clothing layers, like a coat or jumper – doing so can remove up to 90 percent of the radioactive material on you and may make the difference between life and death. Leave the clothes behind, or dump them in a metal container to stop the radiation escaping.

As soon as you’re at a safe enough distance away, shower yourself to scrub off the remaining radiation. Blow your nose and wipe your face clean with a wet cloth.

First comes the fire, then the pressure wave. US Army/MrNightSky via YouTube

If you’re outside when the blast happens, hit the ground, cover your head, and dive into or behind anything metallic that could shield you from the radiation. After the noise settles down, do everything you can to get out the way of the radioactive fallout.

If you’ve made it through all this, then well done! You’ve survived. Now you just have to make it through the post-apocalyptic landscape, fending off raiders and trying to rebuild society. Good luck, wastelander.

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