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Rather Worryingly, The CDC's Next Webcast Will Tell Us How To Prepare For Nuclear War

The devastation wrought after the nuclear bomb was dropped on Nagasaki

The devastation wrought after the nuclear bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Cpl. Lynn P. Walker, Jr. (Marine Corps)/Wikimedia Commons

For those of us imagining that the New Year might usher in a fresh start, all hopes were quickly dashed when Trump intensified the dick-swinging contest between himself and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un within just hours of the clock striking midnight.

As experts keep stressing, the likelihood of a nuclear blowout between the two nations is still pretty slim (and no, the President does not have an actual “Nuclear Button”, regardless of its size). But in light of all the talk of the approaching apocalypse and the end of civilization as we know it, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has decided to take it upon themselves to inform us how to prepare for such an event.


Every month, the CDC host a webcast on public health. Normally, these cover such topics as infertility, traffic deaths, or data modeling. This year, however, the CDC has decided to start things with something of a bang, and go straight in at “Public Health Response to a Nuclear Detonation.” You can catch it on Tuesday, January 16, at 13:00 ET.

The firestorm over Hiroshima, 1945, that occurred after Little Boy was dropped on the city. US Military/Wikimedia Commons

Starting off reassuringly, the description descends rather rapidly into a more concerning tone: “While a nuclear detonation is unlikely, it would have devastating results and there would be limited time to take critical protection steps… planning and preparation can lessen deaths and illness.”

In light of that, the CDC is hoping to help people understand what exactly will be needed in the event of a nuclear war. “For instance, most people don’t realize that sheltering in place for at least 24 hours is crucial to saving lives and reducing exposure to radiation,” writes the CDC.

It might seem strange that the CDC of all organizations is taking it upon themselves to educate people as to what to do when the world as we know it has been obliterated, but as they point out, if nuclear war ever did happen, then public health and disease prevention will be critical.


“While federal, state, and local agencies will lead the immediate response efforts, public health will play a key role in responding,” they continue. One only has to look to conflict zones today to see how disease can be a major issue, such as the worst cholera outbreak in history sweeping through Yemen.

Anyway, I’m glad the CDC is getting 2018 off to such an optimistic start.


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