How to Survive a Nuclear Attack? These 10 Points may save your life

Making peace is a job everybody can do, all you need is the positive approach. Being peaceful – as ‘pacifists’ try to be is very necessary nowadays. Saudi Arabia is a peaceful country and we are not prone to any kind of nuclear attack.

The only the purpose of writing this post is to educate our readers that, is nuclear war survivable? And if it is survivable then what measures one should take in case of an imminent nuclear attack. Now a day there are so many nuclear warheads and nuclear weapons being produced that one gets afraid that it will be the day of Qayamah if they go into wrong hands.

How can we forget what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear attacks? Don’t forget that the technology has been upgraded a million times since that blast.[irp]

1-Seek somewhere to stay immediately: Obviously red alerts by the governments are the first warning signs, these will be the warnings of an imminent nuclear attack; otherwise, it will be the blast itself. The bright light from an explosion of a nuclear weapon can be seen tens of miles away from ground zero.

It is to understand that within the surrounding area of the blast, chances of survival are almost zero except if there is a shelter that arranges for a very good blast shield.

If you are a few miles away, then you will have almost 10-15 seconds till the heat wave hits you. You should never look straight at the fireball. On a clear sunny day, looking at the fireball can cause temporary loss of sight.

However, the actual damage radius is highly depending on the size of the bomb, the altitude of the detonation and the weather conditions at the time of the blast also play a part.

If you can’t find shelter, seek an underground or any down area immediately and put your face down, covering as much skin as possible without exposing it. In case if you can’t find a place of shelter like this, then you should dig as fast as possible.

Even around 5 miles away from the blast area, it will cause you third-degree thermal-burns; even if you are 20 miles away which is approximately 32 kilometers, even then the heat can affect your skin and burn it off your body.

Failing the above options, get inside the building about which you can be sure that it will survive the blast and the heat damage. This will, however, protect you from the radiation. Whether this will be a feasible option depends on the construction of the building and how far you are from the nuclear blast.

You should not come close to the windows, if possible, be in a room where there is no window because a nuclear strike will blow out windows at huge distances.  Do not be around any flammable or burnable substance like nylon or any oil based thing which will catch fire from the heat.

2-Remember that radioactive shock waves could cause deaths in a very large number:

Initial (prompt) radiation: this is the radiation released at the moment of the blast, and it is momentary and moves to short distances. With the large yields of modern nuclear weapons, the impression of this radiation is that this will kill a small number of people.

Residual radiation: It is known as radiation outcome. If the explosion was an external blast or the fireball lightning hits the earth, the large extent of outcome takes place. The dust and fragments hit out the atmosphere and it rains down, dangerous radiation is falling with it.

The effects or outcome of the blast may fall down in the shape of polluted black dust which is known as “black rain”. It is very fatal and may be of extreme heat and temperature. The radioactive dust will infect everything it touches.

If you are lucky enough to survive the explosion and the prompt radiation, then you must find some place to protect yourself from the burning black rain.

3-The types of radiation particles: Before explaining further, we should mention the three different types of particles:

Alpha particles: The first one is Alpha particles. These are the weakest elements. During an attack, these are almost not considered as a threat. Alpha particles will remain for only a few inches in the air before they are lost in the atmosphere.

They possess a minute danger, but, they will become deadly if inhaled or consumed. There is no need of any special dressing to protect yourself from these particles, even normal clothing is enough.

Beta particles: These are faster than Alpha particles and can go further. Before absorbing in the air, they will travel for up to 10 meters (10 yards). Continuous exposure to beta particles could be fatal but not otherwise. They may cause painful sunburn which is called “Beta burns”. They are going to be fatal to the eyes. Normal clothing will help you to protect yourself from Beta burns.

Gamma Rays: Gamma rays are the most fatal and deadliest. They can travel for almost a mile in the air. So gamma radiation will damage severely to the internal organs. Appropriate protection will be compulsory.

What is a shelter’s PF and how it works against the radiation? It will tell you, as compared to open space, how many times less a person inside the shelter will receive radiation. For example, RPF 300 means that you will receive 300 times less radiation in the shelter than in the open.

Do not go outside in case of Gamma radiation, even not more than 5 minutes.

4-Begin strengthening your sheltering place from the inside with the help of loading the wall with dirt or anything another thing that you can find. If you are underground, for example in a trench, then you can cover the top with any materials which are available.

There is no need to go outside to find something because exposure of yourself is not necessary and can be harmful. Canvas parachute bag or tent will protect you from the domino effect remains of the explosion.

But this is not going to be useful in Gamma rays. Here is the list and amount of material you could use to help you to determine the amount of material to reduce the radiation penetration to 1/1000:

  • Steel: 21 cm = 0.7 feet
  • Rock: 70-100 cm = 2-3 ft.
  • Concrete: 66 cm = 2.2 ft.
  • Wood: 2.6 m = 8.8 ft.
  • Soil: 1 m = 3.3 ft.
  • Ice: 2 m = 6.6 ft.
  • Snow: 6 m = 20-22 ft.

5-You should stay in your shelter for a minimum of 8 or 9 days (200 hours).  Not at all leave the shelter in the first 48 hours of the nuclear explosion.

The reason for this is to escape the “fission products” generated by a nuclear explosion. The most lethal one is radioactive iodine. Luckily, radio-iodine has a tendency that it comparatively remains for short time of eight days after that it naturally decays into safer elements.

The other main products of nuclear fission are Cesium and Strontium. These have remained for long of 30 years and 28 years respectively. They make the food products dangerous and poisonous for many years as they are absorbed by living things easily. You are not even safe in remote areas as these materials can be passed by the wind also.

6-Ration your supplies: You will need to store as much food as you can, to survive, so you don’t have to go outside to the radiation.

Processed foods are convenience foods and ok to eat.

The meat of animals may be eaten but, they must be skinned with proper care and the organ meats the heart, liver, and kidneys should be thrown away. Try not to eat meat that is close to the bone, because bone marrow preserves the fallout.

Radioactive contamination created a hot zone.  Plants in a “hot zone” are fit for human eating; such as carrots and potatoes are edible, roots or undergrowth are highly suggested. You can have an edibility test on the plants whether it is safe to eat or not?

Open water may have received radiation particles and is dangerous. Water from an underground source, such as well that is covered, is your best option.

7-Cover your body properly: You should Wear all clothing (hats, gloves, goggles, closed sleeve shirt, etc.), especially when outside to help prevent radioactive burns.

8-Treat radiation and thermal injuries and burns

Beta burn: it is a minor burn (though it may be from other particles). Dip the area of Beta burns in cold water until the pain decreases. Usually, it takes 5 minutes. If skin starts to swell, burn or break; wash it with cold water to remove chemicals, then cover with an antiseptic bandage to prevent infection.

One should not break these bubbles. If it doesn’t blister, char or break the skin, then do not cover it. But if it covers a large portion of the body just like a sunburn, simply wash the area and apply Vaseline or a mixture of baking powder and water.

Thermal Burn: it is also called as a severe burn. It is because of the heat of the high-intensity blast, rather than alpha, beta and gamma particles. This can be severe to the extent that it would be life-threatening and deadly; causes water loss, shock, lung damage, infection, etc. To treat these thermal burns, you should follow these steps.

  • Protect burns from further uncleanness to prevent infection.
  • DO NOT try to put your cloth off. DO NOT put any lotion or cream on the burn. Or better to call the Medical team or Therapy Unit.
  • Just simply wash the burn with water.
  • Use plastic wrap which is also known as a food wrap. It is easily available. It is germ-free, does not stick to injury or burns.

Prevent shock. Shock is the interruption of blood flow to the vital organs of the body. If it is not treated, it can be life-threatening. Shock results from too much blood loss, deep burns etc. The signs are Low blood pressure, anxiety, thirst, pale or grayish skin and rapid pulse or heartbeat. It can also cause profuse sweating or clammy skin.

To treat: maintain proper heartbeat and breathing by rubbing/massaging the chest and positioning the person for proper respiration. Loosen any tight clothing and relax and give comfort to the person. Be firm yet calm with confidence.

9-Guard critical electrical equipment against electromagnetic pulse.

A nuclear weapon exploded at a very high altitude will generate an EMP. It is so powerful that it can destroy electronic and electrical devices.

For the safeguard purpose, you should unplug all electrical devices from sockets and power points. Keep the radios and flashlights into an AIRTIGHT metal box as a “Faraday cage” to protect them from EMP.

  • A metalized “space blanket” (costing about $2.00 USD) is used for electromagnetic shielding.
  • Another technique to protect the electrical devices is to wrap a plastic box in copper foil as it is diversely useful. Place the item in the wrapped box and plug the device into the earth.

10- Be prepared for later attacks. Most likely, a nuclear attack will not be a singular occurrence. You should be prepared for another attack or incursions by enemy nations, or strikes by the attacking party.

Keep your shelter intact, unless the materials used are absolutely necessary for survival. You should have a stock of clean water and food that is easily accessible.

However, if the attacking nation does attack again, it will likely be in another part of the country. If all else fails, live in a cave.

Source: WikiHow

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Steve has vast experience in writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures.