Survive nuclear & radioactive event

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Solution

Increasing the odds of surviving nuclear & radioactive events

The description for "nuclear & radioactive events" can be found under "Why be prepared"

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Prelude

Surviving a nuclear or radioactive event is largely dependent upon a number of contingencies which can be defined under the premises of getting past the initial moment of breach or detonation. Exposure to excessive amounts of radiation is lethal and can occur following an accident or intentional act known as an attack. Vulnerabilities for rapid and spontaneous exposure exists as a result of military action, ... such as with a bomb or attack, ... while subtle exposure can occur due to an accident or mishap. These are circumstances that can be prepared for to some degree. Subtle exposure occurring over time can be hidden from acknowledgement by the general public, ... not so much for an attack.  Despite the reasons, ... risks of exposure for humans is speculated to increase as time moves forward. Increasing dangers exist as the list of third world countries who are becoming industrialized continues to grow. Adding to the increasing risks are potentials for militant groups, ... known as terrorists, ... who may acquire and access nuclear resources for malicious intent.. The world may change some day as a result of such events. It is advantageous to prepare for an array of calamities and disasters. Preparing for a nuclear event is practical and worth the efforts, ... now days.

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The following has been provided to those seeking information known to be conducive for surviving nuclear & radioactive events.

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Surviving a nuclear accident

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Surviving a nuclear or radioactive event defined as an accident requires a little knowledge, ... some appropriate gear and supplies as well as a POA, (Plan of Action). Preparations accomplished prior to an accident of sorts might include but are not limited to gaining information and knowledge for potential nuclear and radioactive threats near the places in which we live, work and commute. The best way to avoid the effects of a nuclear power plant accident is to be as far from the event as possible. Researching such information should include seasonal regularities for wind speed and direction so as to avoid as much fallout as humanly possible. Traversing upwind away from the event may be the only option while bugging out. A good plan of action would take into account of weather related factors. The first line of defense for avoiding such a disaster is to remove ourselves from the region of a potential threat. Don't get in the way of danger. Stay free and clear while decreasing the odds of exposure.

Secondary measures of defense are appropriate to consider while avoiding the effects from a nuclear accident, ... especially if  we are within the region of the event. Specifics here are relevant for people living and working near nuclear power plants or routes used for transportation of nuclear materials. These are areas of risk. For those residing within a potential area of risk a few things should be considered as appropriate preparations. Assuming a degree of homework has been conducted regarding the risk assessments for living and working in areas of risk, ...a plan of action for such an accident is appropriate. This plan might include an array of supply's and resources aimed to assist in vacating the region and offer some protection from possible exposure. A POA and applicable resources include but are not limited to the following:

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1).  A POA, (plan of action), for a nuclear or radioactive accident may involve sheltering in place or depending on the circumstances prompt an evacuation from an area entirely. Be prepared for a mandatory evacuation enforced by local or state authorities. An emergency grab bag with an array of unique supplies offers an advantage during moments of chaos and confusion. Plans that involve sheltering in place might include protective clothing and gear as well as a shelter known to be conducive for blocking radioactive dust and other contaminants. Such a shelter may include air scrubbers and special filtration systems.

2).  Water, food and other essentials are always necessary when hunkering down or bugging out. Survival enthusiasts often collect an array of light weight foods with a long storage life. Grab bags, (Emergency bugout bag), typically have nutrition bars, water packets and other items to be used immediately and with ease of access. Appropriate amounts of supplies would encompass at least (3) times of what might be expected. It is better to have more than not enough, ... just in case rural living becomes extended in duration or addition lives are added to the rate of depletion. More importantly it becomes even more valuable to know where to find food and water just in case the resources have gone empty. Many proactive survival minded people procure books and illustrations on medicinal and edible plant life for nearby areas and choreographic an evacuation plan from the results.

3).  Nuke pills, (potassium iodide), are used by survival minded enthusiasts in this scenario with the intent to protect the thyroid gland from absorbing lethal amounts of radiation into the body. This can offer an opportunity to initiate an evacuation plan while lessening the chances of flooding the body with radioactive contaminants.

4). PPE, (protective personal equipment), can aid in avoiding radioactive contaminants during a nuclear accident and is conducive for creating barriers of protection. Anytime we can put a barrier between us and danger it provides additional and crucial elements of time necessary to escape or to hunker down appropriately. Protective equipment can include special masks and filters, chemical or bio suits, skin barrier applicant jell and a good set of goggles.

5).  Fuel reserves for this circumstance simply means to make sure we know how far the fuel in our vehicles will take us. Those who typically run with less than half a tank of fuel may benefit from storing a couple of 5 gallon cans just to assure the success of a bugout plan. Assume that others will be enacting the same plan therefor roads leaving the area are likely to be congested and slow. Fueling stations in the region may not be readily available as a result. It is advantageous to plan for this contingency so as to avoid chaos and delay.

6).  Maps have literally taken the back seat as technology surpasses the need for them. Now days, ... we typically rely on cell phones and other technical devices to tell us where we are and where we are going. However, .. it is better to have a set of back up maps just in case those devices experience difficulties in operation. Maps don't need a signal. They go with us into the deep mountains an keep on working.

7).  Methods of communication will play a role in formulating the next steps to take once removed from immediate danger. Having multiple forms of communication only assures eventual contact with family, friends and local news and information.

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Nuclear and radioactive accidents can vary depending upon the circumstances and location of the event. If noticed within a reasonable period of time it is very possible to preserve the lives of those caught in a contamination zone. Accidents of this nature often provide time to initiate a plan of action  Not so much for an intentional attack designed to incur damage to infrastructures and heavy loss of life. The use of nuclear bombs have immediate and large scale impacts for whatever region receives it's destructive properties. Surviving a nuclear bomb blast is not impossible, but requires additional preparations.

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⇓⇓ Relevant info ⇓⇓

Why U.S. nuclear power plants are vulnerable to severe accident with nuclear fallout

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Surviving a nuclear bomb blast

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    Surviving the effects of a nuclear bomb requires two basic concepts.

1).   To be as far from detonation as humanly possible.

2).   Avoid radioactive fallout and contaminants.

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Technological advancements have pushed the envelope of nuclear capabilities to a point of potential mass extinction for the human race. It is understood that the yield from such advanced technology can literally destroy the Eco system of Earth rendering it uninhabitable. The use of nuclear science and technology for military purposes has brought forth and created extinction level bombs which can not be used without destroying everyone on Earth. It is generally agreed upon between nuclear capable nations to refrain from using heavy yield devices, ... even from the most relentless of tyrants. The aim for using such a device is to either cripple and punish or annihilate the opposition without destroying the rest of the world and all of its resources. It is also understood that recovering resources from a region of nuclear attack means to leave as much of it intact as possible with the aim of acquiring it. For a nuclear attack to be worth its intent or value it would have to decrease the populous of the opposition while leaving resources to assimilate without contaminating the rest of the world. Lower yield devices serve those purposes. Detonating strategically positioned devices or weapons as such can provide opportunities to invade and occupy an area and cause a disconnect between a nations government and it's people. To inflict and cause the highest degree of chaos possible. With this assumption it become easier to believe that surviving a nuclear bomb attack is possible.

The best advice for surviving a nuclear bomb is to be somewhere else when it goes off. If that doesn't work out, consider a recent study carried out at the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) which provides some simple guidance for maximizing your chances of survival.

In a world where terrorists and small states have the potential to muster a 1-10 kiloton nuclear attack, a prudent individual might find it worthwhile to enact a course of action ahead of time. LLNL's Michael Dillon had been studying nuclear shelters for many years when his own family asked what they should do if they see a nuclear mushroom cloud rising over their city. Not having a good answer, he began putting together survival models. It turns out that the decades-long advice to shelter in place is not necessarily the best plan for survival.

The first step to surviving a nuclear bomb blast is making it through the initial moments of detonation. A credible threat would be a 5 kiloton pure fission explosion when detonated in a building at a height of 60 m (200 ft). The energy of the explosion is distributed between blast (about 50 percent), thermal radiation (about 35 percent) and ionizing radiation (about 5 percent in the initial burst, and about 10 percent in fallout.)  Below is an illustration depicting this scenario.  [Source]

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Using NUKEMAP to model the effects of an explosion, ... the figure above shows the effects of the blast if located in the Empire State Building in Midtown Manhattan.

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The inner black circle is the size of the crater, and the red ring marks the edge of the 20 psi over pressure zone, ... wherein most buildings will be destroyed.

The green ring marks the zone where an unprotected person will receive a marginally lethal dose of prompt radiation.

The peach ring, which has a radius of 1 mile (0.62 km), is the region in which second-degree thermal burns are likely.

Outside of this region an unprotected person has a decent chance of surviving the prompt effects of the blast, if they don't get hit by debris (Duck and Cover!)

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The expected death toll as a result of immediate effects, ... such as the blast, ... heat, and the initial burst of radiation, ... depends largely on the city and specific location within the city. Prompt effects from the New York city blast shown above would kill nearly a quarter million people, while if the same blast were centered on downtown Albuquerque (a spread out small city with a well defined downtown) the prompt death toll would be about 15,000.

Assuming someone has survived the immediate effects the next objective is to avoid being killed by radiation exposure from the fallout. Exposure to radiation is measured in a variety of units known as rems, (Roentgen equivalent man) and rems/hr. The lethal dose for humans is about 500 rems. (Another commonly used unit for radiation exposure is the Gray (Gy), which is equal to 100 rem.) Radiation monitoring devices are advantageous to have during such events so as to provide threshold warnings for exposure levels.

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A fireball, ... 760 ft (230 m) in diameter, ... large enough to touch the ground, producing substantial local fallout is something to be concerned about. The mushroom cloud climbs for a period of about five minutes, reaching an altitude of about 3 miles, (4.8 km), and a diameter of about 2 miles, (3.2 km). The total amount of radioactive dust produced from a 5 kt explosion is only about 1 lb (0.5 kg), but  extremely radioactive.

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Fortunately, ... the fallout is not evenly spread. The most intense radiation produced for this size of blast remain within the prompt kill zone of the bomb. Assuming a wind speed of 10 mph (16 km/h), the fallout is distributed over a narrow plume, as shown in the figure above. The area in which the radiation exposure rate is between 100 and 200 rem/h and reaches about 4 miles (5.4 km) downwind of the detonation, but is only 0.33 miles (0.54 km) wide. For a rate of 10-100 rem/hr, the region is 15 miles (24 km) long and 1.5 miles (2.4 km) wide, and for a rate of 1-10 rem/hr, it is 26 miles (42 km) long and 2.8 miles (4.5 km) wide.  All this data can serve useful and applicable for a plan of action.  [Source]

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Those with a choice will need make the decision

Stay or go!!!

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 The official US government guidance is to shelter in place. They say to find the nearest and most protective building and stay there for 24 hours unless told to evacuate sooner.

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This isn't bad advice if your immediate shelter is the basement of a more or less intact house which can reduce radiation levels by a factor of ten or so. However,  ... if the blast occurs in Los Angeles rather than in New York the benefit of having a basement is less likely as many homes are no longer built with such features. Alternate locations should be factored into the plan of action.

Taking into account the decay rate of the fallout, a location with an initial exposure rate of 200 rem/h (about the highest dose rate for fallout from a 5 kt device) will receive a total radiation exposure of over 600 rem in the first 24 hours. If sheltering in a NYC concrete basement, a person's exposure in this period would be about 60 rem, an exposure having little immediate health consequence. However, in an LA ranch house, over 300 rem would be absorbed in that same 24 hour period, which would prove an eventually lethal dose for a substantial number of victims receiving little or no medical care, particularly if combined with flash burns and blast debris injuries. It would appear that sheltering in place is not necessarily the best advice, depending on local circumstances. Despite what shelter is available it is certainly advantageous to use Nuke pills, (Potassium Iodide), at the onset of the event to aid in blocking radiation absorption into the body.

Another factor to consider is if the wind direction is obvious and constant. While vacating the area it will be important to observe which way the fire and smoke plums are headed and plan to go the opposite direction. It also requires time for radioactive materials to fall to the ground, even near the blast site. This can provide a short period during which radiation exposure is not the greatest concern. Instead, dodging falling buildings, debris, and fires is likely the biggest risk in this early post-blast environment. Still, there is time and opportunity to take a different course than simply sheltering in place. [Source]

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Mike Dillon, (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)

Determining optimal fallout shelter times following a nuclear detonation

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It is this opportunity that Mike Dillon decided to analyze. He developed a complex mathematical model describing the radiation exposures associated with different post-blast behaviors, then simplified the results so they can be used by anyone to choose a survival strategy.

A key factor for surviving seems to be how long it would take to get to adequate shelter. For a 5 kt blast, adequate shelter is essentially either a standing multi-story building (shelter is best in the mid-upper floors), near the center of a large concrete or brick building, or in a structurally sound basement.

If it takes less than five minutes to reach adequate shelter, go there quickly following the immediate blast of a nuclear weapon. From there a few key observations can be obtained to assist with the decision at hand. Stay longer of get out while you can.

If adequate shelter is less than 15 minutes away, shelter in place for no more than 30 minutes, then transfer to the better shelter. Always consider advancing to the best possible shelter.

Now days the big concern is focused on smaller more discrete nuclear devices that can be smuggled into an area without notice, ... especially into areas and nations that are not 100% thorough in screening incoming goods. Concerns as such include small nuclear devices made locally within the region of intended detonation.

If a 5 kiloton nuclear device could be made by terrorists or small nation and if positioned more than a mile from the point detonation, a person has a pretty good chance of surviving the attack.

The situation would be quite different if a Minuteman or Trident-class weapon were stolen, as these have yields in the general vicinity of 300 kilotons. Such a device would have a prompt kill range of about 5 miles (8 km), causing death tolls of about a million people using the Empire State Building scenario. The 500 rem/h fallout contour includes some 50 sq miles, (130 sq km), and the 100 rem/h region covers some 400 sq miles (1,036 sq km). Despite the enormous size differences, Dillon's rules can still help. It is just that many more people would die of fallout regardless of their course of action.  [Source]

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The bottom line in surviving a nuclear disaster of any scale is to be as far away from the event as possible and to have a plan of action with appropriate resources conducive for surviving this type of calamity. Below are general reminders of things to have or do in order to increase the odds of success.

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Relative and useful tools

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Strategic maps for wind speed & directions

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An Alternative Outlook for weather related data

US Winds & Gusts

Current Wind Data

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Active wind in motion ⇒  An invisible, ancient source of energy surrounds us—energy that powered the first explorations of the world, and that may be a key to the future. This map shows you the delicate tracery of wind flowing over the US.  [Click here to see the map]

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Alternative routes for evacuation

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Completed Motor Vehicle Use Maps

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govEvacuating Yourself and Family

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[Know the Alternate Escape Routes from Your Neighborhood]

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Map of nuclear power plants

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Operating Nuclear Power Reactors (by Location or Name)

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[Nuclear power plants and other large nuclear facilities in the United States]

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Nuclear free zones

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wikipediaA nuclear-free zone is an area where nuclear weapons (see nuclear-weapon-free zone) and nuclear power plants are banned. [Source]

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Advantageous things to have

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POA, (Plan of action).

Chemical suits.

Bug out grab bag.

Maps, (Road & wind).

Food & water.

Nuke pills, (Potassium Iodide).

Alternate communication

Fuel reserves.

Appropriate shelter.

First aid, (For burns etc.).

Full face gas masks with filter cartridges.

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Relative content

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[ How to Survive a Nuclear Attack ]

[ What to do if a nuclear disaster is imminent! ]

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Videos

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[ How to Survive a Nuclear Meltdown, Explosion &/or Radioactive Fallout - Free Information! ]

[ How to Survive a Nuclear Bomb Attack ]

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More

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[ How to survive a nuclear fallout: Experts reveal the basics of living in a world riddled with  radiation and the simple way to tell if you've been exposed ]

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Resources

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http://www.nrc.gov/info-finder/reactors/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_fallout

http://www.weather.com/maps/ususcurrentwindsgusts

http://www.intellicast.com/National/Wind/Current.aspx

http://www.wunderground.com/maps/us/WindSpeed.html

http://www.ready.gov/evacuating-yourself-and-your-family

http://www.gizmag.com/survive-nuclear-bomb-shelter/31057/

http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/ohv/ohv_maps.shtml

http://www.remm.nlm.gov/PlanningGuidanceNuclearDetonation.pdf

http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/no_nukes/nukelist1.htm

http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/royprsa/470/2163/20130693.full.pdf

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