INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – What are you supposed to do in the event of a nuclear attack?
It’s a question that Americans haven’t had to think about for a long time, but with the recent escalation and exchanging of military threats between President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, many people are considering what their options would be if those threats became reality.
Friday morning, Trump pushed the bill even further when he tweeted a warning to North Korea saying the U.S. military is "locked and loaded" should the country "act unwisely."
According to Ready.gov, a nuclear blast is an explosion with intense light and heat, a damaging pressure wave and widespread radioactive material that can contaminate the air, water and ground surfaces for miles around.
In the event of a nuclear attack, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security offers tips on what Hoosiers should do on their website.
Ready.gov also offers a slew of advice for those worried about the possibility of an attack. Some of the basics are below or you can see the full list on their website.
Most likely targets for a Nuclear Attack according to Ready.Gov:
- Strategic missile sites and military bases.
- Centers of government such as Washington, DC, and state capitals.
- Important transportation and communication centers.
- Manufacturing, industrial, technology, and financial centers.
- Petroleum refineries, electrical power plants, and chemical plants.
- Major ports and airfields.
Before a Nuclear Blast
The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property in the event of a nuclear blast.
- Build an Emergency Supply Kit
- Make a Family Emergency Plan.
- Find out from officials if any public buildings in your community have been designated as fallout shelters.
- If your community has no designated fallout shelters, make a list of potential shelters near your home, workplace and school, such as basements, subways, tunnels, or the windowless center area of middle floors in a high-rise building.
- During periods of heightened threat increase your disaster supplies to be adequate for up to two weeks.
During a Nuclear Blast
The following are guidelines for what to do in the event of a nuclear explosion.
- Listen for official information and follow the instructions provided by emergency response personnel.
- If an attack warning is issued, take cover as quickly as you can, below ground if possible, and stay there until instructed to do otherwise.
- Find the nearest building, preferably built of brick or concrete, and go inside to avoid any radioactive material outside.
- If better shelter, such as a multi-story building or basement can be reached within a few minutes, go there immediately.
- Go as far below ground as possible or in the center of a tall building.
- During the time with the highest radiation levels, it is safest to stay inside, sheltered away from the radioactive material outside.
- Radiation levels are extremely dangerous after a nuclear detonation but the levels reduce rapidly.
- Expect to stay inside for at least 24 hours unless told otherwise by authorities.
- When evacuating is in your best interest, you will be instructed to do so. All available methods of communication will be used to provide news and/or instructions.
After a Nuclear Blast
People in most of the areas that would be affected could be allowed to come out of shelter within a few days and, if necessary, evacuate to unaffected areas. The heaviest fallout would be limited to the area at or downwind from the explosion. It might be necessary for those in the areas with highest radiation levels to shelter for up to a month.
- Nuclear Attack
- Planning Guidance for Response to a Nuclear Detonation
- American Red Cross
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Radiation Emergencies
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
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