We live in an age where nuclear ambitions are once again becoming relevant when we speak about disaster preparedness. The likelihood of a missile attack on the U.S. mainland remains remote, but as foreign government capabilities increase over time, knowing what to do is becoming a reasonable part of overall readiness.
There are three factors for protecting yourself and your family from radiation and fallout. Those factors include:
- Distance – the more distance between you and the fallout particles, the better. An underground area such as a home or office building basement offers more protection than the first floor of a building.
- Shielding – the heavier and denser the materials – thick walls, concrete, bricks, books and earth – between you and the fallout particles, the better.
- Time – fallout radiation loses its intensity fairly rapidly. In time, you will be able to leave the fallout shelter. Radioactive fallout poses the greatest threat to people during the first two weeks, by which time it has declined to about 1 percent of its initial radiation level.
If you hear that an attack is imminent, you must take shelter. There is no other good survival option. There are two types of structures, including:
- Blast shelters are specifically constructed to offer some protection against blast pressure, initial radiation, heat and fire. But even a blast shelter cannot withstand a direct hit from a nuclear explosion.
- Fallout shelters do not need to be specially constructed for protecting against fallout. They can be any protected space, provided that the walls and roof are thick and dense enough to absorb the radiation given off by fallout particles.
Parents — it’s really important to be able to speak openly and supportively with your children. If you don’t have an answer to a question, search it out together. Answer every question to the best of your ability, and use the discussion time to strengthen family bonds.
Do you have an escape plan? Get one for free!
Family Escape Plan [ English ] [ Spanish ]
Have you created a contact list of people you know outside of the greater Los Angeles area? Make sure you have that list in your phone and optionally on paper.
MySafe:LA has created a two page document that explains key steps important to your chance at survival. You may download the PDF version of the document here:
Nuclear Missile Attack Steps [ English ] [ Spanish ]
Remember, the chance of Los Angeles being attacked by a foreign power is statistically very low. At the same time, in an uncertain world, knowing what to do is prudent and reasonable.
Nuclear Blast | ready.gov
CBS News Nuke Story
Business Insider Nuclear Destruction Story