Radiation Protection For The Unprepared
By Homesteader
25 May 2004

So you've had that thing of Science Fiction happen in your back yard-the dreaded Nuclear Explosion-maybe from an exotic Terrorist Suitcase Nuke-or possibly from something not quite so special, like a dirty-bomb.

You remember seeing some of the funny news clips from the 50's during the Cold War, when all of the kids would practice their 'Duck and Cover' Drills. At the time you thought it was pretty funny-you wondered what kind of Paranoia had struck the Country during this quaint period of Mom and Pop grocery stores, kids riding their bikes to school and 'Leave it to Beaver.' Simpler Times-Simpler Minds and nothing to do but be amazed at how our Parents could be so gullible.

But what now???

The Fears of our Forefathers has actually come upon us and their has been a Nuclear Explosion of one type or another!!!

(Don't think it can happen??? Read my article and others on this site on Dirty Bombs).

What Now???

You didn't even have time to 'Duck and Cover' and actually found out about it because you heard on the radio that some crazy sucker set off a dirty bomb at the local power plant (or oil refinery, or mall, or dam, or bridge, or, etc, etc, etc)

First of all . . .

Don't Panic!

According to Jeffrey S. Anderson, MD, USAF . . .

"In the First Gulf War, During the period 18 January through 28 February 1991, thirty-nine Iraqi Scud missiles landed in Israel. Some landed in Tel Aviv. Approximately 1,000 people were hospitalized as a consequence of the attacks, with two fatalities. Anxiety lead to the hospitalization of 544 patients with another 230 patients suffering atropine overdose from inappropriate nerve agent antidote administration. The remaining 226 patients actually suffered some traumatic injury.

These Scud missiles were not effective in causing mass casualties, but they did cause mass disruption to the population of Tel Aviv.

Approximately 75% of the casualties were injured by their own actions or reactions."

As can be seen by the above stats, it is in times like these that you need to keep a cool head.

Now for some strange reason, you hadn't prepared before-hand for this eventuality. No fall-out shelter, no saferoom, no personal protective gear, no evacuation plans and nowhere to go.

And I will gently digress from our purpose for a moment and tell you that this is something I don't quite understand.

When you have a business meeting, you usually come prepared with notes, stats and even an extra pen-heck, you want to look good in front of the boss. When you go outdoors you double-check your preps-sun screen, check. hat, check. extra beer-check. cell phone, check. When you go on vacation, there are lists upon lists made so you don't forget something important.

Could it be that you don't care about your life? Something called fatalism-heck, I can be hit walking across the street; the good ole bullet with your name on it theory. Now this may be true, but it's not a very healthy mind-set. It shows either a lack of maturity, lack of responsibility, selfishness, possibly fear or maybe even depression.

In all honesty, there is no one alive that can say for an absolute fact that they know why they are here or know what happens when we die. There are many with a very large degree of faith or belief in one system or another, but it is the actual experience that really counts when you come down to it.

Faith can be a wonderful thing!

(If I martyr myself to the cause by blowing up 20 of the enemy, I will be taken to Paradise where there are cool springs of water to quench my Thirst and 100 virgins to satisfy my Lust-and this sounds pretty darn good, since I am always hot, dusty and thirsty and there are around 10 men to every woman where I live and I never had had any sex-therefore, I have great faith!)

Now if you are a fatalist, you may want to give your imagination a little bit of exercise and come up with around 20 different good things and 20 different bad things that might actually happen to us when we go. Take out a list and actually do this exercise.

Now I personally don't believe it, because I have faith ;) but it could be possible that there is nothing else after this life; just cold emptiness. Or maybe the body is dead, but your consciousness stays alive inside that body-you are aware of what is happening around you-you see your funeral and see them putting you in the ground in your casket and hear the dirt going on top, but you are trapped inside that body and can't contact anyone else. Trapped for all eternity with no one else but your thoughts.

Or maybe it is possible that we are judged for all of the good and bad things we did in this life; all we really cared about was ourselves and how many material possessions and pleasures we could accumulate; great food, great cars, great houses, great vacations, great lovers. You got married because you wanted sex and the kids just happened to come along. You have always put up a good front to the world and they see you as a loving spouse and parent who cares about their community and others, but in your heart of hearts, all that really matters is yourself and your gratification. When Judgment Day comes along there will be no way to hide your true motivations-they will be instantly known and as punishment for your sins, you will be branded with a hot branding iron in the center of your back; they will leave it there for 22 seconds of hot, searing pain, etc, etc.

You get the Idea-Imagination can be such a glorious thing :)

(As can great Faith!)

Do you really know what happens after death???

Search deep down and come up with your own answer. Grow up and join the party.

So if you do have a fatalist mentality, it might be a good idea to really think about that; Life is meant to be lived! So live it to the fullest and garner every last bit of passion and enjoyment you can from it!

It also may be possible, that you didn't prepare for this eventuality because you don't love your family. Heck, if my kids get a large dose of radiation, that's just tough. They're kids and I like to see their pain and suffering. It makes me feel so good.

Quite possibly it may be because you are caught up in day-to-day living and don't really think it will happen. No time to think about stuff like this-it just gets the wife upset. It could happen, but you doubt it. Terrorists live over there in the Middle East and we watch them blowing themselves and other innocents up on TV; we are fighting our War against them and things could be better, but I'm sure the powers that be have a good handle on the situation.

Quite possibly, you may want to examine your thinking about this also. Could it be possible that we might-just might have a Terrorist use a dirty bomb in the USA? Maybe even where you live?

Let's see; somebody got the World Trade Center; the Federal Building in Oklahoma; 911 caused a big stir for a time. The President says we are at War. We are sending troops to the Middle East. Our internal security has been greatly increased-we even formed a new Government Department for it. There seems to be some concern about it.

You buy Earthquake, Tornado and Hurricane Insurance-why not prepare for something like this???

Maybe because it has never happened before? Could you have a flat tire while driving? sure, and hopefully you will have a jack, lug wrench and spare (or cell phone). Could a Terrorist set off a dirty bomb here? Sure, and hopefully you have made the proper preps for that also. And just because you live in the middle of nowhere, doesn't mean you won't be affected.

Think about it!

 

So what happens when a nuclear explosion occurs?

We have all seen the clips of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Terrible to behold are these large megaton bombs that fall from the sky. Possible still? You bet, but let us think on something a little bit smaller for this day and age.

What is probably more likely in today's clime is that some loony who has great 'Faith' in one cause or another, will loose either a dirty bomb (or biological or chemical agent) in a localized area. Possibly even where you live. Possibly in a number of locals at once.

If you aren't at ground zero where the explosion actually takes place, you could still be in danger from the fallout-or radiation that accompanies these things.

Radiation is just like a very fine dust (and other particles and debris); In most cases, invisible to the eye, it goes up in the air and is carried by the wind. It can fall down from the sky and be carried by animals, people and vehicles. If you get it on you or breathe it in, it could make you sick. (It's kind of funny how many of these things that can really do damage to us can't be seen-and we wonder why we have a fear of the unknown)

It depends on how large the explosion is, how close you are to it, which way the wind is blowing, etc. on how sick you will become.

If you get enough it can cause vomiting and diahrea, loss of hair, external bleeding and infections, largely increased rate of getting cancer and at massive exposure, death. For more info, read about Radiation sickness.

 

How can you protect yourself if you haven't prepared (hopefully you have, after my brief discussion :)

First of all, realize that you cannot catch it from others; you actually have to be exposed to the dust particles yourself (though if someone else has it on their clothes or vehicle, you may also touch the same spot they have and be exposed. (which is why decontamination is important-see other articles).

There are 3 basic ways you can protect your loved ones and yourself . . .

1. Time-Limit your exposure to the fallout. Once you realize that there is radiation present, get indoors and stay there. If you do have to go outside, limit the amount of time you will be out.

2. Shielding-get as much mass between you and the source of the fallout as you can. Wear heavier clothing; get inside; get in your basement if you have one; close your windows and doors; use plastic sheeting and duct tape it to the windows; put the mattresses against the windows. Go to your nearest public fallout shelter.

3. Distance-get as far away from the source of the fallout as possible. If it is possible to evacuate the area, get out in the safest and calmest manner possible (the best way, though not always possible).

There are all sorts of complex formulas which detail how much mass you will need to stay protected, how long you can stay out, etc, but if you don't have anything to measure the amount of radiation, you have no way of knowing.

If you do have to go out, heavy clothing will help a little, but without a mask you will be breathing in.

If you aren't prepared to evacuate the area, there may be no way of getting out. So Sorry.

 

Hopefully, I have convinced you of the need to prepare for this very possible scenario.

If not, then at least you are a little better informed and stand a little better chance of surviving.

Homesteader


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