While my family and I were in Hawaii over New Year’s, we had a Korean taxi driver drive us from HNL airport to our hotel. I asked him if his family members in South Korea were worried about North Korea, and he told me no. Instead, he said, they were more worried about a nuclear bomb hitting Hawaii, since it’s a target of North Korea’s. The local news had a story or two on the subject, but other than that I didn’t think too much more about it.
And then, on Saturday: “When a cell phone alert erroneously warned of an imminent missile threat in Hawaii, similar messages were broadcast over local television and radio outlets urging the public to take cover.”
If I’d received those alerts while in Hawaii, I would’ve freaked to say the least. I wouldn’t have known what to do or where to take cover, which is why this article—“How to survive a nuclear bomb: 3 steps to save you in case of a missile or attack by North Korea” from Mic.com—is worth a read. Experts say the chances of a nuclear bomb being dropped are slim to none—and let’s hope they’re right—but if they’re wrong, more information is no doubt better than less. From the story:
- Find a nearby place to shelter from the bomb or fallout
The more durable a shelter you can choose, the better, ideally one with a thick, dense roof and walls, according to the nuclear blast page of Ready.gov, an emergency preparedness website from the Department of Homeland Security. While “a direct hit from a nuclear explosion” will destroy even the strongest hideout — including “blast shelters” built to protect against “pressure, initial radiation, heat and fire” — if you survive the blast, you can then get by in a fallout shelter, a protected space that’s tough enough to “absorb the radiation given off by fallout particles.”
- Nuclear attack survival kit: Prepare your water, food and other supplies
“According to Ready.gov, one gallon of water (bottled or otherwise sealed) per person per day; nonperishable food that’s sealed; a battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA weather radio with a tone alert; flashlight; first-aid kit; extra batteries; whistle; dust mask; plastic sheeting and duct tape; moist towelettes; garbage bags and plastic ties; a wrench or pliers; manual can opener; local maps; and a cell phone with chargers and a backup battery. Here is a FEMA fact sheet with additional supplies — including prescription medications; a first-aid book; a warm blanket for each person; household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper; a fire extinguisher; matches; and feminine supplies — listed. You’ll want enough stuff for three days at a minimum, but ideally, enough for two weeks.”
- Learn rules for sheltering and staying alive
“Once you enter your shelter, you’ll want to close your space off and decontaminate to minimize exposure to fallout. Make sure windows, doors, fireplaces, air conditioners and other air access points are sealed off. Gingerly shed your outermost layer of clothing, which “can remove up to 90% of radioactive material,” according to a CDC guide. “Be very careful in removing your clothing to prevent radioactive dust from shaking loose. Put the clothing in a plastic bag or other sealable container. Put the bag in an out-of-the-way place, away from other people and pets.” Then gently wash off, keeping wounds covered, and using soap and shampoo but not conditioner — which can bind radioactive particles to your hair.”
Read all the tips in the Mic.com story here.
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