There have been increasing concerns about Russia’s nuclear weapons after its invasion of Ukraine. These weapons were last used in 1945 when the United States dropped nuclear bombs at Hiroshima, Nagasaki.
The most crucial hours following an explosion are often the first. It is important to shelter in place for at most 24 hours after an explosion. This will help save lives and reduce radiation exposure.
Russia’s conflict against Ukraine has brought back words like “radiation”, “nuclear blast” and “nuclear attack” into our vocabulary. The possible threat of nuclear attack has also been raised by the takeover at Zaporiyia of the nuclear power plant. Additionally, internet searches for potassium Iodide have increased.
All about Radiation
Radiation, heat, and blast waves can all cause nuclear explosions that can result in significant damage to your family. However, it is possible to keep your family safe by knowing what to do and being prepared for the eventuality.
A nuclear weapon is any device that uses nuclear reactions to produce an explosion. A nuclear device can be anything from a small, portable device that a person carries to a weapon that a missile carries. An explosion that causes nuclear damage can happen without warning or with very little warning.
The highest radiation levels are the most dangerous when fallout is released within the first hour after detonation. The fallout must settle to the ground over time, which can take up to 15 minutes for areas that are not in the immediate blast zone. If you follow these steps, this is enough time for radiation exposure to be prevented.
To avoid radiation, you should go to the nearest building. Best are brick or concrete buildings. If you were outside after the fallout, take off contaminated clothing. You can go to the basement or the floor at the center of a building. Avoid the roof and exterior walls.
If local authorities do not give you other instructions, stay in the shelter for 24hrs if possible. To avoid radiation exposure, gather later.
If you want to be prepared for the worst, it is recommended to have an emergency kit, which should include water (at least 3 litres per person per day), packaged food, emergency medicines, Potassium Iodide, a battery-powered radio, a torch and extra batteries. If possible, store three or more days’ worth of supplies.
Once you are safe, if you have been exposed, you should remove the outer layer of your clothing to remove fallout particles and radiation from your body. Seal those clothes and leave them somewhere away from people or animals. Shower or wash with soap and water to remove radioactive particles from any uncovered parts of your skin and hair. If you do not have the option of washing, use a flannel or damp cloth to wipe uncovered skin or hair.
You can consume canned or packaged food or drink, and should avoid any product that has been uncovered and may have been contaminated.
After the first 24 hours safely in a building or basement, experts agree that it is usually safer to evacuate than to stay in the shelter if you have run out of supplies, as most of the radioactive particles will have decayed to less dangerous levels.
To receive official information such as when and where you can go, tune in to any available communication channel.
After a nuclear explosion, radios that are battery-powered or manually-cranked will still work. But it is possible for mobile phone, text messaging and television services to be unavailable or interrupted.
To summiraze, what can you do in case of nuclear attack?
- Even if you’re miles from the nearest ground zero, take refuge in a brick, concrete, or underground building.
- It is important to avoid looking at the flashes or pockets of fire as they can cause blinding. Thermal radiation is responsible for approximately 35% of the nuclear energy released.
- Even if you’re separated from your family, stay where you are.
- If you’re outside during the event, shelter immediately.
- Take off your clothes and seal it.
- Use soap and water to wash your skin, but not to scrubbing or scratching it.
- Conditioner should be avoided as it can bind radioactive material to hair.
- Showering is not an option. Instead, use a clean flannel to wipe the skin, including eyelids and eyelashes.
- Gently wipe your nose.