Up next in Disaster Survival & Worst-Case Scenarios (30 videos)
Learn how to live through anything life throws at you with these survival videos.
You Will Need
- Potassium iodide
Get potassium iodide
Have potassium iodide on hand; you may need it to protect your thyroid from the radioactive iodine fallout of a nuclear event. It is available without a prescription; ask your pharmacist for an FDA-approved brand and dosage guidelines.
If an attack is imminent, get indoors and go as far below ground as you can. If that's not possible, seek whatever shelter you can.
Seal yourself in
Once indoors, close all windows and doors and turn off air conditioners, heaters, and other ventilation systems.
Seal up your car
If you can't get to a building, stay inside your car. Close the windows and vents, turn off the heat and A/C, and hold a cloth over your mouth and nose to avoid breathing in radioactive dust and smoke.
Protect yourself outdoors
If you're caught outdoors or very near the blast when it happens, don't look at it or you risk temporary or even permanent blindness. Keep your mouth open so your eardrums don't burst. Don't touch objects thrown by an explosion; they might be radioactive.
If you are more than 10 miles from the epicenter of the blast, remain in the shelter for 48 to 72 hours after the blast.
Get out of Dodge!
If you are closer than 10 miles to the epicenter after the explosion, get moving! You have 10 to 20 minutes to get at least a mile away from the mushroom cloud, or you risk lethal radiation poisoning.
Keep your mouth, nose, and as much of your skin covered as you move away from the blast area.Once you're at a safe distance, take off your clothes; this alone may get rid of up to 80 percent of radioactive dust. Then take a shower, which will further reduce your exposure.
Rid your body of radioactive material as soon as possible by reporting to the nearest decontamination center set up in your area.