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How to Survive a Nuclear Terrorist Attack

You can increase your chances of staying alive if you know how to decrease your exposure to radiation.

Instructions

  • Step 1: 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.
  • TIP: In the event of an attack, emergency officials may advise people over 40 not to take potassium iodide, since they have the lowest chance of developing thyroid cancer or thyroid injury after exposure to radioactive iodine.
  • Step 2: Go below 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.
  • Step 3: Seal yourself in Once indoors, close all windows and doors and turn off air conditioners, heaters, and other ventilation systems.
  • Step 4: 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.
  • Step 5: 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.
  • Step 6: Stay put 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.
  • Step 7: 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.
  • TIP: Be sure to move downwind or perpendicular to the wind.
  • Step 8: Cover up 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.
  • Step 9: Get decontaminated Rid your body of radioactive material as soon as possible by reporting to the nearest decontamination center set up in your area.
  • FACT: In the film "Godzilla 1985," a Soviet captain tries to launch a nuclear missile at Tokyo after learning that Godzilla is back.

You Will Need

  • Potassium iodide
  • Shelter
  • Decontamination

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