Monday, August 21, 2017

#233 / Tips For Surviving A Nuclear Attack

I get a lot of emails. 600+ per day, normally. This is a type of self-solicited abuse, since I have actually signed up for most of the bulletins that flow to my inbox. I have eclectic tastes, and therefore get exposed to ideas and information of various types. Most recently, I have received a couple of "practical" emails, giving me me "tips on how to survive a nuclear attack." I'm kind of a sucker for "news you can use!"

In case you want to make use of the advice I have received on this timely topic, let me pass on the references: 

These three advisories provide suggestions that are meant to operate at an "individual" level. In other words, the articles tell you what YOU (and your loved ones) might be able to do, individually, to survive a nuclear attack. As an example of this kind of advice, here is what the "Island Tips" article says about a commonly-experienced problem associated with a nuclear attack (this problem has been experienced in exactly 50% of all known nuclear attacks carried out on humans, so far): 

If the blast happens in an area with a lot of flammable materials — like structures built out of wood — and the fire grows large enough, there is the risk of a firestorm: essentially, a three-mile-high waterspout made out of fire. When a fire gets large enough, its heat causes the air to rise, leaving a vacuum that pulls in air from the sides, further fanning the flames, and creating its own stable wind system. The exact requirements to set one off aren’t well-understood; Hiroshima had one but Nagasaki didn’t, for example. A good rule of thumb is that if you see widespread fires, and especially if there are steady, hot winds, get out of the area as fast as you can, heading upwind: a mile and a half from the blast site is a good distance to shoot for [emphasis added].

VERY helpful! If you happen to encounter "a three-mile high waterspout made out of fire," do, by all means, "get out of the area as fast as you can."

I have another kind of "tip." This tip is based on the idea that we aren't, actually, just "individuals," but that we depend on each other collectively. We are in it "together," in other words. Presuming that you or I, acting individually, might actually emerge from some hiding place two weeks or so after a nuclear blast, prepared to resume our former life, what do you think we are going to find?

Almost certainly, all the community-based connections that make our life possible will be totally disrupted. To "survive" a nuclear attack, we must survive it together, or we will all fail to survive it individually.

There isn't, really, any other way! At least, not the way I see it!

"Island Tips," back with its advice for individuals, says "get underground" (if you can):

Underground (if you can find anywhere!) is even better, but make sure you’re finding a place that’s easy to open from the inside, and where falling debris won’t obstruct your exit. Cement structures in general are excellent protection, especially with typhoon shutters protecting the windows. Bunkers from WWII are also very good if you can close the openings. Homes made of corrugated metal, metal airplane hangars, and cars do not make good protection — they’re basically flying debris waiting to happen. Rather than hide in these, look for a nearby ditch or other earthen or cement obstruction to hide behind, or best of all, get yourself to a shelter [emphasis added].

If, by chance, you can't locate a nearby "bunker from WWII," then consider Bob Dylan's idea. If we can't eliminate the problem collectively, then I think what Bob says is the best we're going to be able to do, individually: 

I will not go down under the ground
'Cause somebody tells me that death's comin' 'round
An' I will not carry myself down to die
When I go to my grave my head will be high,
Let me die in my footsteps
Before I go down under the ground.

In conclusion, here's the only tip worth taking: The only way to survive a nuclear attack is to make sure that one never happens.

Ever again!

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