How to Survive a Nuclear Attack Part 4

About how to survive a nuclear attack including information about what to do if caught unprepared.

How to Survive a Disaster



It is possible, but extremely unlikely, that your first warning of an enemy attack would be the flash of a nuclear explosion in the sky some distance away. If this should occur and you are outdoors and feel the warmth of the blast at the same time, take cover instantly in the best place you can find. You may avoid being seriously injured by heat or blast wave by getting inside or under something instantly. If the explosion were some distance away, you might have 5 to 15 seconds before being seriously injured by the heat, and perhaps 3 to 60 seconds before the blast wave arrived. Avoid injuring your eyes: Never look at the flash of an explosion or the nuclear fireball.

Take cover in any kind of building, cellar, subway station, or tunnel--or even in a ditch or culvert alongside the road, a highway underpass, a storm sewer, a cave or outcropping of a rock, a pile of heavy materials, a trench or other excavation. Getting under a parked automobile, bus, or train or a heavy piece of furniture would protect you to some extent. The important thing is to avoid being burned by the heat, thrown by the blast, or struck by flying objects. If no cover is available, simply lie down on the ground and curl up. The best position is on your side, covering your head with your arms and hands.

Move to a fallout shelter after the blast to get protection from the radioactive fallout which would arrive later.

Source: "In Time of Emergency," Dept. of Defense, Office of Civil Defense, March, 1968. (May be obtained free of charge by writing the Dept. of Defense, Washington, D.C. 20310, or through your local American Red Cross office.)

The Russians, meanwhile, have instituted a massive civil defense program on which they spend an estimated $1 billion per year. Civil defense instruction is compulsory for all citizens; fallout shelters are being constructed and supplies stockpiled; manufacturing centers are being dispersed over wide areas to protect against total destruction in the event of nuclear attack. Western observers are not certain whether this build-up signifies the traditional Russian fear of outsiders or a preparation for nuclear confrontation with the West.

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