On Saturday 1/13/2018, officials in Hawaii accidentally issued an Emergency Alert System message stating “Ballistic Missile Threat Inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill”. After the message went out, government officials retracted their message by sending out social media alerts and other messages stating it was an accident. But, what if this were not an accident and some other country launched an attack on the United States of America? Are you prepared?
On July 20, 1979 Executive Order 12148 was issued which created the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Up until this time, Civil Defense was the government agency charged with nuclear war preparedness and education. Remember these signs which were posted around towns and cities across the nation. These signs identified locations identified by Civil Defense as locations, which would protect citizens from nuclear radiation. During this period they also used Bert the tortoise to help educate citizens to always locate shelter in the event of an air attack with nuclear weapons. Well, jumping ahead to 2018, should we start training and preparing for nuclear attack again? Many experts believe we should start preparing for the threat of a nuclear attack again.
Here is a link to the Ready.gov which is a great resource for the public to prepare for nuclear attack. Just like with any disaster, each home, business and school needs to have a disaster preparedness kit. The kit needs to include all of your preparedness items like food, water, medication, flash light, radio, batteries, first aid kit, etc. (Watch for a more inclusive list coming soon online). We typically tell citizens to plan for 72 hours but during a threatened nuclear attack, Ready.gov advocates a 2 week preparedness kit.
After a nuclear attack, there are three key points that need to be remembered to help protect you and your family.
- Distance – the more distance between you and the fallout particles, the better. An underground area such as a home or office building basement offers more protection than the first floor of a building.
- Shielding – the heavier and denser the materials – thick walls, concrete, bricks, books and earth – between you and the fallout particles, the better.
- Time – fallout radiation loses its intensity fairly rapidly. In time, you will be able to leave the fallout shelter. Radioactive fallout poses the greatest threat to people during the first two weeks, by which time it has declined to about 1 percent of its initial radiation level.
We are not trying to alarm the community, but we thought yesterdays false alarm was a good time to remind our followers about nuclear preparedness and some simple steps which can be taken in advance to help prepare. Remember nuclear emergency could occur as a result of a traffic accident (private carriers transport radiological materials on our roads daily), terrorist attack by an individual or group as well as an act of war from another country.