A diagram shows where to go in a radiation emergency
This diagram provides a snapshot of where to go in a radiation emergency.FEMA
  • Thanks to the invasion of Ukranian, the threat of nuclear war is prominent.

  • Nuclear weapons have their worst effects in a limited area.

  • In case of a nuclear blast, here is how to protect yourself.

There are about 12,700 nuclear warheads spread across nine countries.

Tensions are high around the war. President Putin has said that he could use nuclear weapons in dire circumstances.

Insider has been told that it is unlikely that Putin would do that. Russia risks alienating its allies and its own people by doing so.

World leaders are aware of the threat. There are ways to reduce the risk in the event of the worst.

"Fallout casualties are completely preventable," Brooke Buddemeier, a health physicist and expert on radiation and emergency preparedness, told Insider.

Hundreds of thousands of people can be saved from radiation illness or death if they know what to do after an event.

In case of an impact, here are 17 tips for protecting yourself.

A flash, a burst, and a blast

There are important stages during a nuclear weapon impact.

  1. There is a bright flash caused by a fireball.

  2. A blast wave can cause injuries and deaths. It can take a while to reach you.

  3. Nuclear radiation is reflected in a pulse.

  4. Out-of- control fires can be caused by fire and heat.

  5. Devices can be disabled for a long time by an electric pulse.

  6. Particles kicked into the air by the blast were radioactive. It can take up to fifteen minutes to get there. It can be made to rain over hundreds of square miles by high-altitude winds.

Tens of thousands of people are likely to die after an impact on a major city.

There is a "severe damage zone" where the chances of survival are lowest. That's about a half-mile away from where the bomb exploded.

In the unlikely event of a nuclear bomb hitting your town, there are ways to increase your chances of surviving.

There were survivors in the vicinity of the epicenter.

How to prepare

You should build an emergency kit, according to the Red Cross. If there is an emergency, this is the kit you should have. More information can be found here.

To build a plan for your family in case of disaster, it's a good idea to look out for fallout shelters in your community. The Red Cross suggests learning which channels to use to get official notifications.

What to do if you get a notification of imminent attack

If you receive a notification of an imminent attack, the first thing you should do is seek shelter to protect yourself from the blast and radiation that will follow.

Make your way into a building if you pull over, get out, and drive away.

The Red Cross and FEMA recommend that you seek shelter indoors or underground.

The Red Cross says to go as far underground as possible. Try to stay in the center of the building if that is not possible.

The deeper and lower the building is, the better your odds are.

I think of the same things we do for tornadoes.

The light from the fireball could temporarily blind you.

Don't forget to stay tune for more instructions. FEMA says radios should still function despite the interruption of mobile networks.

The Red Cross says that people and animals should stay inside for at least 24 hours.

What to do if you're outside when the blast hits

The first thing to do is to shelter from the blast wave.

The Red Cross says it could take up to 30 seconds for the wave to reach you.

Exposure to radiation should be limited after the blast wave passes.

According to the Red Cross, covering your mouth with a cloth or towel can reduce the amount of radiation you breathe in.

Shelter should be taken as soon as possible, no matter how far away you are. The Red Cross says that radioactivity can travel a long way.

Remove the outer layer of your clothing when you are safe.

What to do once you've found shelter

You want to be far away from your body if you were outside.

Acute radiation sickness can be caused by too much exposure and can limit the body's ability to fix itself and fight infections.

A person can get sick from exposure that high in a short period of time. It is 100 times the amount of radiation that an average American gets each year. A 10- kiloton blast can deliver a lot of exposure.

According to the Red Cross, removing your outer layer of clothing can reduce the amount of contaminated material.

If you can do it safely, put all the contaminated clothing into a plastic bag that you keep far away from other people and animals.

It's a good idea to wash your hair and skin with soap and detergent. According to the Red Cross, if you use conditioner, it will bind the radioactive material to your hair, so don't do that.

The Red Cross suggests blowing your nose and washing your ears.

It's best to have a shower. A wet cloth wash is still helpful if the cloth hasn't been outside.

You and your pet could be exposed if your pet was outside. FEMA suggests washing your pet's coat with soap and water.

According to the Red Cross, if you can, close windows and fireplaces, turn off fans, air conditioners, and forced air heating units.

Be prepared to shelter

If you don't know if it's safe to move, you should hunker down in your blast shelter.

There are likely to be fires at this point.

According to FEMA, only packaged food items or items inside a building are allowed to be eaten and drank.

It's important to care for your emotional and children's well-being. According to the Red Cross, focus on positive actions you can take, limit exposure to media reports that can be scary, and be patient with others.

When the detonation occurs or when the aftermath arrives, the most important thing is to be inside.

The article was first published in January of last year Dave contributed to the story before he died.

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