Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Nuclear War Myths

My infatuation with nuclear war began long before my twelfth grade English class when we read the novel, Alas Babylon. I remember thinking that it was pretty spot on with information I had learned.

Then again, I had the advantage of growing up in a time when the threat of nuclear war was high.

When I was a child, even at ten years old, I set up my own shelter in the basement of my home, complete with food I stole from the kitchen.

Even though I was a Reagan era kid, I still was not the norm when it came to obsession and education about surviving a potential nuclear war. People in the fifties learned because they were made to learn it, it was part of their everyday lives. As time moved on, people fell into the ignorance is bliss category.

While I am not wanting this to be a strict survival blog, for the time being, it seems to be a focus.

With the recent Hawaii alert scare, scanning social media posts showed me a lot of people have some misconceptions.  So I thought I would do a blog about some myths I have read on Facebook.

I’m going to try to avoid being overly scientific, simply because that can get boring.

Let’s start

Myth 1  - I will have to stay underground for years
Not true. Radiation decreases with time. There is the 7:10 Rule and you remember it, it could save your life. There is an exact science to it, for every seven fold increase in time, there is a ten fold decrease. But I have found an easy reliable formula is every seven hours radiation levels will drop 7 x 10% of the reading. EX: 1000 Rads of radiation, seven ours later will be 300. Or even easier 14 hours later radiation levels are 1/10 of what they were. That is why staying underground, not exposed the first 24 hours are crucial.

The human body can endure up to 100 Rads of radiation per hour before getting sick. 350 can be fatal. The body will process and get rid of it, unless you have Prussia Blue you will have to rely on your thyroid and time to expel it. There is no radiation reset.

So how will you know when it’s safe, especially if you don’t have a dosimeter … play it safe. Assume it’s high for at least 3-5 days. That does mean go frolicking in the apocalypse, it means play it safe. Keep exposure to a minimum.

MYTH 2 – Nowhere is safe.
Radiation carries west to east with the winds. This handy map from the cold war, shows you how radiation will flow.

Also, this SUPER COOL tool, will give you a look at how a nuclear explosion will impact your city. Play with it. Test it out. NUKE IT MAP

MYTH 3 – We will get hit with thousands of bombs if nuclear war starts
Okay, if it was 1983 then I’d say yes. There were 70k nuclear weapons then. But now there are 15k worldwide. The US and Russia make up for 13k of them. Of Russians 6600 nuclear weapons, 1500 are ICBMs ready and Deployable. Over half of the 6600 are stockpiled. Meaning they aren’t ready. Should they release their bay and the US release theirs. They won’t have resources left to prepare the remaining bombs. The US would intercept 40% of all missiles.

Let’s be real. If there is a nuclear exchange it will be limited, because it won’t take any more than a few nukes to bring society to a halt.

MYTH 4 – If a nuke goes off we’re screwed, the EMP will destroy everything.

A perfectly placed high altitude nuclear explosion could indeed shut down all electronics THAT are running, plugged in or have a receptor source like an antenna. But a ground burst would only cause a localized EMP. The higher the explosion the further the electronic damage.

Business Insider did a nice article about it this summer. You can read it HERE.

MYTH 5 – The pope says we’re on the brink of nuclear war
For as long as I can remember, there has only been a few times that we weren’t on the brink. The pope is trying to be a peacemaker, perhaps if he says it, the leaders that are pissing around might think he has some sort of divine information. Truth is, we will never know, when we are truly on the brink. We just have to be ready and prepared.

There are so many more, but it would have made for a really long blog. Check out tomorrow, when I blog, ‘The Poor Man’s Tips for Survival

If you have anything or topic you want me to discuss, please feel free to let me know.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jaqueline It's great to read another blog post and I'm so glad you decided to write on this topic. The summer before the 2016 election, I was following several news stories about nuclear war. I hadn't thought much about that since the 80s so I decided to research a little. I think people have been conditioned to believe that any release of nuclear arms automatically means the end of the world. It's something we don't even want to consider--people always say "if that happens, I don't want to live anyway, so why even think about it." But I do think a limited exchange could happen, if not in our lifetimes, then in our children's or grandchildren's. And like you said, this doesn't necessarily mean thousands of bombs and the end of life on earth. Chances are that, even in a major exchange, you would not be killed instantly unless you happen to be close to the center of the blast. So people who thought "I'd rather die" might find that they didn't die, but instead, they went blind, were injured or suffered radiation poisoning, just because they didn't know what to do to prevent it. In America, we've always made fun of the old 50's drop & cover warnings, but we really need to re-examine that and it wouldn't hurt to learn some simple precautions (believe me, other countries like Russia & China do still teach their people these things).

    I'm really glad that someone is talking about these myths and hopefully it will cause others to think about it seriously and maybe learn some basic precautions. Just knowing to protect eyes from the flash, what to do to avoid the blast and how to treat fallout is extremely helpful and I really appreciate the info you included in your blog). I found the book "Nuclear War Survival Skills" extremely helpful for this.

    Thanks again!