With rogue states like North Korea, Pakistan and Iran rapidly procuring technology for nuclear weapons it becomes easier for terrorists to sooner or later get their hands on them. A Pakistani nuclear scientist was found guilty of sharing nuclear secrets and technology with both state and non-state actors. It is likely that some terrorist organizations are either actively trying to procure or already in possession of a dirty bomb. A dirty bomb is an explosive used to disperse radioactive material in the atmosphere on detonation. Though not nearly as lethal as a nuclear weapon a dirty bomb can still affect health of people who are exposed to these dangerous materials.
The purpose of a dirty bomb is more about spreading its toxic payload rather than causing a lethal flash explosion. These materials can be carried by the wind over a large area thus helping it spread. In the event of a nuclear attack those in close proximity do not have a chance of survival however the cloud of lethal materials that is spread after detonation is what can make your worst nightmare come true. In the event of a nuclear attack if you survive the initial blast you could still be affected by the radiation it gives out. The nuclear mushroom cloud disperses radioactive material in the immediate blast area within minutes and can drift for miles for hours. How fast it gets to you depends on your distance from ground zero, climate and wind speed. Obviously in times like these there would be a massive rush to evacuate neighboring areas and at times it can prove to be a little too late. However if you do flee you should not move towards or against the wind. Move to the left or right of the direction in which the wind is blowing.
The radioactive materials that are dispersed emit gamma rays which can penetrate through clothing and skin. You can survive brief periods of exposure however it is best to remain indoors. If you do not have food and supplies ensure one of the family members rushes to a store and picks up all the food they can while the others prepare the home for the fall out. Fill water in everything which can hold water. You will need water a lot more than you will need food. The key to surviving the harmful radiation is to isolate yourself from the radioactive material. The denser the material the less likely is the radiation able to penetrate through it. Steel, concrete, bricks, wood and water will all help keep radiation out. If you live in a building move to the center of the building on the middle floor. Close all windows and block them with wood or steel furniture. If possible also try to block the air vents on your floor so that it does not provide an easy route for the radiation to get through.
If your house has a basement, move your family to it. Any structure below ground level will provide good protection against radiation. Build a makeshift shelter inside your basement by stacking all furniture both wood and steel. Use all the dense materials you can get your hands on. You can also line it with containers of water. The shelter should have two small opening for ventilation and a small passage to get in and out which should be blocked when you are inside. Use a portable fan or piece of cardboard to make sure it does not get too hot inside. You can also buy nuclear survival kits which contain
- Protective Suits
- gas masks
- radiation stickers or geiger counter which help detect radiation levels
- potassium iodide tablets which protect your thyroid glands from radiation
- tablets to purify water
Your aim is to survive the fall out until the radioactive materials are blown away or stop radiating harmful rays. This could take anywhere up to a week or less after the initial detonation. Once it is over you can emerge from your shelter.