A nuclear explosion releases vast amounts of energy in three forms:
1. Light and heat. 5-megaton H-bomb could substantially damage the largest Canadian city.
2. Blast. You might be injured by being thrown about by the blast; therefore, keep low. The greatest danger is from flying glass, bricks and other debris. The blast from a 5-megaton explosion could injure people as far away as 15 miles.
3. Radiation. Immediate radiation is given off at the time of the explosion. It is dangerous only within two or three miles. If you were near the explosion without adequate protection and managed to survive the effects of blast and fire, you could still be seriously affected by immediate radiation.
The illustrations below show some of the most probable situations in which you might find yourself at the time of a nuclear attack, and what you should do:
After explosion some of the heavier particles spill out around the point of explosion. The rest are sucked up into the mushroom cloud.
The fallout from a 5-megaton explosion could affect seriously an area of 7,000 square miles. The radioactivity in fallout weakens rapidly in the first hours after an explosion. After seven hours, fallout has lost about 90% of the strength it had one hour after the explosion. After two days it has lost 99%; in two weeks 99.9%. If you stay in a shelter during the first days following an explosion, you escape the strongest radiation.
You should stay in the shelter until radiation has been measured and you have been told aver the radio that it is safe to come out.
The most effective protection is to place some heavy material between yourself and the fallout. The heavier the material the better the protection. These thicknesses of material will stop 99% of radiation:
• 16 inches of solid brick
• 16 inches of hollow concrete blocks filled with mortar or sand
• 2 feet of packed earth 3 feet if loose
• 5 inches of steel
• 3 inches of lead
• 3 feet of water
A fallout shelter is the best way to protect your family and yourself against radiation because:
• It keeps the radiation at a distance.
• It shields you from radiation.
• The time spent there is the period when radiation is most intense.
If you suspect that your clothes have fallout on them, remove your outer clothing before you come inside your home and leave it outside. Don’t shake these clothes inside the house or shelter. You would only scatter the fallout grit and create unnecessary danger to others. If you have water, wash thoroughly, particularly exposed skin and hair. But do not scrub your skin as this might rub in the radioactive particles.
Exposure to fallout does not make you radioactive. Even if you are stricken with radiation sickness, this sickness cannot be passed on to others.
Fallout on your clothing or body would expose you and those close to you to radiation. If you suspect you have been exposed to fallout, you will not be a danger to others if you carefully get rid of your outer clothing outside the shelter and wash.
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