What possible ‘good news’ could there ever be about nuclear destruction coming to America, whether it is Dirty Bombs, Terrorist Nukes, or ICBM’s from afar?
In a word, they are all survivable for the vast majority of American families, IF they know what to do beforehand and have made even the most modest of preparations.
Tragically, though, most Americans today won’t give much credence to this good news, much less seek out such vital life-saving instruction, as they have been jaded by our culture’s pervasive myths of nuclear un-survivability.
Most people think that if nukes go off then everybody is going to die, or it’ll be so bad they’ll wish they had. That’s why you hear such absurd comments as; “If it happens, I hope I’m at ground zero and go quickly.”
This defeatist attitude was born as the disarmament movement ridiculed any competing alternatives to their ban-the-bomb agenda, like Civil Defense. The activists wanted all to think there was no surviving a nuke, banning them all was your only hope. The sound Civil Defense strategies of the 50-60′s have been derided as being largely ineffective, or at worst a cruel joke. With the supposed end of the Cold War in the 80′s, most Americans saw neither a need to prepare, nor believed that preparation would do any good. Today, with growing prospects of nuclear terrorism, and nuclear saber rattling from rogue nations, we see emerging among the public either paralyzing fear or irrational denial. People can’t even begin to envision effective preparations for ever surviving a nuclear attack. They think it totally futile, bordering on lunacy, to even try.
Ironically, these disarmament activists, regardless their noble intent, have rendered millions of Americans even more vulnerable to perishing from nukes in the future.
The biggest surprise for most Americans, from the first flash of a nuke being unleashed, is that they will still be here, though ill-equipped to survive for long, if they don’t know what to do beforehand from that first second of the flash onward.
Most could easily survive the initial blasts because they won’t be close enough to any “ground zero”, and that is very good news. Unfortunately, though, few people will be prepared to next survive the later coming radioactive fallout which could eventually kill many times more than the blast. However, there is still more good news possible, as well over 90% of those potential casualties from fallout can be avoided, IF the public was pre-trained through an aggressive national Civil Defense educational program. Simple measures taken immediately after a nuclear blast, by a pre-trained public, can prevent agonizing death and injury from radiation exposure.
The National Planning Scenario #1, an originally confidential internal 2004 study by the Department of Homeland Security, demonstrated the above survival odds when they examined the effects of a terrorist nuke going off in Washington, D.C.. They discovered that a 10 kiloton nuke, about 2/3rds the size of the Hiroshima bomb, detonated at ground level, would result in about 15,000 immediate deaths, and another 15,000 casualties from the blast, thermal flash and initial radiation release. As horrific as that is, the surprising revelation here is that over 99% of the residents in the DC area will have just witnessed and survived their first nuclear explosion. Clearly, the good news is most people will survive the initial blast.
However, that study also soberly determined that as many as another 250,000 people could soon be at risk from lethal doses of radiation from the fallout drifting downwind towards them after the blast. (Another study, released in August 2006 by the Rand Corporation, looked at a terrorist 10 kiloton nuke arriving in a cargo container and being exploded in the Port of Long Beach, California. Over 150,000 people were estimated to be at risk downwind from fallout, again many more than from the initial blast itself.)
The good news, that these much larger casualty numbers from radioactive fallout are largely avoidable, only applies to those pre-trained beforehand by a Civil Defense program in what to do before it arrives.
Today, lacking any meaningful Civil Defense program, millions of American families continue to be at risk and could perish needlessly for lack of essential knowledge that used to be taught at the grade school level.
The public, and especially our children, urgently need to be instructed in Civil Defense basics again. Like how most can save themselves by employing the old ‘Duck & Cover’ tactic, rather than just impulsively rushing to the nearest window to see what that ‘big flash’ was across town just-in-time to be shredded by the glass imploding inwards from the delayed blast wave. Even in the open, just laying flat, reduces by eight-fold the chances of being hit by debris from that brief, three second, tornado strength blast that, like lightning & thunder, could be delayed arriving anywhere from a fraction of a second to 20 seconds or more after that initial flash.
They need to also know if in the path far downwind of fallout coming, that evacuating perpendicular to that downwind drift of the fallout would be their best strategy. They must also be taught, if they can’t evacuate in time, how to shelter-in-place while the radioactive fallout loses 90% of it’s lethal intensity in the first seven hours and 99% of it in two days. For those requiring sheltering from fallout, the majority would only need two or three days of full-time hunkering down, not weeks on end, before safely joining the evacuation.
This good news is easily grasped by most people, and an effective expedient fallout shelter can be improvised at home, school or work quickly, but only IF the public had been trained beforehand, as was begun in the 50′s & 60′s with our national Civil Defense program.
Unfortunately, our government today is doing little to promote nuclear preparedness and Civil Defense instruction among the general public. Regrettably, most of our politicians, like the public, are still captive to the same illusions that training and preparation of the public are ineffective and futile against a nuclear threat.
The past administrations Department of Homeland Security head, Michael Chertoff, demonstrated this attitude in 2005 when he responded to the following question in USA Today;
Q: In the last four years, the most horrific scenario – a nuclear attack – may be the least discussed. If there were to be a nuclear attack tomorrow by terrorists on an American city, how would it be handled?
A: In the area of a nuclear bomb, it’s prevention, prevention, prevention. If a nuclear bomb goes off, you are not going to be able to protect against it. There’s no city strong enough infrastructure-wise to withstand such a hit. No matter how you approach it, there’d be a huge loss of life.
Mr. Chertoff failed to grasp that most of that “huge loss of life” could be avoided if those in the blast zone and downwind knew what to do beforehand. He only acknowledges that the infrastructure will be severely compromised — too few first-responders responding. Civil Defense pre-training of the public is clearly the only hope for those in the blast zone and later in the fallout path. Of course, the government should try and prevent it happening first, but the answer he should have given to that question is; “preparation, preparation, preparation” of the public via training beforehand, for when prevention by the government might fail.
The current Obama administration also fails to grasp that the single greatest force multiplier to reducing potential casualties, and greatly enhancing the effectiveness of first-responders, is a pre-trained public so that there will be far fewer casualties to later deal with. Spending millions to train and equip first-responders is good and necessary, but having millions fewer victims, by having also educated and trained the publicbeforehand, would be many magnitudes more effective in saving lives.
The federal government needs to launch a national mass media, business supported, and school based effort, superseding our most ambitious public awareness campaigns like for AIDs, drug abuse, drunk driving, anti-smoking, etc. The effort should percolate down to every level of our society. Let’s be clear – we are talking about the potential to save, or lose needlessly, many times more lives than those saved by all these other noble efforts combined!
Instead, Homeland Security continues with a focus primarily on…
- Interdiction – Catching nuclear materials and terrorists beforehand, and…
- #2 – COG – Continuity of Government and casualty response afterwards for when #1 failsWhile the vital key component continues to be largely ignored…
- Continuity of the Public while it’s happening - via proven mass media Civil Defense training beforehand that would make the survival difference then for the vast majority of Americans affected by a nuclear event and on their own from that first initial flash & blast and through that critical first couple days of the highest radiation threat, before government response has arrived in force.
This deadly oversight will persist until those crippling myths of nuclear un-survivability are banished by the good news that a trained and prepared public can, and ultimately has to, save themselves. More training of the public beforehand means less body bags required afterwards, it’s that simple.
The tragic After Action Reports (AAR’s), of an American city nuked today, would glaringly reveal then that the overwhelming majority of victims had perished needlessly for lack of this basic, easy to learn & employ, life-saving knowledge.
Re-launching Civil Defense training is an issue we hope & pray will come to the forefront on the political stage, with both parties vying to outdo each other proposing national Civil Defense public educational programs. We are not asking billions for provisioned public fallout shelters for all, like what already awaits many of our politicians. We are just asking for a comprehensive mass media, business, and school based re-release of the proven practical strategies of Civil Defense instruction, a modernized version of what we used to have here, and that had been embraced by the Chinese, Russians, Swiss, and Israeli’s.
There is no greater, nor more legitimate, primary responsibility of any government than to protect it’s citizens. And, no greater condemnation awaits that government that fails to, risking millions then perishing needlessly. We all need to demand renewed public Civil Defense training and the media needs to spotlight it questioning officials and politicians, until the government corrects this easily avoidable, but fatal vulnerability.
In the meantime, though, don’t wait around for the government to instruct and prepare your own family and community. Educate yourself today and begin establishing your own family nuclear survival preparations by reading the free nuke prep primer…
Then, pass copies of it, along with this article, to friends, neighbors, relatives, fellow workers, churches and community organizations with a brief note attached saying simply: “We hope/pray we never need this, but just-in-case, keep it handy!” Few nowadays will find that approach alarmist and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how many are truly grateful.
Everyone should also forward copies of both to their local, state and federal elected representatives, as well as your own communities first-responders and local media, all to help spread this good news that’s liberating American families from their paralyzing and potentially fatal myths of nuclear un-survivability!