Your best shot at surviving a nuke attack on America

By Jane M. Orient, M.D.

All the presidential candidates have opined about the military, or about war – over there. Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria – and now Paris and Brussels.

But none have dared mention the subject of defense of American citizens in the event of war – over here. Not a terrorist attack or mass shooting that causes dozens or even hundreds of casualties, but war that causes thousands or millions of casualties and levels vast expanses of infrastructure.

This time, it was suicide nail bombs at the Brussels airport. However, terrorists have the “means, knowledge and information” to create a nuclear bomb, according to International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, chief Yukiya Amano. North Korea threatens a nuclear attack, and Russia is upgrading its arsenal.

Instead of assuming that that can’t happen here, politicians and opinion leaders should start with the following message:

  • If you see a flash or a very bright light, drop and cover.
  • Stay down two full minutes with your eyes closed. Breathe through your mouth.
  • Nuclear fallout looks like sand, ash or grit. If you see it, take shelter.

Does that get your attention?

Telling people what to do means that you take the threat seriously. And if it does happen, you will probably be alive afterward. Your chance of surviving uninjured and remaining healthy depend very much on what you do. FEMA and the Marines will not be there to save you.

These simple principles used to be taught to every schoolchild. But now the prevailing belief is that nobody would dare attack because we would “wipe them off the map.” And anyway we’d all be dead, or wish that we were.

The truth is this:

  • Nuclear weapons have proliferated all over the world.
  • Advanced delivery systems have also proliferated, but a suitcase would do.
  • We might not be able to identify the attacker.
  • Even if we have no moral problem with wiping out a whole nation, we couldn’t do it. For one thing, other countries have defenses.

If you’ve had any military training, you know that to drop and cover protects you in the event of an explosion: conventional bombs, gunshots, falling meteors or even nukes – unless you are too close to the “X.” No policemen died at Nagasaki because some survivors from totally unprepared Hiroshima told them what had happened. (Trains were running soon after the bomb hit.)

Radiation may be invisible, but fallout particles are easily seen. Radiation is easily measured, even with a simple instrument you can make with materials found around your house. (The federal government got rid of its civil defense radiation detection meters in the 1990s.)

The U.S. also discontinued the program to identify, mark and stock public shelters. But putting distance or mass between you and the radiation source still works. You need less thickness if you use lead, but concrete, earth, buckets of water or cans of beans also work. You can improvise shelter in your house.

One reason Americans don’t demand defenses is the Big Lie that the tiniest dose of radiation is deadly, so protection is pointless. Because of this pernicious disinformation, thousands died near Fukushima because of the forced evacuation, when they would have been fine at home. Because of unwarranted panic, a “dirty” bomb might destroy the economy of an area where radiation doses are less than the natural background levels found in some parts of the world. Rescue and recovery would be thwarted by standards based on politicized fearmongering.

Today’s candidates and elected officials can’t conjure up nonexistent defenses. But they can do these things immediately:

  • Recognize reality: Americans are, by design, totally vulnerable to attack. But millions could still be saved by the basic knowledge outlined above.
  • Refrain from provocative foreign adventures.
  • Harden America’s electrical grid: destruction of the power grid by an electromagnetic pulse from a single high-altitude nuclear explosion could spell death for the vast majority of Americans over the next few months.
  • Start revamping military priorities to stress defense of America against attack by land, sea, air or space.

Meanwhile, Americans need to remember that in a disaster, we are all first responders. Our own survival, and that of our families and our nation, depends on us. If you see a very bright light, drop and cover – and tell others to do so as well.

Here’s the help you’ll need to prepare your household for the realities of living under a centralized health-care system — order “Surviving the Medical Meltdown: Your Guide to Living Through the Disaster of Obamacare”

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