Here's what you need to know in case of a nuclear blast

Millions of people in Hawaii received an emergency alert Saturday warning them about an incoming ballistic missile attack, causing panic and fear across the state.

The alert turned out to be a mistake caused by human error, but the false alarm in Hawaii made people wonder: What should I do in case of a nuclear attack?


“A nuclear blast is an explosion with intense light and heat, a damaging pressure wave, and widespread radioactive material that can contaminate the air, water, and ground surfaces for miles around,” Ready, an organization with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said on their website. “A nuclear device can range from a weapon carried by an intercontinental missile, to a small portable nuclear device transported by an individual. All nuclear devices cause deadly effects when exploded.”


Ready officials said taking shelter during a nuclear blast is “absolutely necessary.” Ready said there are three factors for protecting yourself from radiation and fallout during a nuclear attack: distance, shielding and time.

Officials said the farther you are away from the fallout, the better. “An underground area, such as a home or office building basement, offers more protection than the first floor of a building,” Ready said on their website.

Another way to protect yourself during a nuclear attack is shielding yourself from fallout particles with thick walls, concrete and bricks.

Lastly, Ready officials said fallout radiation loses its intensity quickly. “In time, you will be able to leave the fallout shelter. Radioactive fallout poses the greatest threat to people during the first two weeks, by which time it has declined to about 1 percent of its initial radiation level,” Ready said on their website.


Residents should prepare an emergency kit and make a plan with their family in the case of a nuclear attack. Ready officials encourage people to get enough food and water for each member of their family for at least 3 days.

Ready officials also encourage to residents to find out from public officials about any fallout shelters in their community. Sacramento released a 1960s map filled with 135 fallout shelters. Some of the shelters are in the state capitol, city hall and schools. If your community doesn’t have any designated fallout shelters, make a list of potential shelters near…

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