Where can I hide my house from a nuclear attack?
The safest place in your home during an radiation emergency is a centrally located room or basement. This area should have as few windows as possible. The further your shelter is from windows, the safer you will be.
The best location is in the half of the building farthest from the blast, in a room with no windows. But, "even in the front room facing the explosion, one can be safe from the high airspeeds if positioned at the corners of the wall facing the blast," Kokkinakis told Insider.
The safest place: the corners of a room, author Ioannis Kokkinakis of Cyprus' University of Nicosia said in a statement. “Even in the front room facing the explosion, one can be safe from the high airspeeds if positioned at the corners of the wall facing the blast,” Kokkinakis added.
Close and lock all doors and windows. Turn off fans, air conditioners, and forced-air heating units that bring in fresh air from the outside. Only use units that recirculate air that is already in the building. Close fireplace dampers.
Seek shelter indoors, preferably underground and in a brick or concrete building, per the Red Cross and FEMA. Go as far underground as possible, per the Red Cross and FEMA. If that's not possible, try to stay in the center of the building, for example in a stairwell.
Aluminum foil will quite obviously stop alpha radiation. It might stop very low energy beta, or beta at a distance where it has lost most of its energy. Close to a good beta source, not so much. Beta can penetrate up to about 5 mm (1/4") of aluminum.
Radiation levels decrease rapidly, becoming significantly less dangerous, during the first 24 hours. STAY INSIDE: Take shelter unless told otherwise. If possible, turn off fans, air conditioners, and forced-air heating units that bring air in from the outside. Close windows and doors.
Some estimates name Maine, Oregon, Northern California, and Western Texas as some of the safest locales in the case of nuclear war, due to their lack of large urban centers and nuclear power plants.
At a distance of 20-25 miles downwind, a lethal radiation dose (600 rads) would be accumulated by a person who did not find shelter within 25 minutes after the time the fallout began. At a distance of 40-45 miles, a person would have at most 3 hours after the fallout began to find shelter.
New Zealand and Australia could be among the safest places on the planet in the event of World War III. They are surrounded by water on all sides, have a temperate climate, and, most importantly, no deepwater ports that could be used by enemy landing forces for attack and logistical purposes.
What household items block radiation?
Shielding: Barriers of lead, concrete, or water provide protection from penetrating gamma rays. Gamma rays can pass completely through the human body; as they pass through, they can cause damage to tissue and DNA.
The resulting inferno, and the blast wave that follows, instantly kill people directly in their path. But a new study finds that some people two to seven miles away could survive—if they're lucky enough to find just the right kind of shelter.
THE NEXT 48 HOURS
You have been sheltered because of the potential for dangerous levels of radiation in the first 24 hours following a nuclear detonation. After 24 hours, outdoor radiation levels will have fallen significantly but may still warrant protective measures in your area.
Here, it's important to stress that even if the nuclear event doesn't happen in your immediate area—even if it's hundreds of miles away—the fallout could still potentially reach you in a day or less.
Although the dangerous radiation levels will subside rapidly over the first few days, residual radiation from the long half-life fission products (such as 90Sr, 106Ru, 137Cs, 147Pm, and 155Eu) will become the main contributions to exposure (after about 10 years).
If an attack warning is issued, take cover as quickly as you can, below ground if possible, and stay there unless directed otherwise by authorities. Find the nearest building, preferably built of brick or concrete, and go inside to avoid any radioactive material outside.
When you move to your shelter, use duct tape and plastic sheeting to seal any doors, windows, or vents for a short period of time in case a radiation plume is passing over (listen to your radio for instructions). Within a few hours, you should remove the plastic and duct tape and ventilate the room.
Wood is not as effective as other materials specifically designed for radiation shielding, such as lead or concrete. However, it can still provide some level of protection depending on its thickness and density.
Shielding: Barriers of lead, concrete, or water provide protection from penetrating radiation such as gamma rays and neutrons. This is why certain radioactive materials are stored under water or in concrete or lead-lined rooms, and why dentists place a lead blanket on patients receiving x-rays of their teeth.
Take a shower or wash with soap and water to remove fallout from any skin or hair that was not covered. If you cannot wash or shower, use a wipe or clean wet cloth to wipe any skin or hair that was not covered.
Is well water safe to drink after a nuclear attack?
After a nuclear event, all local water — including well water — is considered contaminated. The only safe way to stay hydrated is by drinking bottled water and other sealed drinks, so these are an essential part of any emergency kit, per the CDC.
Take a warm shower and gently wash yourself with lots of soap. Do not scald, scrub, or scratch your skin. Your skin helps protect the inside of your body from radioactive material. Wash your hair with shampoo or soap.
Irwin Redlener at Columbia University specialises in disaster preparedness and notes that there are six cities in the US that are more likely to be targeted in a nuclear attack – New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC.
An improvised nuclear device can have the same destructive force as 10,000 tons of TNT and would do catastrophic damage if it exploded in New York City. A nuclear explosion could destroy many buildings within a half mile from where it exploded.
A fallout shelter needs to protect you from radioactive particles and blast impact: compacted dirt is great at both. Building down to a depth of about ten feet will provide ample protection, but any deeper makes it hard to dig out in the event of a collapse.