Expert offers ways to prepare, respond to missile attack

On Saturday, Hawaii’s governor said an emergency management employee accidentally “pushed the wrong button,” sending out an alert that warned people of a nonexistent incoming ballistic missile and sending the state into a panic.

Though it was a false alarm, the CDC is holding a session on January 16 to discuss personal safety measures and the training of response teams “on a federal, state, and local level to prepare for nuclear detonation.”

Here’s what you can do to protect yourself from a nuclear blast:

WHAT IS A NUCLEAR BLAST?

“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 its 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.”

HOW DO I PROTECT MYSELF?

Ready officials said taking shelter during a nuclear blast is “absolutely necessary.” 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 its website.

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

Lastly, 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.

HOW CAN I…

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