elegirl.jp/wp-content And the existing ventilation systems generally depend upon electricity being available. There are ventilation defense and survival techniques available. However, if you were to try to implement them in a large public shelter situation you would probably be one of the first persons killed by the other survivors.
The reason is that most people have misconceptions about either the air becoming radioactive, or containing radioactive particles that they feel would be more dangerous than the carbon dioxide. Add to these problems the fact that you might not have any light in the shelter, that anarchy may become rampant, and that there will almost certainly be no food, and perhaps, more importantly, no water and you will see why no trained survivalist would want to be caught dead in the place.
Returning to one's own high rise apartment, after the danger of blast is past, gives much more favorable opportunities for continued survival than given by remaining in a public shelter. If you are ten or fifteen stories above the ground the distance will probably adequately protect you from any radiation from the fallout on the ground. If there are ten or more stories above your head then that distance will also protect you from fallout on the roof.
The apartment dweller should try to secure an inner room without any windows. A blast fifteen or more miles away will knock out the windows and it is the glass shards that will kill most people. Pulling drapes and blinds are all helpful defenses. A blast wave will be preceded by a brilliant flash of light. The survivor will have from several seconds to three or four minutes, depending upon the distance from the blast, to duck behind a sofa or to take other shelter.
Training oneself to take similar immediate defensive action can also help give protection from the intense thermal radiation that accompanies a nuclear blast, and that can start fires fifteen to twenty miles from ground zero. Fires, in themselves, can be a problem and if you are downwind from a large fire or firestorm you have to watch out for carbon monoxide poisoning. Fire defense techniques are generally well known so I will not dwell upon them here. One thing you need not do is call the fire department, if you could. There is little they could do, if they were still around, without central water supplies.
But the thing you can do is improvise closings to seal off all the apartments above you, and those immediately below you, so that fallout will not blow in and settle on the floors over your head, or otherwise near you. Now, it may be possible to organize your activities with other survivors to become a cliff dweller like those of old.
A bucket on a rope might be used to haul up water gotten from a nearby stream or pond, and waste could be let down in the same way. Some ingenuity may be required in providing heat and light, but if you really have sufficient supplies of food for yourself and your fellow survivors to hold out until another crop can be planted and harvested most survivalists recommend at least two years supply , and you seriously face up to the sanitation problems created by morbidity, and you and your co-survivors are sufficiently organized against anarchy, and there are no more nearer bomb blasts - then you are probably well on your way towards continued survival.
At least you are many times better off than being in a public shelter. There may be all sorts of reasons why you elect to remain in the city rather than head for the country. If the attack comes in the winter and you do not have a planned escape route, adequate clothing and supplies to make the trip, are not physically able to make the trip, and do not have a known destination of refuge, well then Those who have most prepared themselves and have made the best plans should pray that their flight does not come in the winter.
During a storm, or severely cold weather, it is very likely that many more persons may be killed by exposure than by any other single cause. The roads and highways will most likely be jammed. If there has been an explosion in the vicinity then overpasses and utility lines may have been dropped onto the roadways making them unusable. Even without a blast having occurred, traffic jams, accidents, or vehicles just running out of gas will probably create bottlenecks that completely clog the roads. Once people find themselves just sitting there, not moving, they will abandon their vehicles.
My guess is you can forget using an automobile for escape unless you had a plan and immediately implemented it before the general panic set in. A motorcycle, scooter, or even a bicycle might offer certain advantages over an automobile. One might carry a smaller form of conveyance on a larger one and then implement the smaller means of conveyance, such as a bicycle, when that became the necessity. The most dependable means of escape would probably remain walking.
If one had to walk all the way out, and they were in any physical shape at all, they could surely do it in two or three days. Once again, proper preparation can make all the difference. Proper walking gear, proper survival clothing, a planned escape route, proper selection of material to be packed, and proper allocation of loads.
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And, as before, there are better alternatives. One could have pre-arranged pickup points and times with co-survivors coming from the refuge destination, or in a worsening pre-crisis situation you may have made an early dispersal. But the greater likelihood is that anyone with a practical survival plan who reacts immediately can get out well before the rush sets in.
Just getting out into the country, or to the other side of the mountain, will increase the survivability factors for many people. The threats of blast and thermal radiation will have been greatly reduced. But blast and thermal radiation while very nasty in their effects are not going to kill that many people anyway. Oh, they will kill millions, but as a percentage of the people living the day before doomsday they will, combined, kill only ten to fifteen percent.
And most of these will be a considerable distance from the blast and will eventually die as a result of injuries caused by the broken glass shards. As stated before, depending upon the time of year and the weather, many more may be killed by exposure. But there is still another big killer coming.
That is of course the fallout from the weapon explosions that took place many hundreds of miles away. This fallout may require from a few hours to a day or two to arrive. If the weather permits, and the survivors know what they are doing, they may still have time to build an expedient shelter against the fallout.
Techniques for defense against fallout have been developed and tested at great expense by almost every nuclear nation. While information on these techniques has been made readily available, most people have not availed themselves of it. Two basic techniques are available. One is to leave the contaminated area. But the extent of the contaminated area may be far too wide to escape, or one may not have accurate information as to the delineation of the contaminated area, or they may not have the means of transportation, nor the means of survival should they reach a radiation free area.
The other basic means is to provide shelter within the contaminated area. Weather, ground, and time conditions permitting it is possible to dig a trench and cover it with dirt supported by poles, wooden doors, or a vehicle. Properly designed, such an expedient shelter can make all the difference between avoiding the effects of fallout radiation, and not avoiding those effects. The details of how to build an expedient shelter are to be found in books listed in the bibliography. One of the most important and often overlooked factors in designing a shelter is the matter of providing an airpump so as to eliminate the problem of carbon dioxide poisoning.
The technique for building such an expedient pump from materials readily available in time of crisis is also found there. The effect of fallout radiation is not always death, although many times it is. Even if it is death it is not immediate death. Intense radiation causes a very painful, and horrible death what the literature calls a hard death over several days. More likely the effects are drawn out over a period of weeks, months, or even years. As the title of this document points out, all these people will have survived doomsday. It is not a question of survival but the condition of survival with which we must concern ourselves.
Everyone will die eventually but it is the quality of life in the interim that is of importance. What then are these equally effective causes of post doomsday mortality? They are exposure, starvation, plagues, and anarchy. While the threat of chemical and biological warfare is not to be ignored the primary causes of these means of mortality can be looked upon as being more natural. That is to say they will just result naturally from the breakdown of the social infrastructure that we regularly depend upon for day to day survival.
On doomsday most people will be living outside of areas that will be struck in initial attacks by blast or thermal radiation. Many others will already be living in areas that will never be damaged by blast or thermal radiation. Both of these groups, if they have the knowledge of what to do, and have made the proper preparations, will very likely find themselves in the group of survivors who are living unharmed five years after doomsday when the surviving population has once again established some semblance of order and is once again multiplying and replenishing the earth.
For a number of reasons, basement shelters do not offer the amount of protection that is commonly supposed. A proper analogy between them and a survival installation as described later in this document would be to compare a plank with a well-equipped and commanded lifeboat. This is not to say, that if someone finds themselves in the water from a sunken vessel, it is not well to advise them to grab hold of a plank and start paddling in the direction that one hopes there lies shore, if there is no better means of survival, such as a lifeboat, or raft.
Similarly, there is very little protection afforded starting from the rooftop down by a layer of shingles, a foot or two of light insulation composed mainly of air-spaces for the purpose of retaining heat , a quarter to half inch of plaster board, some paint, a carpet on the floor, another layer or two of thin boards, and perhaps some paneling or ceiling tiles if the basement is finished.
The distance between the roof and the basement a two-story house offers more than a bungalow in this way does allow some additional protection, but this factor, along with the combined density of all the matter described, would not equal more protection than would be afforded by six to eight inches of earth. When, within such a basement situation, one starts to create an expedient shelter using, as is usually advised, such materials as bookcases and trunks filled with earth if possible , there are certain design errors that are liable to creep in.
Piling dirt or other material on the floor above will help but the greatest dangers will be from the areas outside the basement wall where the foundation extends above the ground. It is best to keep ones shelter at least three feet below the outside ground level, and to have at least three feet of soil above one's head. The next most overlooked problem is that of proper ventilation, so as to avoid carbon dioxide poisoning.
As stated before, most survival experts advise a location other than the basement for such reasons as the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning in case of fire, broken gas mains, and the threat of fire itself that may result from the wide spread firestorms caused by the thermal radiation associated with a nuclear blast. There are certain advantages to a basement shelter.
One may have access to necessities such as food, clothing, and blankets stored in the home. There may still be water available from the hot water tank. And, most importantly, one may feel certain psychological comfort by being in the familiar surroundings of their own home. None of these advantages of course hold a candle to the advantage of being in a properly equipped and manned survival center. One of the general misconceptions regarding fallout and fallout shelters is that the air itself may become radioactive.
This is simply not true. Those with a little learning will then say "Ah, yes, but it will contain radioactive particles of fallout". That is true, but a properly designed air intake, even for an expedient shelter, will cause most of the particles to drop out of the air flow before the air enters the shelter. Should the number of particles still suspended in the air be a problem, an expedient filter, such as a damp sheet hung in the air intake passageway, will do an adequate job of filtering the air. If the air vents do not have automatic blast valves then the air passage should be quickly shut and remain shut for a few minutes after the brilliant flash of a nearby nuclear explosion so as to prevent the popcorning effect described earlier.
The air passages will have to be shut in every case where there is a large fire nearby that is generating carbon monoxide that would otherwise seep into the shelter. Most expedient shelters will not have precautions such as those just described. The danger of carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the main reasons that most survival experts recommend that even if one has a basement in their house it is preferable to build an expedient shelter a considerable distance outside and away from existing structures in case of fire.
As has been mentioned before, the materials necessary for building an airpump, and an expedient radiation detector, are available in almost every home. Anyone planning on attempting to use the basement survival method should obtain ahead of time the detailed instructions for building these devices, and store these instructions in their home, along with an emergency supply of food and containers for storing approximately 14 gallons of water for each individual that is going to be accommodated.
There is a similar misconception about water becoming radioactive as there is about air becoming radioactive. This may have something to do with misconceptions about the nature of heavy water , but we won't go into that here. Radioactive particles do become suspended in water, however, and that is why for the shelter confinement period, you must make sure that you have a sufficient store of potable water available ahead of time. During the recovery period, after radiation has decreased to the point where it is safe to work outside, there are techniques for letting fallout settle out of water, and for distilling water, in order to make sure that it is safe for drinking and cooking.
However, far from keeping air and water out of a shelter, it is absolutely necessary to life that they be available. While an expedient shelter could mean the difference between life and death, it is probably not something that you would want to continue to use for a very long time. There is a wide range of misconceptions about what is safe and what is not. The matter is sufficiently complicated that a person should have professional advice.
However, if there was no doctor going to be available to set a broken leg I presume you would go ahead and do the best you could. And if one had to build a bridge to get across a river and there was no structural engineer around, again I presume one would have a go at it. Doctor's would like to have their x-ray machines available when setting a leg, and engineers would like to have their surveying equipment, specification guides, and computers or slide rules when they are building a bridge. So you can well imagine a radiological defense officer would like to have radiation detection equipment available when giving advice in a radiation defense situation.
However, if the advise, expertise, or equipment, is not available, one must go on. One rule of thumb is that if there is not enough fallout that you can see it, then there is not enough of it that it will kill you. Fallout is usually small grain dust or grit, often having a light color, but not always. It depends upon its source. The best place to spot it is on a smooth surface, like the hood of a car.
The more dense fallout is, probably the greater the hazard, although there isn't necessarily a direct correlation. It may fall thick enough that quite a little heap of it may be brushed up from a surface that is one foot square. It is possible to build, from common materials found around the home, an expedient radiation detection meter. The details for such a meter are found in books listed in the bibliography.
Even if one has commercially available radiation detection equipment there is still some considerable skill required in its use. For example, almost all survey equipment is designed to be used by an adult of normal stature. A child's or an infant's vital organs will be below that level and will be exposed to much more hazardous levels than an adult's.
For this reason, if one is passing through an area that is suspected to have any radiation at all, a child should be carried on an adult's shoulders. There is another rule of thumb that for every seven fold increase in time radioactivity will decrease by ten fold. This is based upon standard decay. It is useful as an example, for training, and in building theoretical models, but in actual practice the decay rate is likely to be something quite different. It is determined by the isotopic composition of the matter under consideration.
There is another commonly held misconception among semi-trained individuals that low levels of radiation cannot be rapidly fatal. Someone, after several days in the confines of a cramped expedient shelter, might conclude that because their meters now indicate a very low level of radioactivity or perhaps no radioactivity if it is a high-range instrument , that it would now be all right to go outside and sleep on the ground in the cool breezes beneath the bright summer stars.
The fallacy again arises from taking measurements at a level that assumes the vital organs are well above the radiation source. This is not the case when a person is stretched out on the ground for long hours of sleep. These long hours of low level radiation exposure to the vital organs will result in a fatality in just a few days. Likewise, perfectly healthy adults who take infants out of the cramped, unpleasant, expedient shelter to allow them to play during the day on a blanket spread out on the ground will be quite shocked to see those infants sicken and die in just a few days while they themselves remain healthy.
The infant's vital organs again being close to the weak radiation source for a long period while the adults' vital organs are being protected by distance. The statement that radiation sickness is not contagious is often found in the literature. That is true. The erroneous conclusion is drawn, however, that being around persons with radiation sickness is not dangerous. The danger arises from the manner in which radiation kills.
Sufficient radiation can cook the vital organs, but more often what happens is that it kills the white corpuscles and the ability of the bone marrow to make more of them. It is the white corpuscles that are the body's defenders against viruses, bacteria, and other disease causing bodies. Once these defenders are lost the person succumbs to a disease they might have otherwise warded off, and once that disease takes hold in the individual they may become highly contagious. In this manner there is grave danger of plagues breaking out, and all sorts of illnesses one does not generally see, becoming very threatening.
For this reason rigorous quarantine, sanitary measures, and health defense measures must be imposed and enforced. Becoming aware of such unexpected and unpleasant snares may initially make one feel that the situation is hopeless. The danger really arises from a person's unfamiliarity with the circumstances. There is the story of the explorer who asked the young native if there were crocodiles in a certain stream.
He was assured there were not. While then swimming in the stream he once again saw the young lad on the bank and asked for reassurance that there were no crocodiles. They are all afraid of the piranha. The young fellow would have found himself equally in danger from things with which he was not familiar in our society, like automobiles and electrical appliances.
It is not that the hazards are so onerous, but simply that we are not familiar with them. Food is the most serious problem. Most food that is in the house will not be harmed by the radiation, no matter how intense. There are three types of radiation that are found in fallout. Alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma rays. As the first two names indicate, they are particles. They are minute too small to be seen pieces of atomic matter that attach themselves to the fallout bits of dust that may or may not be large enough to be seen.
In any case, these particles may be simply washed off many types of foods that have a natural covering, such as eggs, bananas, potatoes, oranges, etc. Foods such as grains rice, dry cereals, etc. Fallout dust may have crept in. The food in its unopened container or natural covering should be rinsed under flowing water and then placed on a surface that has been similarly cleansed, before opening. Make sure that the hands and under the nails have been thoroughly cleansed before handling the food.
There is little danger in handling such articles. The radiation given off by these particles is so weak that it will often not even penetrate something as thin as the cellophane wrapper on a package of cigarettes. You may then ask "Why, then, be concerned? This is not to say that you need not worry about getting the alpha and beta particles on your skin.
You do. Because they can cause skin burns. However, good hygiene practice can eliminate that problem but they are a much more severe hazard internally than externally. As an aside, this is one of the reasons that those fallout or radiation suits that you see in all the pictures and movies and on TV are such a joke. Those things are not going to protect the guy from anything, that a couple of good garbage bags wrapped around his feet and made into a hood to go over his head, would not do as well. In fact the garbage bags are in many ways better.
They would be considered disposable. The main purpose of the fallout suits is to prevent the wearer from tracking the fallout into the shelter. The user simply takes the suit off at the door. If the person were to wear it on inside, it would defeat the purpose. There are some clean handling techniques that are beneficial to know and practice, but in a wartime situation there is so much of the stuff around that peacetime standards of exposure and cleanliness lose their meaning.
The gamma rays are another matter. They are very penetrating. No fallout or radiation suit is going to protect you from them. It requires much more dense matter to protect you than you could lift, let alone lug around. This is why one must remain in a shelter when there is intense radiation. With good housekeeping there should not be so much dust inside a shelter as to create a hazard from gamma rays. However, be sure to dispose of the contaminated rinse water that you have used for cleaning the food containers and persons returning from outside.
It may contain matter that is giving off gamma rays. There will probably not be sufficient fallout on the food packages or you can get rid of it quickly enough that you need concern yourself about the amount of gamma radiation that you are going to get from that source during the decontamination process. However, the food may have been stored in an area that has received very intense radiation. That can of beans or peaches may have been stored right out there where it was receiving roentgens of radiation per hour.
An amount that would have killed you right away. But it will not be harmed. That is right. It is perfectly edible. If it were not so I would have told you. It is only living things that radiation hurts. Even then it depends upon the frequency and intensity of the radiation. For example, there are all sorts of radio and TV waves going right through where you are sitting right now and they are not harming you.
The food in the can is already dead and the gamma rays are not going to harm it. They will not make it radioactive. If the radiation is strong enough it may kill any bacteria that happen to still be living in the food and thus preserve it even further. If the food is supposed to contain bacteria such as yogurt I am not sure what it would do for that! Radiation preservation of food is a technique that is already being used in industry and will probably become much more widely used in future years.
Many people already have radiation microwave ovens in their homes today.
One further analogy. Fire will kill living animals but we use it to cook our food. You really shouldn't be overly frightened about radiation, either. Food that is grown in radioactive soil, or that has not yet been harvested when, fallout falls on it is another matter. This food will absorb the particles of radioactive matter into its own structure and thus become dangerous.
The biological food chain acts as a marvelous strainer and concentrator of radioactive isotopes. This was well demonstrated in certain tests that took place at Almagordo. From some intentional surface bursts and because of the unintentional venting of some underground bursts there was some fallout carried onto the milkshed for southern Utah. The amount of fallout deposited over the surface was so slight that the most selective instruments could not detect it. An atomic or nuclear explosion releases its great amounts of energy by changing some matter into energy. It also changes certain amounts of matter into new and different types of matter.
Without going into detail about atomic theory, the nature of the atom with its electron rings, and its nucleus consisting of protons and varying number of neutrons, let us simply say that these new forms of matter are generally unstable isotopes. That means they are going to change into another form of matter. Once again, the matter, in the process of changing from one state to another, releases certain amounts of energy. It is this energy that we measure as radioactivity. The energy, depending upon the isotope involved, may be rapidly dispelled or it may continue to be released for a very, very long time.
Most unstable isotopes release their energy and transform into a stable state within fractions of a second or at least within minutes after a nuclear explosion. Others take hours, and still others days, weeks, or months. Some take centuries. Each isotope starts out with just so much energy. For all practical purposes we can say it is not going to get any more. Once that isotope has released all its excess energy it will become stable. Since the isotope releases its energy at a specified rate we can say how long it will take to lose half of its energy.
After that, it will then take the same length of time again for it to lose give off one half of the remaining amount of energy. Question: When will all of the energy be given off by the isotope? An ancient Greek philosopher posed the same problem. He said, "Suppose there is a bear at the back of a cave. On the first day the bear walks halfway to the entrance.
On the next day he walks half of the distance that remained to the entrance after the first day. And on the day following the bear walks half of the distance that remained to the entrance from the previous day. The bear continues to do this same thing on each subsequent day.
He walks half of the distance to entrance of what was left from the previous day. The question is: when will the bear get out of the cave? The answer is: "Never. That is to say the figures continue to approach zero, closer and closer, but they never reach it. So just as the bear never gets out of the cave, all of the energy is never lost.
But much one half of the energy is lost in the first half-life. And three quarters of the energy is lost by the end of the second half-life. After ten half lives a very large percentage of the energy is gone. It is because so much of the energy is lost in the early periods half-lives , as compared to the later periods, that it is important to be in shelter during the early periods after fallout has fallen.
We might divide the half-life times of radioactive isotopes into three categories. Very short term, medium term, and very long term. As mentioned earlier, most of the unstable isotopes generated by an atomic or nuclear explosion are very short term. They give off all their significant amounts of energy in a matter of seconds. Unless you are within very close range of an atomic or nuclear bomb there will be no way for this radiation to reach you.
It was this initial radiation that caused the horrible radiation burns and sickness at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. First the good news. There will not be any persons subjected to long suffering from the initial radiation by the nuclear weapons of today. The bad news is that the reason why is that the weapons blast such a large hole or create such a large area of complete destruction that the initial radiation can't escape. That is to say the totally destructive blast extends beyond the range of the initial radiation.
On the other hand, the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not have much problem with fallout. The first major victims of fallout were some fishermen many, many miles downwind from the Bikini Island tests. Fallout is a phenomenon much more associated with nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, there was fallout in Southern Utah. As stated before, it was so slight it could not be detected by the most sensitive instruments.
The specific matter of interest in southern Utah was the isotope of iodine. This was absorbed by minute bacteria in the soil. In the process of filtering the iodine out of the soil the bacteria greatly concentrated it. The bacteria were absorbed by legumes and other biological forms higher in the food chain. Each in turn further concentrated the iodine isotope. Finally, after the iodine had found its way into the grass a cow came along and ate it. Now a cow is a very complex organism in itself. There are all sorts of biological activities going on in a cow. Various organs and the bone marrow filter out different minerals for different purposes.
One of these complex systems forms milk. This particular cow, and hundreds of others like it, was milked, and the milk was bottled and distributed to children all over the area of southern Utah. The children were also complex biological organisms. They in turn had numbers of specific organs that specialized in straining out various minerals and compounds from the food that they consumed.
The end result was that their thyroids once again concentrated the iodine And this to such an extent that if you held a radiation detector next to their necks it buzzed like a rattlesnake. This was not healthy. In fact numerous problems developed among the population. There were a great number of mentally retarded children born, and a number of other unpleasant ramifications.
This need not have occurred from the iodine if we had known what we know today. There is a simple pill that would have prevented the difficulty. It is supplied in every nuclear emergency kit in Russia and available in Denmark and Sweden.
Unfortunately it is not sold in North America. Fortunately, however, the pill is quite simple to make. Ahead of time, obtain a quantity of potassium iodide from your local drug store. Five dollars worth should be lots. When needed, take a regular glass and fill it a fourth or less full of water, and then slowly start pouring in the potassium iodide while thoroughly stirring the water.
Don't worry about how much you pour in. You cannot pour in too much. After a while you will notice that the chemical no longer dissolves in the water. It just lies there on the bottom. This means that the water is saturated. You can now stop pouring in the chemical. More will not help or hurt. Next take an eyedropper, or a soaked piece of paper if you do not have an eyedropper, and drop four drops onto a little piece of bread for an adult.
Or two drops for a child. If you get several times that amount it is not going to harm you although in much larger amounts it is a poison. Now take some butter or margarine and make a little ball out of the bread and pop it down. Tastes awful. Take once a day for days after the last bomb falls. This is good stuff and you should have it around for reasons other than defense in case of a nuclear war.
If you live anywhere within in a couple of hundred miles of a nuclear generating plant you might suddenly find yourself needing the stuff. The US department of Health rushed a supply of pills to Three Mile Island and they have a standard brochure all printed ready for distribution in case it or some similar site vents. The department of defense also keeps a supply near the old Titan sites that are deteriorating and breaking down. Government is now stockpiling in many cities not only these pills but others for Bateriological and Chemical Threats]. Canadians have nothing. I'll take that back.
They do have lots of nuclear plants and the distinct possibility of bombs exploding over their heads and on their soil. The reason why the potassium iodide works is that the thyroid will absorb only so much iodine. After that, any iodine taken into the body is passed off by the kidneys. Since the body already has all the good stuff it wants it passes out the bad stuff.
This is what we call thyroid blocking. Do not try to use the tincture of iodine that you put onto cuts. Taken internally it will kill you. And you cannot eat enough iodized salt to do you any good. You would get salt poisoning long before you got sufficient iodine to do the job. I wish I could tell you about another pill that would solve all your radiation and other problems.
But there is none. Unless you mean the cyanide pill mentioned earlier and things really are not that gloomy. As I hope I have carefully explained, most of the radiation we have to be concerned about from a nuclear bomb will decay in a matter of days or weeks to a level where we can deal with it. You may say "I've heard that some radiation will be around for thousands and even hundreds of thousands of years". Yes, but those isotopes are our friends. That may be putting it a bit strongly. Anyway, they are not near so harmful as many people think.
There is the point of view that no radiation is good for you. Some dermatologists maintain that you should not even get a suntan. Yes, that is radiation that you get from the sun. There is even the theory that it is cosmic radiation that causes both overall genetic change, aging, and death. In any case we are all subjected to many sources of radiation every day. The question is not whether or not you are going to receive radiation, but how much and how quickly. Let us compare the radiation we are concerned about with another type of radiation. Just as we measure radioactivity in roentgens we measure heat in calories.
If I were to tell you that that pipe over there was going to put off a million calories of heat, you might say, "Let me get away from it! But, if I then said that it was going to be over the next million years, at the rate of one calorie per year, you would realize that you were in greater danger of freezing to death than of burning to death if you were depending upon that pipe for heat. It is not how much heat is going to be given off it may be a large amount but how much over what period of time.
A mere two hundred calories suddenly inflicted upon one point of the skin would create a bit of a sting, but hundreds of thousands might be comfortably absorbed from a heating pad over an appropriate period of time. It is the same with radiation. Most isotopes give off their energy so rapidly that they are like flash bulbs. Flash and they are gone. It just happens right in the vicinity of the bomb. Others are like regular light bulbs that give off their light and heat for some period of time before they burn out.
They may travel a long way from the bomb as fallout before they dissipate their energy.
For these we need a shelter to protect us if we are in their vicinity. Nothing else will do. Still others are like those small luminescent lights that some people put in their bathrooms for night-lights. Only weaker still. They just sit there and barely glow for a very long period of time. Little miniature flashlight bulbs or matches are a good analogy to fallout particles.
One or two of them in a room with you will not harm you. But surely you can imagine the situation where if you had thousands and thousands the light would either be blinding or the heat so intense that you would be incinerated. Fallout is just the same way. A few pieces inside a shelter with you will not harm you, but if you go outside where there are millions of the little beasts lying around then you have had it. The only difference between their radiation and the radiation from a little flashlight bulb or a match is that it is invisible radiation that you cannot see or feel - like that from an x-ray machine.
After having explained all this, now I must tell you that there are some isotopes that unfortunately do not fall into either the short range of initial radiation which we do not need to worry about because it does not extend out of the blast area , nor the medium range that you will be protected from by a fallout shelter , nor the very long range that decays over so many hundreds of years that their energy is too weak to concern us here.
These remaining isotopes are real meanies. There may be solutions to the problems they present but there are no simple solutions. There will not be enough of them around that they will make walking around dangerous for most people but the problem is that they get into the food chain and that they have relatively short half-lives, between five and 30 years.
That means that during the next couple of hundred years they are going to be giving off most of their energy. Fortunately, some of them are rather rare, and given that they are going to be widely dissipated in worldwide fallout we can largely ignore their effects. Others may be concentrated in certain areas, certain types of soil and certain foods where we can avoid them also.
Some others, however, particularly Cesium and Strontium 90, present mayor problems in keeping them out of the food chain. Even here, there are available defense techniques. For example lime, gypsum, fertilizer, or organic matter in practical amounts may be applied to low calcium soil, or naturally high calcium soil may be used for growing certain crops which have an uptake preference for calcium over strontium. There are known refining and purification techniques for some foods and milk, and there are some new techniques which I have discussed with some of the researchers at some of the leading nuclear laboratories, but which the world isn't ready to hear about as yet.
These methods along with others such as land denial, deep plowing, surface scraping, and selective utilization, are harsh realities that are going to have to be faced by the long-range survivors. More important to the present theme are questions as to what preparations survivors should be making ahead of time. Since it will take a while to get crops growing again because of social disorganization, ozone depletion in the atmosphere, climatic changes, crop adaptation, early crop failures, soil deprivation, and similar factors, survivors will need a couple of year's supply of food.
Wheat and honey are the only two basic foods, of which I am aware, that have an indefinite shelf life. Thousand year old kernels found in the pyramids have still sprouted. Fortunately, these two foods, wheat and honey, meet most adult nutrient requirements. Powdered milk will be necessary if one wishes to reduce the infant mortalities. The infants will not survive otherwise, unless their mothers have adequate natural milk, which is unlikely. Salt is important as a preservative, among other purposes.
In addition to storing the four basic survival foods wheat, honey, powdered milk and salt , it is highly advisable that one also store a couple of year's supply of a variety of non-hybrid seeds. Some seeds will not store very well and need to be continually replaced. It is equally important to develop certain skills. Gardening skills. I particularly recommend the area of hydroponics because this would be one way to grow foods free of contamination. Preserving skills. Here I recommend learning to dry foods using hot air.
Freeze-drying requires too much elaborate and expensive equipment and freezing itself is not reliable when electricity is not reliable. Preparation skills. Bread making, use of lentils, and making of many foods, or their substitutes, that today are commonly gotten in prepared form. On all of these subjects one could write a book. Indeed many books have been written on them. Even if one does not have time to immediately develop all these skills they might do well to get themselves a survival library and then as a next step acquire the essentials in materials listed in checklists in most well organized manuals.
The very best thing that a survival minded person can do, after preparing for themselves an equipped place of refuge, and developing their own survival skills, is to associate themselves with other skilled survivalists. No one person can know everything, and almost everyone can contribute something. Agricultural, medical, mechanical, communicator, you name it, all skills will be needed. Few people could afford the equipment that an organization can have. Along with other radiation detection equipment and many other types of emergency supplies, what individual can afford it?
Yet no nuclear survival group should be without one. Even in building a shelter the mayor expense is the entrance and support mechanisms such as emergency lighting, water source, etc. The incremental cost for space for one additional individual is quite small. Thus, the greater the number of people the overall cost can be spread over, the less the average cost.
Moreover, no individual has the personal resources that a group has. If the head of a single family survival group is injured or lost the chances of survival for that group are much reduced. However, if it is a large group then there are numbers of people available to continue to give support. Just like there are numbers of people available to maintain twenty-four hour watches, or to create a well manned convoy to go after necessary supplies. One more prepared and equipped individual added to such a group is an asset, whereas in a situation like a public shelter, one more unprepared and unequipped individual is just another liability.
A successful survival group will have to be either completely homogeneous or thoroughly committed to thoroughgoing tolerance and appreciation of a wide range of individual preferences regarding society, economics, religion, and future expectations. Still, a shelter is not a democratic society anymore than is a ship or an airliner. The captain's authority is absolute and one should have confidence in his credentials and ability before boarding.
Neither is a shelter a democracy in the sense that there must be much more stringent rules regarding behavior. Everyone must perform assigned duties. There are no wealthy passengers along for a free ride to be served by others. There are many limitations to personal freedoms such as contraband materials. No drugs or alcohol except under medical prescription and then as approved by the commander. All firearms and weapons must be placed in the armory and will not be released except under orders from the commander.
All valuables will be receipted and stored in the locker for safekeeping. No private stocks of foods because under survival conditions this can lead to social disorder. No tobacco or smoking inside the shelter, since it would cause discomfort to others. No loud toys, devices, or other objects that would be environmentally disturbing to others. No large bulky items, or great quantities of any item without the permission of the commander.
And no pets or animals unless the survival community has made prior special arrangements for their accommodation. Yes, It is tough. Food provides you with energy you need to concentrate. Make sure to fill up on fruit, vegetables, bread, pasta, rice and some brain busting smoothies to keep your body and mind in top notch condition. Everyone needs an average of eight hours sleep at night and as a teenager this can rise to as much as ten hours.
Spend one or two nights a week relaxing, it's nothing to feel guilty about. Just plan this time alongside your study to feel the benefits.
If you tell yourself that you're great and that you can pass these exams, you'll be in a far better frame of mind when studying and heading into the exam room. If you usually get extra help at school, it may be that you'll need a little more support to be able to do your best in exams, so make sure to ask for it. Whatever support you need, it's up to your school to make sure you get it. Everyone knows sitting exams or tests can be one of the most stressful times of your life, so you are not alone.