RUN OR TAKE SHELTER AFTER A NUCLEAR EXPLOSION? NEW RESEARCH MIGHT SURPRISE YOU
You wake up in the dead of night as a flash brighter than the sun streaks through your windows. Was it car headlights? No, you realize something isn’t right when all the electronics in your house are dead. Then you hear emergency sirens outside and you realize; it was a nuclear explosion.
New research suggests rather than “sheltering in place” as many emergency programs insist, your best bet for survival after a nuclear detonation might be to run away from the blast zone and the deadly fallout, rather than staying in a building with only moderate protection from radiation.
Michael Dillon, an atmospheric scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, created a mathematical model of nuclear fallout survival after his relatives – who were curious about his work – asked what they should do if they saw a mushroom cloud.
“I realized that I really didn’t have a great answer,” Dillon said. The official U.S. government advice is to “take shelter in the nearest and most protective building.” For most people, that would be the basement of their home. But, Dillon says, “out in California there just are not that many basements,” offering little protection from fallout.
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