#Scicomm has a lot of work to do when it comes to #emergencypreparedness in the event of a #nuclearwar. Here is a map (old but excellent work) of near-lethal radiation zones in the aftermath several hours after an attack, but *only* for people out in the open, and only should Russia drop a couple-hundred 6-megaton bombs on us. The first lesson here? Stay inside and get shielded!
The problem with #civildefense and nuclear #science communication today is twofold:
1) The most uninformed #popculture articles (most of them) will dismiss a nuclear attack as unsurvivable and scoff at ‘60s-‘80s-era “Duck & Cover” preparations. Quite frankly, these folks are going to get people killed. Duck & Cover works wonders, especially considering the surprising reality that the lethality of a nuke’s immediate heat/blast wave reaches *farther* than the #radiation itself. If you survived the physical blast, you’re going to survive the radiation - at least in the immediate - because you wisely avoided the supersonic hailstorm of ballistic debris, which #Duck&Cover protects you from. (Don’t believe me? Just ask the classroom that survived shrapnel from the Chelyabinsk blast unscathed by ducking and covering back ‘13...)
2) Slightly more sophisticated pop articles, driven in large part by well-meaning but ill-informed #scientists from tangential #physics or #environmental fields, still overestimate the overall power of nuclear weapons - particularly the nuclear/fallout part. (I’m looking at you, @michio_kaku and your sensational #Fukushima quote, “We almost lost northern Japan.” We did not.) This engenders a false sense of “Why prepare? I’m dead anyway...” in the minds of many (most?), which - again - if not corrected, will be responsible for countless senseless deaths. How? By resulting in a panic-fueled public, surprised to be alive, suddenly taking to the streets for supplies or escape - only to become stranded at the worst possible time (see map). Instead, in nearly all cases folks should shelter in place, erect at-home radiation shields using household items, and simply wait while the shortest-lived #radioactive #fissionproducts in the #fallout cool off during the next week.