Expedient shelters (for nuke or RDD incident)

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    This is kinda long but Whisper suggested I post this and include some links about the book. Hopefully I don’t screw up formatting (I usually use red bullets, more spacing, etc but trying to keep in 1 post). Stay safe out there, j

    The following is just a snippet from the “Terrorism” topic in our disaster preparedness and first aid book. Please realize these are some very basic tips on sheltering for any type of nuclear (or radiological or RDD) incident. As fyi, an RDD incident will most likely involve low-level radiation therefore it’s not as potentially deadly as nuclear fallout / radiation, however it’s wise to use similar steps to shelter .. just in case!

    For decades, movies and some in the media have portrayed a nuclear attack as a “doomsday” event implying most people would be killed on impact … and survivors would want to die once they come out of their shelters. In reality, unless you are actually at ground zero or within a several mile radius of the blast zone (depending on the size of the nuke, of course), there is a very high probability you’ll survive as long as you limit your exposure to radiation, take shelter with proper shielding, and wait for the most dangerous radioactive materials to decay.

    Reduce exposure – Protect yourself from radioactive fallout with …
    distance – the more distance between you and fallout particles, the better
    shielding – heavy, dense materials (like thick walls, earth, concrete, bricks, water and books) between you and fallout is best. Stay indoors or below ground. (Taking shelter in a basement or a facility below ground reduces exposure by 90%. Less than 4 inches (10 cm) of soil or earth can reduce the penetration of dangerous gamma rays by half.)
    time – most fallout loses its strength quickly. The more time that passes after the attack, the lower the danger.

    The “seven-ten” rule – For every sevenfold increase in time after the initial blast, there is a tenfold decrease in the radiation rate. For example, a 500 rad level can drop to 50R in 7 hours and down to 5R after 2 days (49 hours). In other words, if you have shelter with good shielding and stay put for even just 7 hours … you’ve really increased your chances of survival. Your detection devices, emergency radio or cell phone [if the last 2 are working, that is] can assist you in knowing when it’s safe to come out.

    Basic shelter requirements – Whether you build a shelter in advance or throw together an expedient last-minute shelter during a crisis, the area should protect you from radiation and support you for at least 2 weeks. Some basic requirements for a fallout shelter include …
    — shielding
    — ventilation
    — water and food
    — sanitation and first aid products
    — radiation monitoring devices, radio, tools, firearms, etc.

    Shielding materials – All fallout shelters must provide good protection from radioactive particles. FEMA suggests having a minimum of several inches of concrete or 1 to 2 feet of earth as shielding around your shelter, and the more the better. The following shows examples of shielding materials that equal the protection of 4 inches (10 cm) of concrete
    5 – 6 inches (12 – 15 cm) of bricks
    6 inches (15 cm) of sand or gravel
    7 inches (18 cm) of earth
    8 inches (20 cm) of hollow concrete block
    10 inches (25 cm) of water
    14 inches (35 cm) of books or magazines
    18 inches (46 cm) of wood

    Underground is best – Taking shelter in a basement or a facility below ground reduces exposure by 90%. Less than 4 inches (10 cm) of soil or earth can reduce the penetration of dangerous gamma rays by half.

    Prefab shelter – If you have bucks, time and land, there are many types of prefabricated shelters you can purchase and have buried on your property. Some have complete living quarters and come fully stocked with food and other items. Suggest you do some research and get references first though.

    Outside shelter – There are free books and pamphlets with instructions on building underground fallout shelters by FEMA, Cresson Kearny (author of “Nuclear War Survival Skills”), Shane Connor (CEO of KI4U, Inc.) and others. If you have a few days, tools, property you can dig down into, and don’t mind heavy labor … check out http://www.oism.org/nwss or http://www.ki4u.com . (Both sites describe other shelters too like lean-tos, pole covered trench shelters, etc.)

    Indoor shelter locations – If you don’t have a fallout shelter you can get to safely and quickly, these options could provide protection from dangerous radiation by using shielding materials described below.
    basement – find the corner that is most below ground level (the further underground you are the better)
    1-story home / condo / apartment – if no underground facility, find a spot in center of home away from windows
    trailer home – find sturdier shelter if at all possible (like a basement or a brick or concrete building)
    multi-story building or high-rise – go to center of the middle section of the building. Note: if the rooftop of a building next to you is on that same floor, move one floor up or down since radioactive fallout would accumulate on rooftops. Avoid the first floor (if possible) since fallout will pile up on the ground outside.

    Indoor shelter shielding – Below are some ways to build an expedient last minute shelter in your home, apartment or workplace. Please realize these tips are very basic things to help protect you from dangerous radiation.
    — Set up a large, sturdy workbench or table in location you’ve chosen (see above). If no table, make one by putting doors on top of boxes, appliances or furniture.
    — Put as much shielding – furniture, file cabinets, appliances, boxes or pillowcases filled with dirt or sand, boxes of food, water or books, concrete blocks, bricks, etc. – all around sides and on top of table, but don’t put too much weight on tabletop or it could collapse. Add reinforcing supports, if needed. (See above about shielding materials and remember, the more shielding you use, the better protection you’ll have from radioactive fallout.)
    — Leave a crawl space so everyone can get inside and be prepared to block opening with shielding materials.
    — Leave 2 small air spaces for ventilation (about 4″-6” each) – one low at one end and one high at other end. (This allows for better airflow since warm air rises.)
    — If you have time and ability to do so, add more mass or shielding materials (like earth) on the floor above you. Support or brace floor from below for the added weight.
    — Have water, detection devices, radio, food and sanitation supplies in case you have to shelter for days or weeks.

    Ventilation – While inside a shelter you need to circulate fresh air in to reduce carbon dioxide buildup and help reduce heat. If shelter is above ground, the natural flow of air through cracks or windows outside shelter can help move stale warm air out, but basements and underground shelters may have trouble getting airflow. Some ways to improve airflow …
    — open a door or window – consider opening a door or window in another part of house or building to improve the natural air circulation (but don’t expose yourself to fallout or high radiation levels and don’t open window in shelter)
    — air pump – by planning ahead you can purchase or make a portable pump (read App. B at http://www.oism.org/nwss/ )
    — directional fanning – make a strong 2-handled fan using 2 sticks (or folded cardboard) and tie or tape a piece of cloth (or 2 pieces of cardboard) between sticks to make a rectangular fan. You want to push warm air out of the shelter so start with fan straight up in front of your face, then forcefully push it out and down with your arms completely extended until fan is parallel with floor (about waist high), pause then repeat often and as needed.

    In summary, those within the blast zone of Ground Zero (depending on the size of the nuke) won’t make it .. BUT .. if you are a few miles outside the zone your chances of surviving it are high but you MUST have detection devices (e.g. dosimeters, survey meters, KFM kits, RADStickers, NukAlert, etc) to monitor levels of radiation and a plan to stay sheltered for at least 48 hours or up to a few weeks. First Responders will have to wait for the deadly fallout to decay before they enter a hot zone so the more you prepare, the better your odds of surviving a terrorist nuke.

    Some additional resources include…
    http://www.radshelters4u.com (shelters are covered at http://www.radshelters4u.com/index3.htm )
    Detection devices (RADstickers, dosimeters, KI, etc) http://www.ki4u.com/products1.php
    Shane Conner (CEO of KI4U) Guide http://www.ki4u.com/guide.htm
    Know What to Do 3-min video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhDi0zoTcSo
    Cresson Kearny 8-min shelter video http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6404694492992532990#
    Carloslabs Ground Zero II nuke widget http://carloslabs.com/index.php?q=node/20 .. or .. http://www.energyrebels.com/blog/2011/11/15/ground-zero-ii-by-carlos-labs/

    Learn more about our 266-pg book called “IT’S A DISASTER! …and what are YOU gonna do about it? A Disaster Preparedness, Prevention & Basic First Aid Manual” at http://www.itsadisaster.net/apn.html (proceeds benefit APN)

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