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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Radiation Fallout Preparation

I love this title:
The Good News About Nuclear Destruction

I was able to get an old (but in good shape) civil defense kit for a little over $65 a few years back on Ebay...I got it from the folks, who have a lot of good information on their websites.

First, I'd recommend you read the myth-busting "You WILL Survive Doomsday"

Then, check out "What to Do if a Radiation Attack is Imminent".
Well, depending on what Iran, Israel, India, and Pakistan are up to, maybe you should check this out first :)

Then, check out this Radiation Shelter FAQ

Basically, in a nutshell, you can't do much about being in a blast zone, but you can easily take steps to avoid the fallout (which could result in 10X more fatalities than the blast itself). So, depending on the size of device yield, wind conditions, and distance, a healthy adult should really only have to hide under the lead blanket for 7 hours, in the basement for ~3 days, and can spend a limited amount of time outside after only a week or two.

The dust is the key, as this carries the radiation - put mass and distance between you and where dust collects around the base of your home, and keep from ingesting any (wash off food)...I personally plan to use some cheap plastic sheeting to make a 2-partition "changing room", where you would change into/out of clean clothes in the first one, and into/out of "dirty" ones in the second, outer partition by the outside door.

Also, keep your radiation dosimeter on your belt, and not your shirt pocket (more accurately measures the rads your guts are getting)...and even after it is safe for adults to go outside, carry children on your shoulders (to keep them above the radioactive dust on the ground).

The guys will sell a "Package" of pre-tested counters for $354.

What we have here: (not the package mentioned above...I got mine from them but they were much cheaper because they weren't tested with their Cesium-137 rad source)

2 Geiger counters + instructions (one with a remote sensor - very important unless you feel like taking some rads just to see how hot is still is outside). It is important to get the sensors calibrated against a rad source of known strength, which is on my to do list...looks like are offering a $48 deal on ebay.

(6) Dosimeters (charger is in box between the Geiger counters). They work by statically charging the tube, which draws a needle from "Lots of radiation" down to "No radiation". When you wear it in a radioactive environment, the charged particles pass through, and take out some of the static charge, thus moving the needle back to the "You are gonna glow" end of the scale.

(2) 2-week supplies of potassium iodide tablets. Much more important for the kids than adults (many more years to be irradiated from within). The KI works because radioactive iodine can be absorbed into the body, and concentrates in the the solution is to take a full dose of "clean" KI so any "dirty" iodine will not be absorbed by the body.

My personal plan is for the adults to take them for the first few days, then use the rest for the kids for an extended period.

(4) N90 dust masks. Again, it's all about the dust, and not breathing, eating, or drinking it.

Not pictured - Batteries...and you have those, right? RIGHT?

I also keep gloves, and a "bunny suit" for dust/dirt leftover from attending 2 C-section births (also good to keep in car in case you need to work on it in good clothes)...I don't know where to buy the paper suits but if I find out I'll post.

I know this is like a commercial for the folks, but they did provide a lot of information to the community, and you could do worse trying to find a reliable detector.


PS: Oh, and don't worry about suitcase nukes...if they ever truly existed (some doubt that), they are all duds by now:
1: due to specialized explosives that need to be serviced and replaced annually
2: the radioactive decay makes the beryllium sphere that reflects the radiation inwards to achieve critical mass too brittle.

Maybe if there's interest I'll write up a real post for that.

PPS: DISCLAIMER: I Am NOT an Atomic Scientist, and quite possibly don't know what I'm talking about. I could be stupid, crazy or both. Actually, don't listen to me. Please do your own research.


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