As the world teeters closer to the brink of nuclear war, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention holds a briefing today on how the public can prepare for a nuclear bomb.
It’s duck and cover deja vu all over again.
On the heels of the recent disastrous ballistic missile false alarm in Hawaii where Google searches on “how to survive a nuclear attack” spiked dramatically, the advice couldn’t come any quicker.
The somber announcement by the CDC came coincidentally right after the ominously named “Bomb Cyclone” winter storm hit the East Coast, assuring the public they wanted to prepare us for a nuclear winter.
The CDC has gotten into the Civil Defense business taking a familiar stance on “preparedness,” a word all to familiar to baby boomers when it was bandied about in the 1950’s and ’60’s to calm our nuclear jitters.
You would survive if you prepared.
Let’s hope today’s advice is a bit more practical than the one Civil Defense put forth in the Cold War.
Not unlike today, the mid-century medical community got involved in offering safety tips to prepare in the event of an atomic attack.
Flipping through a 1950’s medical guide I noticed an entire chapter was devoted to the subject.
The bulky tome from 1951 entitled The Pictorial Medical Guide published by Progress Research Corporation was written by a team of esteemed doctors and in those days your doctors word was as good as Uncle Sams. The guide seemed geared to women readers offering to “provide the woman of today with sound and authoritative counsel to give her care and cultivation of a healthy body and the conduct of a happy life.”
Including surviving an Atomic Bomb.
Placed logically in the chapter labeled “Relief From Nervous Tension “ was a photo essay offering simple and easy to follow instruction for beating the Bomb.
Nervousness seemed to plague this age of anxiety and for good reason. Americans had a good case of the nuclear jitters where the prospect of a nuclear war between Russia and the U.S. seemed inevitable.
The book points out “that civilized living breeds nervousness because we live in a state of turmoil often by trying to keep up with the Joneses.” In an age where the arms race was on full tilt with the Soviets we were more likely edgy from keeping up with the Ivanov’s more than the Joneses.
But by following these sound and simple suggestions, your chances were pretty good on surviving; in fact they were pretty darn good.
Relax and Prepare
Your chances of escaping alive if you are in the area where an atomic bomb explodes are better than is commonly believed,” they offer reassuringly.” A person one half to one mile away has a 50 -50 chance. Beyond 2 miles, the explosion will cause almost no deaths.
Much depends on whether or not your shelter is adequate. Concrete buildings with heavy steel frames are much safer than frame houses. Over all half bomb injures are the result of being tossed about or struck by falling and flying objects.”
Surviving an Atomic Attack
In the Basement– When sirens sounds, turn off all utilities close doors and windows draw curtains and blinds and take shelter in your basement.
Get Under the Table– Hide under a table to protect yourself against falling plaster and flying objects. Bury your face in arms.
Hide in a Doorway -Try to shield yourself if caught unexpectedly out of doors. A deeply recessed doorway gives good protection. Prevent flash burns by shielding your face and eyes.
Against the Curb – By dropping flat against the curb with the face toward it you are less likely to be tossed about or hit by debris.
Simple Precautions That Save Lives– At the time of an atomic bomb attack if there is no other shelter available crouch behind a tree for protection. Turn away from the blast and cover exposed skin by pulling your coat over your head. (Below) Mother caught out of doors with a baby carriage should dash into doorway, cover herself and baby with blanket.
How to Keep out Radioactive Dust– After a blast, you must take precautions to keep out radioactive dust or fog. Doors and windows should be kept closed. Cover over your fireplace.
Care of Injured– unskilled handling of injured persons is dangerous. Remove an injured person from scene of the fire only to save his life. otherwise wait for a physician to arrive.
Dust is Dangerous – If you find yourself in a contaminated area where there are clouds of dust or spray ( possibly radioactive) keep your mouth and nostrils covered with a handkerchief until you reach safety.
Scrub After Exposure-After a blast a good scrubbing will remove radioactive particles that may be clinging to the skin. Put on clean uncontaminated clothes.
Bury Clothes– Clothing that you have worn when exposed in a contaminated area may be dangerous. It is best to bury it-taking adequate precautions while you do.
Copyright (©) 2018 Sally Edelstein