Not our favorite text to see first thing in the morning. How about you? Fortunately, this was a false alarm. But what if? Would you have been prepared with the necessary survival gear and supplies? Is all hope lost? Do you light one up and sit on the beach and watch the world end, or is there a chance you can survive? Our research says you can live. And you don't need a doomsday bunker, either. Read on to learn how you and I can best survive if this was not a drill...
Congrats. You’re still alive. For now. That means you’ve got some time, or you're probably at least a mile from where a bomb hit. Are you 2 or 3 miles away? It’s possible you saw windows shatter, or you are listening to a choir of car alarms. A mile away, that nuclear fire ball picked up the Walgreens, a parking lot of Ford cars, your local Chipotle, and everything else within that square mile and shot it 5 miles in to the air, converting everything to particles smaller than a grain of sand. You better get running, because it’s all coming back to earth very soon, and you want nothing to do with it. Find some shelter immediately!
OK, I'M INSIDE. NOW WHAT?
Now you wait. While radiation can have immediate and extremely deadly effects on the human body, it also doesn’t last very long out in the wild. In fact, within 24 hours, over 80% of the radioactivity has decayed. The longer you stay indoors, the better your chances of avoiding radiation poisoning. So rest up, you’re probably exhausted…
SO I CAN COME OUT AFTER 24 HOURS?
We wouldn’t advise it. Sit it out. The longer the better. The power is probably out. Keep the Seventy2's flashlight and emergency radio handy, and use the emergency radio to hear what local emergency response teams are suggesting and follow their guidelines.
Yeah, we get it. This isn’t comfortable. But thank your lucky stars your heart is still beating. There’s likely a couple hundred thousand people who would have gladly sat where you are. The good news: you won’t starve, even if it feels like it. There are 2,400 calories of nutrition in your Seventy2, and the human body can go weeks without food. But ration out your water. It’s best to take a few big gulps every few hours for maximum absorption from your body. The Nalgene water bottle included in the Seventy2 has further directions on how much to drink and how often. Follow these instructions and you have more than enough to survive for several days. WHAT IF I HAVE TO STAY DOWN HERE LONGER? Is there a toilet nearby? Use that water for your drinking water. You can filter the water with the Sawyer Mini Water Filter included in your Seventy2 - it’ll remove 99.99% of all bacteria and other nasty stuff so its safe to drink. The filter is good for 100,000 gallons. Use the extra water pouches and add the filtered water to the Nalgene bottle.
IT'S BEEN 3 DAYS. I'M OUTTA HERE!
Sounds good. We can’t blame you. Remember, anything you can do to put layers between yourself and the outside environment is important. Wear the Seventy2’s air mask, goggles, gloves and hat. You can even drape the mylar blanket around you for another layer of protection. Wear several layers of clothing. Waterproof or extra thick is extra preferred. Continue to treat everything as if it’s contaminated and keep the emergency radio tuned to the local authorities for the latest on your situation.
Choose your steps carefully. There could still be radiation in the air, as the winds pick up particulate matter and move them around. But fortunately, the risk of poisoning is reduced with each additional day so keep checking the news for updates.
Congrats you made it.
“I know I was supposed to stay inside, but my dog was in the yard and I ran out to save him and think I may have been exposed. Now what?!”
First thing is get out of your clothes and get any dust or particles out of your hair. If you can shower, do it, but don’t scrub too hard and force pieces of radioactive material deeper in to your skin. That’s no good. Don't forget to wash the dog.
“I don’t feel so good…”
The gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to radiation, so if you’re puking, and you weren’t just partying the night before, it may be sign you’ve absorbed a significant or deadly dose of radiation. See if you can get access to Prussian Blue - these special pills that can help remove radioactive cesium and thallium from people's bodies.
“Can I eat the vegetables from the garden?”
No! Common sense should tell you to avoid the vegetation in the immediate nuclear fall out zone. Leafy vegetables are known to absorb radioactive elements through their leaves, and milk from animals that had been feeding on local grass. For the immediate time after the bomb, try to avoid spinach kale milk shakes and stick to canned foods. The stash of Twinkies in the basement are still fine... well, they still taste good!