To improve your chances of surviving a nuclear attack, your primary need would be an adequate shelter equipped for many days of occupancy. This chapter is concerned primarily with expedient shelters that give excellent protection against fallout radiation. The trenches for entry and emergency exit were dug only 22 inches wide, to minimize radiation entering the shelter through these openings.
The family sat and slept along the left wall, to be better shielded from radiation coming through the openings. Shelters provide protection against radiation by utilizing two types of shielding: barrier shielding and geometry shielding. The farther you can keep away from a source either of light or of harmful radiation, the less light or other radiation will reach you.
Turns in passageways are very effective in reducing the amount of radiation entering a shelter through them. Note:Fallout shelters need not provide additional shielding to protect occupants against initial nuclear radiation that is emitted from the fireballs of nuclear explosions. To have made the roof covering more than 36 inches thick would not have increased the protection against radiation very much, unless the entry trench and the air duct-emergency exit trench had been dug considerably longer.
If a person is exposed outdoors where there is heavy, fresh fallout for a long enough time to receive a large dose of gamma radiation, the highest-energy beta radiation given off by fresh fallout particles on the ground may be a relatively minor danger to his eyes and skin. For survivors confined inside crowded, unsanitary shelters by heavy fallout, and without medicines, beta burns could be a worse problem than were similar burns to the Marshall Islanders. When exposed grains of sand and particles of earth are heated very rapidly by intense thermal radiation, they explode like popcorn and pop up into the air.6 While this dust is airborne, the continuing thermal radiation heats it to temperatures that may be as high as several thousand degrees Fahrenheit on a clear day in areas of severe blast. Experiments conducted during several nuclear test explosions have established the amount of thermal radiation that must be delivered to exposed earth to produce the popcorning effect.6 Large air bursts may result in exposed skin being burned by hot dust and heated air produced at overpressure ranges as low as 3 or 4 psi. Shelters in buildings, including basement shelters, have essentially the same requirements as expedient shelters: adequate shielding against fallout radiation, strength, adequate ventilation-cooling, water, fallout radiation meters, food, hygiene, etc. Considering the three protection methods of time, distance and shielding, when the alarm sounds, there are two options that you have in order to assure your survival. A shelter that affords good protection against fallout radiation and weather would be adequate in more than 95% of the area of the United States. After it becomes safe to emerge for limited periods, occupants could sleep and spend much of their waking time in such a rainproof dugout that affords excellent protection against continuing radiation.
If the man were sitting in a deeper trench, he would escape more of this scattered radiation, but not all of it. If fallout particles are on the roof of a tall building and you are in the basement, you will receive a much smaller radiation dose from those particles than if they were on the floor just above you.
This shelter had a protection factor (PF) of over 300; that is, persons inside would receive less than 1 300th of the gamma-ray dose of fallout radiation that they would receive if they were standing outside in the open. These radiations would be minor dangers to informed people in fallout areas, especially to those who had entered almost any kind of shelter before the fallout began to be deposited in their area. Even ordinary glasses give good protection to the eyes against such beta radiation, and ordinary clothing gives good protection to the skin. In conclusion: persons under nuclear attack should make considerable effort to protect themselves from beta radiation. Thermal radiation is reduced but not eliminated if it passes through rain, dense clouds, or thick smoke. If the basement windows are protected with boards and if all but a part of one window and all the aboveground parts of the basement walls are covered with earth 2 feet thick, the basement shelter will have a protection factor of several hundred against fallout radiation. An earth-covered shelter separate from buildings will provide equally good protection against radiation, better protection against blast, and much better protection against fire. The special blast doors and other design features needed for effective blast protection require more work, materials, and skill than are needed for expedient fallout shelters.
The following account of how an urban family, after evacuating, used these instructions to build such a shelter in less than 36 hours also includes explanations of various radiation dangers and of simple means to build protection against these dangers.

On a clear day, serious flash burns on a person's exposed skincan be caused by a 20-megaton explosion that is 25 miles away.A covering of clothing preferably of white cloth that reflects light can reduce or prevent flash burns on those who are in a large part of an area in which thermal radiation is a hazard. Among the Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors (people who had been in the open more than persons expecting a nuclear attack would be), there were a number of instances of temporary blindness that lasted as long as 2 or 3 hours, but only one case of permanent retinal injury was reported. In heavy fallout areas most high-protection-factor shelters would be crowded; except in cold weather, most would need a ventilating pump to remove warmed air and bring in enough cooler outdoor air to maintain survivable temperature-humidity conditions.
All persons concerned with survival should remember that the large majority of officially surveyed and marked shelters give better protection against radiation than most unimproved home basements.
The first effects you may have to deal with before radiation, depending on your proximity to it, are blast and thermal ener- gy. After the fallout radiation dose rate outdoors has decayed to less than about 2 R per hour, the small vertical entry could be enlarged and converted to a steeply inclined stairway. Even if all fallout could be kept out of the trench and off the man and every part of the ground within 3 feet of the edges of the trench, skyshine from heavy fallout on the surrounding ground could deliver a fatal radiation dose to the man in the open trench. The initial nuclear radiation from the sizes of explosions that may endanger Americans would be greatly reduced in passing through the miles of air between the fireballs and those fallout shelters far enough away to survive the blast effects.
If only thin clothing separates fresh fallout particles from the skin, a considerably longer time will elapse before their radiation causes beta burns. Any shelter that excludes fallout particles affords excellent protection against this radiation danger.
Official civil defense instructions now available to average Americans do not inform the reader as to what degree of protection against fallout radiation (what protection factor) is given by the different types of do-it-yourself shelters pictured.
The smaller an explosion, the larger the dose of initial nuclear radiation it delivers at agiven blast overpressure distance from ground zero. Unless survivors eat or drink fallout-contaminated food or water in considerably larger quantities than did the completely uninformed natives of the Marshall Islands, danger from alpha particles would be minor. Outdated or inadequate information is given about water, food, the improvement of shelter in one's home, and other survival essentials. The approximate radiation exposure is indicated by the number of chirps produced in each group.A benefit of the NukAlert, not to be overlooked, is that it will also confirm when and where dangerous levels of radiation are not present, too. If you have access to additional radiation instrumentation, you should also try to measure and confirm the radiation field in your immediate area. As cramped as that might be, you would have achieved a Protection Factor, in less than half an hour of moving some mass into place, that could clearly be the dif- ference between exposure to a lethal dose or survival for your family.Think what you could accomplish if you started now, well before any nuclear emergency, to explore your available options and built (or at least acquired the materials for) a mass encased small fallout shelter in your own basement. If he hoped to share the basement in a strange family's home, his chances of being welcomed would be improved if he brought a small homemade shelter-ventilating pump and other survival items. This is impor- tant because you want to keep your radiation exposure As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA). The most important thing to rememberis that the majority of people who have received a dose of radiation sufficient to induce radiation sickness will recover. A lot will depend on why you are in a radiation field.There will be a big difference between a terrorist attack with a dirty bomb or a small nuclear weapon or multiple nuclear detonations in a nuclear war. The same effect occurs when you move away from a large, extended source of gamma radiation. That is because a person who has received 100 R or less of acute exposure has a 100% probability of survival and will have little or no symptoms of radiation sickness.
The important thing to remember is to put as much mass and distance between you and the source of the radiation and then allow sufficient time to pass for the radiation to die down to a tolerable level.
That is assuming that they are prevented from becoming infected with common illnesses because of their radiation induced lowered immune response. The long-life battery provides continuous monitoring for a minimum of ten years with enough reserve to respond to a prolonged radiation emergency.
One of the ways that gamma radiation damages living tissue is by knocking electrons from their orbits in the atoms composing the tissue.
The rate of ticking varies with temperature changes and radiation exposure but, by itself, changes in this ticking rate do not necessarily indicate that any significant radiation is present.

If ionization occurs to a sufficient number of atoms in living tissue, without sufficient time for recovery, the result is radiation dam- age. Additionally, give them moral support with the positive atti-tude that they will be soon recovering.In summary, you will survive, if you keep your exposure low (ALARA) and take care of yourself and your loved ones.
At this stage, however, the reader will find it helpful to review important reasons why different types of shelters offer the best hope of survival to different people, in different areas, and under different conditions.
To prevent radiation damage we can stop a large portion of the gamma rays before they reach the living tissue by placing a shieldof some dense material, containing many electrons, between the source of the gamma rays and our body.
Dangerous levels of radiation from fission or fusion deto- nations in most all areas affected will be of a very temporary nature, and actually quite brief measured in only days or a week or two at the most. This book is written primarily to improve the survival chances of people who cannot or do not build permanent shelters. Just as body armor can stop bullets, shielding can protect us from gamma rays and radiation damage. Similarly, orally administered Prussian Blue will reduce the absorption of cesium from the gut and Alginate will reduce strontium absorption.There are three fundamental principles involved in the protection of people from the effects of external radiation (basically gamma radiation). Plain dirt is free and plentiful and just 3.6 inches of packed earth reduces the gamma radiation penetration by half which means you have a Protection Factor (PF) of 2. It would be prudent to always respond as if the higher exposure rate was possible.The higher the radiation exposure the quicker the NukAlert will respond and alarm. After removal from the radiation field it will quickly drop down to the next lower range alarm and then more slowly reset back down through all the ranges till silent once again.The NukAlert is designed to operate between freezing and 120 degrees F. This 1-3 chirping level, when moved from a much colder to warmer environment, should NOT be mistaken for radiation exposure. The dose received by a person exposed to radiation is the prod- uct of the rate of exposure and the total time exposed.
Also, if ever unsure if it was a cold-to-hot temperature induced chirping or radiation exposure, remember that it will be stopping soon if it was simply temperature induced. We also need to relate the amount of radiation received by the body to its physiological effects. Minimizing that time exposed will minimize your total dose received.Another time consideration is the fallout radiation intensity following a nuclear explosion. Two terms used to relate the amount of radiation received by the body are exposureand dose. It is impor- tant for you to know that as time increases the radiation intensity decreases. Remember, too, promptly removing yourself from the radiation source would have you no longer absorbing and adding to that cumulative dose. And, that can make all the difference between absorb- ing a dangerous radiation dose or getting only a tiny fraction you might not even be able to later notice. The NukAlertTM chart has in its third column the exposure time required to accumulate a total dose of 100 R for each of the ten levels of radiation inten- sities it will alarm you to. Unfortunately, besides radiation always being present and occurring naturally, for a future nuclear emergency we have to be initially most concerned with recognizing and minimizing those temporarily excessive, most harmful, higher levels where immediate survival is our first and primary focus.
However, after first successfully surviving that immediately life threatening radiation emergency, late and delayed effects of radiation can occur following a wide range of doses and dose rates. Some of the pos- sible delayed consequences of radiation injury are life shortening, carcinogenesis, cataract formation, chronic radiodermatitis, decreased fertility, and genetic mutations. The type formed depends on such factors as area irradiated, radiation dose, genetic predisposition, and age.
Risk analysis and comparison is very difficult due to the high concern and controversy of radiation exposure.

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