Government Report: Rich White Men Are Most Likely to Survive Nuclear Blast
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Yet the report is filled with detailed plans for “search and rescue missions” and “urgent medical care” somehow being carried out in the MD, all supposedly coordinated with impressive precision by “incident commanders,” because “delays in issuing and implementing recommendations (or orders) could result in a large number of unnecessary fatalities.” How they’ll get all those orders issued with no functioning communication system remains unexplained.
As the Citizen Corps Web site points out, “given the daytime population density of a large modern city, the number that would be hurt by prompt effects of the blast or threatened by fallout particles could be in the hundreds of thousands.” And it’s obvious that in the real world -- as opposed to the report’s fantasy world -- the vast majority would get no medical care and thus would die.
But wait. There is still more good news: “Response capabilities more than five miles away from ground zero are likely to be only nominally affected by blast and EMP and should be able to mobilize and respond, provided they are not within the path of dangerous fallout levels.” And the DF (Dangerous Fallout) zone will extend only a mere “10 - 20 miles” (though there will be a “larger contaminated area beyond the DF zone” too). What’s more, all the dangerous fallout will come down “within about 24 hours.” So the millions in that zone will be pretty safe if they quickly get inside the closest “robust shelter” and stay there for more than a day. (That includes survivors in the MD, apparently -- if they can find any robust buildings that aren’t burning.)
Of course “effective decontamination” is required before entering a shelter. What’s “effective”? At one point, the report says that “simply brushing off outer garments will be sufficient to protect oneself and others.” But at other points the advice is quite different: “Remove clothes and shower … place your clothing in a plastic bag and seal or tie the bag … put on clean clothing, if available.”
No clean clothes (and probably no showers) in that handy shelter building? Don’t worry. All those naked folks can “assume that the dominant behavioral response will likely be … pro-social, altruistic behaviors.” Why, it might even be fun.
Sooner or later, “effective decontamination methods that are easiest to implement” will begin: vacuuming, fire hosing, steam cleaning, and the like. If that doesn’t work, the authorities will proceed to “sandblasting” and “road resurfacing.” As they say in Australia, no worries, mate.
To be fair, the report does admit there are some big problems to solve: “People will not be able to discern which shelters are more adequate than others.” Plus there’s “the natural instinct to run from danger” rather than duck into the nearest building. The answer is advance education, now: “Response planners should implement public messaging prior to the disaster.”
One good way to get the word out is to target “grade school students who can bring the information home … in the form of school calendars and book bags labeled with safety tips.” And parents should be informed about schools’ plans to keep their kids “sheltered-in-place” -- even though (in bold letters) “procedures that separate children from parents will be unsuccessful.”
By the way, all this planning assumes only a 10-kiloton explosion, which puts “several hundred thousand people at risk of death” if they don’t get the word about shelter within a few minutes. Of course 10K is a mere firecracker in terms of today’s nuclear arsenals. But the study assumes terrorists won’t be able to manage anything bigger.