Knowledge: The Answer to Survivability of a Nuclear Bomb

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Davie E. Webb, 111
English 11
Jodi Whitehurst
November 30, 2010

Knowledge: The Answer to Survivability of a Nuclear Bomb
“A full scale nuclear exchange, lasting less than 60 minutes…could wipe out more than 300 million Americans, Europeans, and Russians, as well as untold numbers elsewhere. And the survivors—as Chairman Khrushchev warned the Communist Chinese, ‘the survivors would envy the dead.’ For they would inherit a world so devastated by explosions and poison and fire that today we cannot conceive of its horrors.” This is a 1963 quote from President John F. Kennedy in his address to the nation (5). Unfortunately, a nuclear bomb could be launched at the United States – or any other nation – but I believe the above statistics would be drastically reduced – and the survivability be greatly increased – if the federal government would launch a national mass media campaign promoting nuclear preparedness. Dr. Irwin Redlener, Director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, said in his speech on TED.com that “the key to surviving a nuclear blast is getting out, and not going into harm’s way. The farther you are away in distance, the longer it is in time from the initial blast, and the more separation between you and the outside atmosphere, the better” (1). If you are in a two mile radius of a nuclear blast you have a 50 percent chance of being killed instantly. A two to eight mile radius decreases your chance of instant death to 10 to 20 percent. If you do survive the blast there are four points you should know and memorize beforehand: 1. Avoid staring at the light flash and keep your mouth open (staring at light can blind you, and if you don’t keep your mouth open your eardrums could burst from the pressure); 2. Get away from initial fallout from mushroom cloud (you have 10 to 20 minutes to get away before a lethal amount of radiation comes straight down from the mushroom cloud that goes up. In that 10 to 20 minutes, all you...
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