If North Korea Attacks the U.S. With a Nuclear Bomb, Everyone and Everything Will Be Destroyed in the Target Area

Beatrice Dupuy
If North Korea Attacks the U.S. With a Nuclear Bomb, Everyone and Everything Will Be Destroyed in the Target Area

The back-and-forth jabs between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has Americans wondering if they could survive a nuclear blast on U.S. soil.

Google saw a spike in searches on “how to survive a nuclear attack” after Trump threatened “fire and fury like the world has never seen before” against North Korea in August. North Korea later responded in September threatening a hydrogen bomb launch in the Pacific Ocean. 

But the Trump administration has denied reports that the president is looking to increase its nuclear arsenal.

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Given the mounting tension between the two countries, experts have some tips on how to survive a nuclear attack —but ultimately say there isn’t much you can do.

First things first: Experts recommend being on the lookout for emergency alerts that could come in the form of text messages, television announcements or emergency vehicle loudspeakers. It can take up to as little as ten minutes for a nuclear bomb to strike the U.S. giving no time to buy emergency supplies.

Likely targets of a nuclear attack include strategic missile sites and bases, D.C. government centers, ports and petroleum refineries, according to Ready, a government campaign created in 2003 to help Americans plan for disaster scenarios.

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Experts say having a stock of water, batteries and radio will come in handy once it’s time to hunker down.

Staying inside in the event of a nuclear blast is key, according to experts. After 20 minutes of the blast, radioactive flurries and toxic matter will begin to fall. Fallout is especially dangerous during the first two weeks.

If radioactive material gets on your clothing, government officials say taking off the outer layer can eliminate 90 percent of the radioactive material.

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"Get down, cover your head, don't stand there in the middle of Central Park and gawk,” Tom Nichols, a professor at the Naval War College, told the Examiner. “Get under something."

FEMA suggests camping out in underground spaces underneath large buildings before the blast. Experts also encourage hiding in a central location with no windows.

A 2014 study published in The Royal Society found that most homes and buildings will not be able to withstand a nuclear blast.

With a nuclear bomb eminent, experts warn looking at the blast. Unlike the eclipse, special glasses won’t save you in the event of nuclear destruction, which causes a light so strong it's brighter than the sun and will blind you.  Experts urge keeping your mouth open to keep your eardrums from bursting. If you live close enough to the blast, chances of survival are slim.

“People in most of the areas that would be affected could be allowed to come out of shelter within a few days and, if necessary, evacuate to unaffected areas,” according to Ready. “The heaviest fallout would be limited to the area at or downwind from the explosion.”

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