|How to cope with a nuclear strike|
“The response, outside the blast zone, would be very much like for a tornado,” Buddemeier said. “Get indoors, avoid all the particles that are going to land on rooftops and the ground. Stay there.
“A little bit of knowledge can save a lot of lives. A city could prevent 250,000 deaths.”
That’s the plan for Kansas City’s office of emergency management.
Inside the control room on a recent morning, a large screen showed a nuclear explosion simulation. Circles indicated the blast radius, second tier and third tier. The immediate job is to section off the city. Hospitals would be cleared of anybody who doesn’t have to be there.
“We go into mass casualty phase,” Bean said. “Inside a tier, half the people may be dead, but we still have to help the other half.”
Back in 1970, the Kansas City metro area co-operated on a community shelter plan for people to follow in case of nuclear attack. Part of it was a listing of hundreds of fallout shelters, sometimes three to a block.
That was Cold War thinking. Now, the plan is to tell people to get inside and stay put. After a blast, dirt, dust, debris go up and come back down. The key is to avoid that rain.
James Connelly, Kansas City emergency manager, said the city’s response would be based on blast site and prevailing winds. There are 129 sirens around the city, designed for tornado warnings, but they can become civil defence sirens pretty fast, Connelly said.
Software would map the response.
“Then we will tell people what to do and where to go,” Connelly said.
The office is prepared to get the word out to the public using any means necessary — ham radio, Skype, NOAA radio, POT (plain-old telephone), social media and satellite phone.
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