10 Ways to Prepare for a North Korean Nuclear Attack
The war drums are beating, highlighted by North Korean leader Kim Jung Un's approval of a "merciless" nuclear strike on the United States this week.
While the threat of a nuclear attack may be in the back of many people's minds, Benzinga picked ten guaranteed ways to stay ahead of the game and prepare yourself for the specter of nuclear catastrophe:
1. Stock Up on Essentials
Detonated at high altitude, a nuclear weapon will generate an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that can destroy electrical devices for hundreds of miles.
Keeping a supply of non-perishable foods and water is also essential, as well as a first aid kit. Cereals and energy bars, like those manufactured by Kellogg (NYSE: K) are perfect examples, as they're nutritious and possess a long shelf-life.
A deck of cards to kill the time might not be a bad idea, either.
2. Evacuate! (if you can)
Evacuating from a risky area is your best chance to avoid almost certain death or potentially months in an extremely unpleasant state of darkness. This is especially true if you live near airfields, naval bases, commercial ports, centers of government and major population centers.
If you're unable to evacuate, you should find the closest atomic shelter in your vicinity. It's essential that you protect yourself against radiation. A slightly inferior option is taking to your basement.
As a last resort, dig a hole as fast as possible. The further down you are situated, the less of an impact the nuclear blast and its radiation fallout will have on you. Lay face down, exposing as little skin as possible.
3. Foolproof Your Shelter
Your shelter should not contain any windows, which provide a channel for radiation and can be blown out by a nuclear explosion from enormous distances. Make sure there's nothing flammable near you as well. Even oil- and nylon-based materials will ignite from the heat.
Any electrical devices should be unplugged as the EMP from the nuclear weapon can cause explosions.
Battery-powered devices like radio and flashlights should be be placed in a grounded metal box, or a worst, a cardboard box wrapped in aluminum foil. Ensure the box is located as far below the ground as possible. The container will act as a Faraday cage, shielding items from the EMP.
4. Insure Your Assets
The best time to prepare for nuclear catastrophe is not after the fact. Review your homeowner's and auto insurance policies, making sure that your coverage extends to nuclear attacks -- in most cases, it doesn't.
Checking life insurance policies and protecting any other assets you may have is also a good idea. Look to companies like Allstate (NYSE: ALL), Progressive (NYSE: PGR), Travelers (NYSE: TRV) and American International Group (NYSE: AIG) for guidance.
5. Beware of the Cockroaches
Cockroaches are extremely resistant to radiation fallout and what's worse, mutations could increase the size and strength of the ugly insects.
Having an insecticide on hand and keeping it in your Faraday cage is important in order to fight off the pests, who could go after your food and spread disease. S.C. Johnson's Raid and Chevron's (NYSE: CVX) Ortho Hi-Power Ant, Roach & Spider Killer are examples of effective roach killers. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons).
6. Get Educated on Radiation
Knowing how much radiation your shelter can withstand can be a great survival tool. The largest threat is not the initial radiation from the explosion, which spreads a short distance and would only affect areas where people will have already been killed by the blast or heat. Rather, the residual radiation or fallout is the most dangerous aspect of the explosion.
Radiation fallout may rain down in the form of black soot, contaminating anything it touches. It is extremely fatal. Staying indoors, shielding oneself from gamma rays, which can travel miles at a time, is crucial.
7. Reinforce Shelter
Reinforcing one's shelter can stop fallout debris from piling on you and your family, reducing the amount of radiation you're exposed to. Stacking dirt, snow, wood, rock or steel are all somewhat effective at reducing radiation penetration.
Use high-density materials to protect from gamma radiation when walking around in a fallout contaminated area. Utilizing low-density materials will protect from alpha radiation from the initial blast, which could boost survival rates for those located near ground zero.
8. Ration Supplies
Establish a system of rationing food and water, preparing yourself and family for a worst case scenario. You should ration your food in a manner that it lasts at least a month.
9. Hunt for Food (if you must)
Post-blast, matters could deteriorate, forcing you to leave your shelter -- something that is NOT advised. If you must go outside to hunt for food or look for help, wear as much clothing as possible. This includes a coat, hat and gloves. The V.F. Corporation's (NYSE: VFC) North Face line offers several options.
Beggars can't be choosers following a nuclear attack, so prepare yourself to feast on pigeon, rabbit and other readily available sources of protein. These can be killed with a BB gun or crossbow. Remember to skin the animal before you eat. (Photo: WikiHow)
10. Monitor Radio
Constantly monitor radio broadcasts for updates on the outside world. Be attentive to details by keeping track of where the center of the nuclear blast(s) are located, as well as if there is any threat of subsequent attacks. Pending extraneous circumstances, do not leave your shelter until authorities give the sign that things are safe.
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