Nuclear War Shelter Strategies Calculated by Mathematician

Nuclear War Shelter Strategies Calculated by Mathematician

Mathematician Michael B. Dillon has published research to help spread knowledge on how to survive a nuclear war.

One of my longest standing fears is of being caught in a nuclear explosion. You can blame Terminator 2 for that. Granted, you should probably lay it on my parents for letting me watch it at the tender age of six, but even had I been older I'm pretty sure its nuclear attack sequence would have left me pretty freaked out. Suffice it to say that I spent years scared that someone was going to drop a nuke on me despite the fact that I lived in Canada, probably the last country in the world people want to bomb.

Despite this being a persistent fear of mine however, I'm still pretty clueless as to what I would actually do if I was out buying donuts and someone actually did drop the big one. And I'm far from alone. Despite the Cold War, terrorism and cheating missile controllers, most people would be in the same doomed boat as me. To Michael B. Dillon this was a problem that had to be solved. So he did.

A mathematician, Dillon used his skills to research and calculate effective shelter strategies to help people in nuclear war zones maximize their chances of avoiding the after effects of a nuclear war. The key, according to his research, is knowing the quality of your current shelter, the location of better shelter and how quickly you need to move after the feces hits the fan. "For the case in which individuals move to an adequate shelter that can be reached within 15 min, individuals should stay in a poor-quality shelter for at most 30 min after the detonation," wrote Dillon. "If adequate shelter is available nearby (within 5 min), then poorly sheltered individuals should immediately proceed to the better shelter." The full extent of Dillon's findings can be found in his report. Take a peek and then maybe spend some time considering your own options. After all, we never know when the robots are going to turn against us.

Source: Gizmodo

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Here in NL we don't have shelters, AFAIK...
So my house will be my shelter.

Given my proximity to Amsterdam I am likely to die within a few hours of radiation poisoning, no matter what.

I live in San Diego County, where the San Diego Harbor is one of the main naval shipping areas in the country. Not to mention that Camp Pendelton is not even that far from the harbor.
Yeah, I'm pretty much screwed either way, and not to mention that we have a nuclear plant a bit north as well.

From QI:

Stephen Fry: "What is the best place to be when a nuclear bomb goes off?"

Jimmy Carr: "Nagasaki. They'll never think to hit it a second time."

On a serious note: What's the point of owning a bomb shelter when society is obliterated all around you?

StewShearer:
"For the case in which individuals move to an adequate shelter that can be reached within 15 min, individuals should stay in a poor-quality shelter for at most 30 min after the detonation," wrote Dillon. "If adequate shelter is available nearby (within 5 min), then poorly sheltered individuals should immediately proceed to the better shelter."

This rather assumes the people who're already inside the better shelter are prepared to open the door. Regardless of if the radiation levels are safe that early on in the fallout period, good luck explaining that to the guys on the other side of the bulkhead...

Kolyarut:

StewShearer:
"For the case in which individuals move to an adequate shelter that can be reached within 15 min, individuals should stay in a poor-quality shelter for at most 30 min after the detonation," wrote Dillon. "If adequate shelter is available nearby (within 5 min), then poorly sheltered individuals should immediately proceed to the better shelter."

This rather assumes the people who're already inside the better shelter are prepared to open the door. Regardless of if the radiation levels are safe that early on in the fallout period, good luck explaining that to the guys on the other side of the bulkhead...

The actual study does mention that you'd probably want to adjust times and make considerastions for things like fires, traffic and the general douchebaggery of people.

Kenjitsuka:
Here in NL we don't have shelters, AFAIK...
So my house will be my shelter.

Given my proximity to Amsterdam I am likely to die within a few hours of radiation poisoning, no matter what.

We do still have old bomb shelters lying around. Its better then nothing, but you'll never get me to go into one of those, those things are creepy as all hell man.

I have no idea how to grade shelters, I'd be stuffed simply trying to determine whether to move or not.

If you have no time to head to a shelter just remember; go prone, with your feet towards the blast, close your eyes, exhale (the soundwave may damage your lungs), keep your mouth open (it will even the pressure with your ears, reducing the chances of busting your eardrums), preferably biting something soft (but i guess something adequate would be hard to find if you dont have much time), keep your limbs wide, dont stick them to your body, if youre too close to the nuclear blast; the heat may weld your limbs to your chest.
Immediately after exposure, cover your mouth and nose, and any wound you may have, and head to the safe predesignated place, if you cant then going away from the explosion will not help you if you cant find any help (and chances are the rest of the victims wont help you), so bear with me and search for a way to put an end to your suffering.

At least, thats what i learned from the Fallout 1 guide... (it was obviously copied form a real guide)

StewShearer:
Nuclear Snip

No no no... We know now the machines are gonna BSOD before the robot revolution can get very far. If the nuclear war is gonna come out, it'll be done by human hands, because..."war never changes".

Clowndoe:
On a serious note: What's the point of owning a bomb shelter when society is obliterated all around you?

It probably wouldn't be. The most likely scenario is no longer the all-out nuclear exchange we were worried about in the '70s, but a single nuclear device from a rogue nation or terrorist group. (Or Cobra.)

The more you know... http://www.ready.gov/nuclear-blast

Valderis:

We do still have old bomb shelters lying around. Its better then nothing, but you'll never get me to go into one of those, those things are creepy as all hell man.

Creepier than having your hair fall out, developing sores and lesions all over your body, vomiting blood, becoming too weak and nauseous to stand or even talk, and then dying?

Actually, really old underground bunkers are probably more likely to contain high concentrations of radon, so that might not actually be the greatest option either.

Olas:

Valderis:

We do still have old bomb shelters lying around. Its better then nothing, but you'll never get me to go into one of those, those things are creepy as all hell man.

Creepier than having your hair fall out, developing sores and lesions all over your body, vomiting blood, becoming too weak and nauseous to stand or even talk, and then dying?

Actually, really old underground bunkers are probably more likely to contain high concentrations of radon, so that might not actually be the greatest option either.

Come on man, I'd rather face all of that then the horror that lies waiting in those old bunkers... Spiders!

Having seen Threads on Youtube, it's arguably better NOT to survive a nuclear warfare. Even if you survive, you'll most likely get radiation sickness, supplies of medicine to keep radiation at bay will either have been looted or simply used up. (Radiation sickness is a truly horrible way to die.)

There will be very little law and order, and any law enforcement will be nothing short of brutal.

Food and drink will be completely destroyed, hoarded or contaminated with radiation.

Money will be worth absolutely nothing. Almost all institutions will cease to exist, schools will be gone. So teaching quality will be truly abysmal.

As a result of all this, any children born will be born with severe birth defects or deformities and with little education, they will grow up mentally stunted. With even our own language and culture being discarded or forgotten.

In essence, you have been bombed truly, back to the stone age. As to whether or not to live in that - I'd have to say "no thanks."

Gunner 51:
Having seen Threads on Youtube, it's arguably better NOT to survive a nuclear warfare. Even if you survive, you'll most likely get radiation sickness, supplies of medicine to keep radiation at bay will either have been looted or simply used up. (Radiation sickness is a truly horrible way to die.)

The main issue with threads and in truth almost all nuclear warfare films is that they fail to show the periphery of the attacks. Though of course when I say periphery of the attacks I mean semi-rural small to medium sized towns that lack and industrial, transportation or military targets nearby. And yes this does exclude most of the UK.

exobook:

Gunner 51:
Having seen Threads on Youtube, it's arguably better NOT to survive a nuclear warfare. Even if you survive, you'll most likely get radiation sickness, supplies of medicine to keep radiation at bay will either have been looted or simply used up. (Radiation sickness is a truly horrible way to die.)

The main issue with threads and in truth almost all nuclear warfare films is that they fail to show the periphery of the attacks. Though of course when I say periphery of the attacks I mean semi-rural small to medium sized towns that lack and industrial, transportation or military targets nearby. And yes this does exclude most of the UK.

Ah fair enough. I guess my views are somewhat skewed by the fact I've not ever lived in a city. But I'd always imagined a small town or a rural area would just get completely obliterated with no survivors whatsoever. Still, one has to admit - that nuclear wars are the stuff of nightmares.

Gunner 51:

exobook:

Gunner 51:
Having seen Threads on Youtube, it's arguably better NOT to survive a nuclear warfare. Even if you survive, you'll most likely get radiation sickness, supplies of medicine to keep radiation at bay will either have been looted or simply used up. (Radiation sickness is a truly horrible way to die.)

The main issue with threads and in truth almost all nuclear warfare films is that they fail to show the periphery of the attacks. Though of course when I say periphery of the attacks I mean semi-rural small to medium sized towns that lack and industrial, transportation or military targets nearby. And yes this does exclude most of the UK.

Ah fair enough. I guess my views are somewhat skewed by the fact I've not ever lived in a city. But I'd always imagined a small town or a rural area would just get completely obliterated with no survivors whatsoever. Still, one has to admit - that nuclear wars are the stuff of nightmares.

Actually the small town and rural area (providing your not near a military, industrial or transport target) is probably the best place to be during the attack period (e.g. the period when the missiles are flying). In the after attack situation you would suffer from fallout like the rest and you would probably receive the lowest amount of aid but probably in the long term highest demands for labour during 'reconstruction' but your initial survival rate would be higher.

As you can tell picking my dissertation topic on nuclear warfare and civil defence is paying off.

exobook:

Actually the small town and rural area (providing your not near a military, industrial or transport target) is probably the best place to be during the attack period (e.g. the period when the missiles are flying). In the after attack situation you would suffer from fallout like the rest and you would probably receive the lowest amount of aid but probably in the long term highest demands for labour during 'reconstruction' but your initial survival rate would be higher.

As you can tell picking my dissertation topic on nuclear warfare and civil defence is paying off.

I'd probably be well and truly buggered, because there's some big manufacturing places nearby which make airplanes and cars. Though dying from the blast or falling rubble might be a blessing in disguise if you're as pessimistic about the reconstruction phase as I am.

Given how the ground would be irradiated and the country would be in the grip of a nuclear winter, growing any kind of crop would be nigh-on impossible. Starvation would be another threat the people would have to go through. Possibly drought, if there's no water sources nearby.

While I bring up water, disease would also make a nasty return due to lack of sewage and sanitation. The sewers might be OK for a while being underground - but left untreated, the sewage will eventually find it's way into the water sources and slowly kill anything in it as well as make that water unfit for human consumption.

Even in the reconstruction phase, you might have a slim chance at survival, but I'm not sure I'd want to call it living. (Oh man, I sound like such a millenial when I say that.)

With all the misery that a nuclear bomb brings, I am suprised why any nation state would even entertain the very notion of nuclear bombs in today's geo-political climate. Especially given how today's enemies are different from yesteryear's enemies - but I guess that's whole other discussion.

 

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