A NUCLEAR BLAST IS THE MOST MANMADE DESTRUCTIVE FORCE ON THE PLANET
​NUCLEAR BLAST
A nuclear blast is an explosion with intense light and heat, a damaging pressure wave, and widespread radioactive material that can contaminate the air, water, and ground surfaces for miles around. A nuclear device can range from a weapon carried by an intercontinental missile launched by a hostile nation or terrorist organization, to a small portable nuclear device transported by an individual. All nuclear devices cause deadly effects when exploded, including blinding light, intense heat (thermal radiation), initial nuclear radiation, blast, fires started by the heat pulse and secondary fires caused by the destruction.
The nuclear threat present during the Cold War has diminished; however, the possibility remains that a terrorist could obtain access to a nuclear weapon. Called improvised nuclear devices (IND), these are generally smaller, less powerful weapons than we traditionally envision. While experts may predict that a nuclear attack is less likely than other types, it is still important to know the simple steps that can save your life and the life of your family.

UNDERSTANDING THE HAZARDS OF A NUCLEAR BLAST 
I think we all understand the destructive effects of a nuclear blast. Those who are close to it will be instantly killed, survivability depends on proximity to the blast and size of the weapon. If you survive the initial blast then these are some of the dangers you will face. 

Electromagnetic Pulse
In addition to other effects, a nuclear weapon detonated in or above the earth’s atmosphere can create an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), a high-density electrical field. An EMP acts like a stroke of lightning but is stronger, faster, and shorter. An EMP can seriously damage electronic devices connected to power sources or antennas. This includes communication systems, computers, electrical appliances, and automobile or aircraft ignition systems. The damage could range from a minor interruption to actual burnout of components. Most electronic equipment within 1,000 miles of a high-altitude nuclear detonation could be affected. Battery-powered radios with short antennas generally would not be affected. Although an EMP is unlikely to harm most people, it could harm those with pacemakers or other implanted electronic devices. See the article on EMP for more in depth info. 

Radioactive Fallout
Even if individuals are not close enough to the nuclear blast to be affected by the direct impacts, they may be affected by radioactive fallout. Any nuclear blast results in some fallout. Blasts that occur near the earth’s surface create much greater amounts of fallout than blasts that occur at higher altitudes. This is because the tremendous heat produced from a nuclear blast causes an up-draft of air that forms the familiar mushroom cloud. When a blast occurs near the earth’s surface, millions of vaporized dirt particles also are drawn into the cloud. As the heat diminishes, radioactive materials that have vaporized condense on the particles and fall back to Earth. The phenomenon is called radioactive fallout. This fallout material decays over a long period of time, and is the main source of residual nuclear radiation.
Fallout from a nuclear explosion may be carried by wind currents for hundreds of miles if the right conditions exist. Effects from even a small portable device exploded at ground level can be potentially deadly.
Nuclear radiation cannot be seen, smelled, or otherwise detected by normal senses. Radiation can only be detected by radiation monitoring devices. This makes radiological emergencies different from other types of emergencies, such as floods or hurricanes. Monitoring can project the fallout arrival times, which will be announced through official warning channels. However, any increase in surface build-up of gritty dust and dirt should be a warning for taking protective measures.

WHAT TO DO BEFORE A NUCLEAR BLAST
The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property in the event of a nuclear blast.

Prepare Long Term Supplies which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries. Have you packed a BUG OUT BAG YET? You may want to prepare a kit for your workplace and a portable kit to keep in your car in case you are told to evacuate. See the various articles on this site and others for ideas to do this. 

Make a Family Emergency Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency. See the article on making these plans. 
Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.

Knowing your community's warning systems and disaster plans, including evacuation routes.
Find out from officials if any public buildings in your community have been designated as fallout shelters. If none have been designated, make your own list of potential shelters near your home, workplace and school. These places would include basements or the windowless center area of middle floors in high-rise buildings, as well as subways and tunnels.If you live in an apartment building or high-rise, talk to the manager about the safest place in the building for sheltering and about providing for building occupants until it is safe to go out.

Taking shelter during a nuclear blast is absolutely necessary. There are two kinds of shelters - blast and fallout. The following describes the two kinds of shelters:
Blast shelters are specifically constructed to offer some protection against blast pressure, initial radiation, heat and fire. But even a blast shelter cannot withstand a direct hit from a nuclear explosion.
Fallout shelters do not need to be specially constructed for protecting against fallout. They can be any protected space, provided that the walls and roof are thick and dense enough to absorb the radiation given off by fallout particles.

WHAT TO DO IN THE EVENT OF A NUCLEAR BLAST
If the threat of a Nuclear attack is imminent take shelter immediately. Place as many walls and layers of soil between you and the the outside. Make sure to listen for instructions from goverment agencies on what to do next. Make sure you are prepared to stay in place for at least 24 hours. Remember Radiation levels are very high after a blast but they will reduce rapidly. If you have access to a Geiger counter use it to test radiation levels outside. 

If you are caught outside and unable to get inside immediately:
Do not look at the flash or fireball - it can blind you.

Take cover behind anything that might offer protection.


Lie flat on the ground and cover your head. If the explosion is some distance away, it could take 30 seconds or more for the blast wave to hit.
Take shelter as soon as you can, even if you are many miles from ground zero where the attack occurred - radioactive fallout can be carried by the winds for hundreds of miles. Remember the three protective factors: Distance, shielding and time.


If you were outside during or after the blast, get clean as soon as possible, to remove radioactive material that may have settled on your body.
Remove your clothing to keep radioactive material from spreading. Removing the outer layer of clothing can remove up to 90% of radioactive material.


If practical, place your contaminated clothing in a plastic bag and seal or tie the bag. Place the bag as far away as possible from humans and animals so that the radiation it gives off does not affect others.


When possible, take a shower with lots of soap and water to help remove radioactive contamination. Do not scrub or scratch the skin.
Wash your hair with shampoo or soap and water. Do not use conditioner in your hair because it will bind radioactive material to your hair, keeping it from rinsing out easily.


Gently blow your nose and wipe your eyelids and eyelashes with a clean wet cloth. Gently wipe your ears. If you cannot shower, use a wipe or clean wet cloth to wipe your skin that was not covered by clothing.


WHAT TO DO AFTER A NUCLEAR BLAST
Decay rates of the radioactive fallout are the same for any size nuclear device. However, the amount of fallout will vary based on the size of the device and its proximity to the ground. Therefore, it might be necessary for those in the areas with highest radiation levels to shelter for up to a month.The heaviest fallout would be limited to the area at or downwind from the explosion and 80 percent of the fallout would occur during the first 24 hours. 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.
 
Returning to Your Home
Remember the following when returning home:
Keep listening to the radio and television for news about what to do, where to go and places to avoid.
Stay away from damaged areas. Stay away from areas marked “radiation hazard” or “HAZMAT.” Remember that radiation cannot be seen, smelled or otherwise detected by human senses.

i hope the day never comes where we have to face this form of disaster. I encourage all of you to prepare for it. Become familiar with any potential threats in your area and plan accordingly. I hope you have found this article helpful. Please check out the other articles on this site to help you prepare for this and other disasters