Tuesday, October 9, 2012


This will be a different kind of article than I normally post, and every one reading this should take seriously the possibility of a disaster, including a nuclear explosion. 

Since I live near military installations on the West coast, this article will mainly apply to a nuclear attack, but is useful for other kinds of disasters. Regarding a nuclear attack, this article will acquaint you with the need for Potassium Iodide tablets to ward off thyroid cancer which results from nuclear radiation, and also learn where you can purchase Radiation detection stickers used by nuclear plant workers and government agencies. However, the precautions, procedures and list of items to store mentioned in the article can prove essential for all kinds of disasters, especially if grocery stores are unable to stock their shelves; further, if there is rioting in the streets and it’s too dangerous to go out. I was in Los Angeles during the 1960 Watts riot, and we couldn't leave our homes to even go to the grocery store because of snipersand we were miles from Watts. To survive, we had to rely on whatever we had in the house. 

Every family should take this seriously and PREPARE NOW!

To read previous articles now archived, scroll down in the right-hand column to see the list.


In case you’re wondering what a dirty bomb is [we all know what a nuclear bomb is], here is the definition: It contains radioactive material plus conventional explosives. It contaminates the area around the explosion with radioactive material. It has less lethal effect than a nuclear bomb and geographically spreads over less distance. Dirty bombs produce radionuclides other than radioactive iodine."(2)

What should your first response be? What can you expect?
Depending on how close you are to the blast, the first thing you will be aware of is a blinding bright flash. Before the radioactive fallout arrives, you will first be subjected to blast and thermal energy. “Duck and cover” is the best strategy to avoid flying debris and will minimize thermal burns. You will then receive tornado strength winds. Get away from your windows and seek cover under solid objects. If you are outside in the open, laying flat reduces your chances by 8 times of being hit by flying debris.

When will it arrive?
“A very large 500 kiloton blast, 2.2 miles away, will arrive in about 8 seconds after the detonation flash with a very strong three second wind blast. That delay is even greater further away. That is a lot of time to duck and cover. You should stay down for 2 minutes. If not near any 'ground zero' target you will only, like the vast majority, have to deal with the fallout later.”(1)

What should your second response be? 
If you are close enough to a shelter, then this should be your first response. Anything below ground, e.g., basement, or anything made of concrete, such as commercial buildings, schools, churches, below ground parking garages, large and long culverts, tunnels. These are the best protection. If you have no access to any of these, most counties have shelter locations that will be announced on TV and radio. However, if electricity is out, your only source of knowing where they are may be your battery-operated radio. (Don’t try calling the Red Cross or county officials ahead of time and asking them to tell you where these shelters are. They won’t tell you. They will only reveal it at the time the emergency arises.)

“For an expedient last-minute basement shelter, push a heavy table that you can get under into the corner that has the soil highest on the outside. The ground level outside ideally needs to be above the top of the table shelter inside. If no heavy table is available, you can take internal doors off their hinges and lay them on supports to create your 'table'. Then pile any available mass atop and around the other two open sides such as books, wood, cordwood, bricks, sandbags, heavy appliances, full file cabinets, full water containers, your food stocks, even boxes and pillow cases full of anything heavy, like earth. Everything you can pile up and around it has mass that will help absorb and stop more radiation from penetrating inside - the heavier the better. However, be sure to reinforce your table and supports so you do not overload it and risk collapse.”(1) [This referenced website contains illustrations.]

Radiation's effect on food and water containers. Any such items having fallout dust on them can later be wiped off and the contents will be fine. 

THE ONE MAJOR EFfect from radiation you can prevent 

Thyroid Cancer 
The common physical effect of a nuclear bomb is "thyroid cancer." There are obviously other effects from radiation, but this is one you can counteract. But, do not start taking tablets until local health authorities tell you to, or unless the blast is so close that your common sense tells you to. Just don't panic and take them needlessly ahead of time, as there can be possible side-effects (mentioned below).

If you are not in a shelter and the fallout has not arrived yet, besides using your "N95 particulate respirator masks" and "hooded rain ponchos," (see list at end), you should take "Potassium Iodide tablets" to prevent the radioactive iodine in the bomb from harming your thyroid. But do so only when health officials say you should start. Radioactive iodine is a major product of nuclear weapons explosions. (WARNING: Check with your doctor first, before ordering any, to be sure there is no medical reason you should not take these tablets in the case of a disaster emergency. And definitely do not take if you are allergic to iodine)
Note “Potassium iodide cannot protect against any other causes of radiation poisoning.
Dirty bombs produce radionuclides other than radioactive iodine

Iodine Tablet History
The Chernobyl nuclear accident. Some areas with heavy nuclear fallout after Chernobyl were not given potassium iodide supplements, and others were. Two decades later, studies show that the rate of thyroid cancer among populations given potassium iodide soon after the accident were the same as the rate among populations that were not affected by Chernobyl. However, populations that were affected by Chernobyl, but were not given the supplement, have shown epidemic experiences of thyroid cancer.”(2)

Potassium Iodide tablets
These tablets are commonly referred to as IOSAT or KI or KI03. Shelf life is 7 years. DO NOT CONFUSE THIS WITH BOTTLED TINCTURE OF IODINE, WHICH MUST NOT BE TAKEN INTERNALLY.
Available on the Internet, the tablets usually come in strips of 14 individually foil-sealed tablets. Fourteen will only last 14 days. You are to only take one a day (each pill lasts 24 hours). You should anticipate stocking enough for at least 90 or 100 days supply per person; however, local Emergency officials will tell you when the danger is over and you may not need to continue taking them.
The tablets come in either 130, 65, or 35 mg. (pills can be split, if needed)

Dosage per day according to age groupsDO NOT OVERDOSE!
Age less than 1 month old ...............16 MG per day
Age 1 month - 36 months old .............32 MG per day
Age 3 years - 12 years old ..............65 MG per day
Age 12 - 18 years who weigh less than 150 pounds ..... 65 MG per day
Age 12 - 18 years who weigh more than 150 pounds .....130 MG per day
Adults over 18 years old ................ 130 MG per day”(2)

Are there side-effects to taking the tablets? Possibly. Especially if you overdose. May include skin rashes, swelling of the salivary glands, and "iodism" (metallic taste, burning mouth and throat, sore teeth and gums, symptoms of a head cold, and sometimes stomach upset and diarrhea).
Although not common, a few people have an allergic reaction with more serious symptoms.  These could be fever and joint pains, or swelling of parts of the face or body and at times severe shortness of breath requiring immediate medical attention.  If side effects are severe, stop taking it and seek medical help. In even rarer circumstances, taking a potassium iodide supplement can cause overactivity of the thyroid gland, underactivity of the thyroid gland, or enlargement of the thyroid (goiter). The probability of side-effects increases with age, particularly after age 40. 

It is of no use to take a larger dose. Your thyroid is able to hold only so much of the iodide, so to take more than your thyroid can "take" gives you the side-effects with no benefit. (See http://tinyurl.com/4m2bc8 and scroll down) 

If you have no tablets, use “tincture of iodine” (externally only). (Do not use if you are allergic to iodine)
If you do not have the tablets, you should have on hand tincture of iodine to topically put on the skin, or Betadine (brand name of iodine used to clean minor wounds and used in hospitals to prepare a patient’s skin prior to surgery). In the case of a nuclear bomb, it is not quite as effective as the tablets, but still effective. (MUST NOT BE TAKEN INTERNALLY).

“For adults, paint 8 ml of a 2 percent tincture of Iodine on the abdomen or forearm each day, ideally at least 2 hours prior to possible exposure. For children 3 to 18, but under 150 pounds, only half that amount painted on daily, or 4 ml. For children under 3 but older than a month, half again, or 2 ml. For newborns to 1 month old, half it again, or just 1 ml. (One measuring teaspoon is about 5 ml, if you don't have a medicine dropper graduated in ml.) If your iodine is stronger than 2%, reduce the dosage accordingly. Absorption through the skin is not as reliable a dosing method as using the tablets, but tests show that it will still be very effective for most. Do not use if allergic to iodine. If at all possible, inquire of your doctor NOW if there is any reason why anybody in your household should not use KI or KIO3 tablets, or iodine solutions on their skin, in a future nuclear emergency, just to be sure.(3)

Iodide crystals. You can also buy the crystals (you add water), which is less expensive than the tablets. However, be aware, I’m told that it tastes terrible. You will have to put it in a glass of juice or milk to make it palatable. The liquid claims to work in 17 minutes, whereas the tablets take longer to dissolve. An adult supply for 190 days (25 grams) costs $20 a bottle and can be obtained at www.ThyroidGuard.com. (click on the link on the left that says “Buy Now”). However, 100 grams can be purchased for the same price at http://tinyurl.com/94rq8gb.

I recommend getting the tablets, or crystals, as soon as possible as my understanding is that there will be a lack of availability should a nuclear emergency occur. I have been told that whatever is available will be given to children and younger adults first.

Rad Stickers.  There are also RAD Stickers you can buy for approximately $5.00 each. Used by nuclear workers and government agencies around the world, they are Nuclear Radiation Exposure Determining Dosimeters. They are the size of a postage stamp and you peel and stick them on anything you want. The color changes when you are exposed to radiation. Rad stickers are available at http://www.ki4u.com/products1.php (scroll down on that page); also at http://tinyurl.com/9ejvl8v. They contain sensors and a color bar with 25, 50 and 100 rad bars on its bottom and 200, 400 and 1,000 rad bars on its top for triaging information and to indicate when emergency medical treatment is required.  When exposed to radiation, the sensor of RADSticker develops color instantly.   

The power of radiation and how long it takes to weaken itself.  Radiation (not the fallout) from a nuclear bomb can go right through walls, roofs and protective clothing. The fallout dust, though initially dangerous, loses its intensity quickly. For example, “fallout emitting gamma ray radiation at a rate over 500 RADS/hr (fatal with one hour of exposure) shortly after an explosion, weakens to only 1/10th as strong 7 hours later. Two days later, it's only 1/100th as strong, or as deadly, as it was initially.”(1) Therefore, if you can get to a proper shelter and wait it out, the radiation becomes less dangerous with every passing hour.

Burns. If more than 10% of the body is burned, fluids must be given. Mix 1 tsp table salt and ½ tsp of baking soda in one quart of water. A burned person should drink that much fluid every 6 hours. One gallon of fluid per day at the least. Mix some Jello with it for flavor. Can also use bottled fruit juices.)

Your prescription medicines. Normally, you only buy one month supply at a time unless you are a senior, in which case you may have 3 months supply on hand. However, either way, the best way to have an emergency supply is by doing the following: Every time you get a refill of your meds from your pharmacy, take 1 or 2 pills out and put in separate bottles (be sure to label them) and in time, the supply will build up.

Water: Have LOTS of water stored. Especially if you have dehydrated or freeze dried fruits and vegetables in your storage.

Questionable water? If water is questionable for drinking, use the boiling or bleach treatment described below, or use water purification tablets. This only kills bacterial, not radiation contamination. If, however, your water containers were filled with tap water, stored and covered, there’s no problem. Just clean off the outside. (Stored tap water should be changed every year.)

To purify questionable water "bring it to a roiling boil for 10 minutes at least. If you don't have the fuel to boil it, you can kill the bacteria by mixing in a good quality household bleach at the rate of 10 drops per gallon, and letting it sit for at least 1/2 an hour. The bleach should be at least 5.25% pure, like Clorox, but be sure it has no additives such as soap or fragrance. You can later get rid of the flat taste from boiling, or some of the chlorine taste when using bleach, by pouring it from one container to another several times.”(1)

Water containers: In my town, Walmart carries 5 gallon (also 3 gal) water bottles with lids. However, they have the narrow neck opening, which if you have to fill it under your bathtub faucet, you might have a problem aiming the flow of water in and need to hold the bottle tilted. Emergency Essentials also carries these containers, but they have the wide mouths, which makes it much easier to fill.

Food supplies. If you have a small apartment or condo, storage of dehydrated or freeze-dried cans will take up less room. The freeze-dried products (more expensive) taste better, although there are certain dehydrated products that taste pretty good, like dehydrated fruits and potatoes. You can also store wet-packed canned items; but be sure you have a manual can-opener in case the power is off.

If you buy items in bulk, such as oatmeal, beans, rice, flours, etc., Emergency Essentials has 5 gallon containers with special lids that have an inner-circle twisting apparatus so you can dip into the container without taking the secured lid off.

Storing apples  For storing apples up to 3-4 months, go here: http://tinyurl.com/8dfgrwm.

Starting your food supply for $10/week. To see how to do this, go to: http://tinyurl.com/2ts9hq.

Youtube videos.  There are many videos on the subject of nuclear explosions that I wanted to list. There are some on the Hiroshima incident and others including the aftereffects. However, surprisingly, when I went to those videos and tried to play each one, none of them were allowed to play. The fact that every one of them was blocked sure appeared suspicious to me. Maybe the government doesn’t want us to panic?

All the above is only a partial treatment on the subject, but enough to hopefully make you more aware of the necessity of this preparation and at least motivate you to check out other disaster emergency websites for more detailed instructions.


Analyze your own eating needs. Example: If you are lactose intolerant, you probably won’t want the milk (unless you have a supply of lactaid pills on hand). If you are gluten intolerant, you won’t want to store wheat products.

Have cash on hand
Largest bags of rice, beans, flour, potatoes, pasta, quick oats and other grains
Multiple big boxes of dried milk
Multiple big boxes of pancake and biscuit mix & syrup
Large bag of sugar and jar of honey
Large 2 gallons or more of cooking oil
Baking powder & soda & yeast & spice assortment pack
Bottled water (especially if home supplies not secured yet)
Paper or plastic plates/bowls/cups/utensils and paper towels
Quality manual can opener, 2 if you don't already have one at home
Kitchen matches and disposable lighters
New metal garbage cans and liner bags (water storage & waste storage)
5 gallon bucket and smaller garbage bags sized for it (toilet)
Toilet seat for the bucket (or use one from inside the house if you are in an outside shelter)
Toilet bags  Emergency Essentials has special toilet bags with an outside lined-bag that once closed, conceals the odor. They also have Enzyme gel packets to put inside each bag that breaks down and deodorizes the waste. (Walmart’s RV section also has these)
Toilet paper and, if needed, sanitary napkins, diapers, etc.
Baby wipes (saves water for personal hygiene use)
Flashlights (ideally LED)
More than one portable radio
Plenty of batteries, at least three sets, for flashlights and radio
Bleach (5.25%, without fragrance or soap additives)
Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide and hand sanitizers
Prescription drugs filled, and as much extra as possible
First aid kits
Water purification tablets (Walmart crries them)
Fire extinguishers
Plenty of inexpensive N95 particulate respirator masks
Plenty of cheap plastic hooded rain ponchos for everyone
Water filters and all other camping type supplies, such as portable camp toilet, cook stove and fuel, ammo, etc., if any sporting goods stocks still available.
And, of course, rolls of plastic sheeting, duct tape, staple guns, staples, etc.
By the way, just to  lighten the mood, the TV show, Mythbusters, just busted the myth that cockroaches can  can survive the radiation of a nuclear holocaust. In an experiment on three insects, cockroaches, flower beetles and fruit flies, the team exposed them to varying amounts of Cobalt-60 radiation. At thirty days, at a radiation dose of 10,000 rads, the flies and beetles performed better than the cockroaches (only 30% of the cockroaches survived), and at 100,000 rads, the flower beetle was the only one who survived. I'm relieved. (see http://tinyurl.com/95qch97)

Until next time!

The next post will be approximately October 23. 



2. http://tinyurl.com/9o3a49a Taken from an Amazon review..    
3. http://tinyurl.com/945u579  

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