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Thinking now about the unthinkable Hawaii false alarm reveals how unprepared most of us are for nuclear attack.

ItAaAeAeAEs likely conversations were taking place all across the count after the false alarm about a ballistic missile threat in Hawaii: What would you do if that happened here?

We had that conversation at the Daily Herald among a group of editors. Most were not prepared to answer, with one quipping that heAaAeAeAEd pop op a bottle of wine and wait it out.

And if you were in the path of a nuclear strike, thatAaAeAeAEs about all y could do. But if you werenAaAeAeAEt at ground zero, hopefully you have someo nearby like one of our editors who has done some homework on the topic.

It certainly is true that the Hawaii false alarm on Saturday highlighted how ill-prepared all of us are for a nuclear attack.

If thereAaAeAeAEs an attack and youAaAeAeAEre in the center of impact, there is much you can do to survive. But if youAaAeAeAEre outside that zone, the is a lot you can do to protect yourself and your family. You just have to learn now what you must do; if there were an attack, there wouldnAaAeAe be time to figure it out then.

There are some common-sense government recommendations at

According to the government website, the three factors for protecting oneself from radiation and fallout are distance, shielding and time.

* Distance AaAeAeAu the more distance between you and the fallout particle the better. An underground area such as a home or office building basement offers more protection than the first floor of a building.

* Shielding AaAeAeAu the heavier and denser the materials AaAeAeAu thick walls, concr bricks, books and earth AaAeAeAu between you and the fallout particles, t better.

* Time AaAeAeAu fallout radiation loses its intensity fairly rapidly. In tim you will be able to leave the fallout shelter. Radioactive fallout poses the greatest threat to people during the first two weeks, by which time it has declined to about 1 percent of its initial radiation level.

Other sources say to wait through two waves of the blast before getting up and to shield your hands from being contaminated by radiation so you can use them to clean up.

Most likely, youAaAeAeAEll never need to use these safety tips. But if y do need them, knowing them now could save your life and the lives of your loved ones.

The Hawaii false alarm and another one Tuesday in Japan, while scary to those who received them, also remind us that we must plan for the unthinkable.LETAaAeAeAES TA

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Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Geographic Code:1U9HI
Date:Jan 17, 2018
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