How To Survive The First Hour Of A Nuclear Blast / Fallout! DEBUNKED

emergency alert ballistic missile threat

inbound to Hawaii seek immediate shelter

this is not a drill this message from

the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency

flooded the cell phones of locals in

Hawaii on January 13th 2018 those

listening to the radio or watching TV

were told if you are indoors stay

indoors if you are outdoors seek

immediate shelter in a building remain

indoors well away from windows if you

are driving pull safely to the side of

the road and seek shelter in a building

or lay on the floor understandably chaos

ensued there were reports of hotels

evacuating residents parents and

children lying underneath mattresses in

bathtubs and people stuck in traffic

abandoning their cars others ignored the

advice to stay indoors and headed to the

beach worrying they could be trapped in

a collapsing building similar to 911 yet

the seconds passed and there was no

missile no explosion no nuclear

annihilation 38 minutes after the

initial emergency broadcast the

following message came through emergency

alert there is no missile threat or

danger to the state of Hawaii

repeat false alarm the whole thing had

been a mistake

someone had selected the wrong option

during a routine check turning a test

scenario into a live scenario but what

if the alert was real the situation has

played out in TV and movies for years

but what would it actually be like and


should you really do will Anouk

automatically obliterate your entire

city will the flash incinerate your

witness where is the safest place to

hide or should you simply I'm Stu

this is debunked and we're here to sort

the troops from the myths and the facts

from the misconceptions fortunately for

most of humanity nuclear weapons have

only ever been used in warfare twice

back in 1945 when the u.s. dropped

atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

in Japan at the end of world war ii was

efficiently preparing for an air raid in

sufis shelters the people calmly awaited

all unaware that already descending upon

them was the atom bomb the first bomb

that fell on Hiroshima codenamed little

boy exploded with the force of between

twelve and fifteen thousand tons of TNT

and immediately wiped out an area of 13

kilometers the fireball it produced was

370 meters across with a surface

temperature of 6,000 degrees Celsius

that's about the same as the surface of

our Sun the results of both bombs were

catastrophic with an estimated 185

thousand deaths as a result of the

attacks perhaps the most miraculous

story that came out of the atomic

bombings is that of stahma Yamaguchi who

saw a bomber in the sky while on a

business trip in Hiroshima on August 6th

1945 when suddenly I thought the Sun had

fallen from the sky he had just enough

time to throw himself into a ditch and

even though he was just three kilometers

away from the center of the blast he

survived albeit seriously burned

temporarily blind and with burst

eardrums he returned home to Nagasaki

just in time to live through this second

atomic bomb three days later this time

he was in an office and once again he

somehow managed to survive in part

thanks to a reinforced stairwell that

reduced the ferocity of the blast in the

building I live it's you to decide

whether he's the luckiest or unluckiest

man in history

yet while mr. Yamaguchi is the only

recognized survivor of both attacks a

documentary in 2006 discovered a further

165 fellow citizens who lived through

both bombings in fact despite the death

and devastation the vast majority of

people living in either city survived

with approximately 71 percent of the

population in Hiroshima and 76 percent

in Nagasaki making it through the attack

this should give us all hope that should

the unthinkable happen we might just

make it out alive now some of you are

probably thinking the nukes have come a

long way since World War two and you

wouldn't be wrong the most powerful

nuclear weapon ever created the Tsar

Bomba was detonated by the USSR in 1961

the blast had produced was 50 megatons

that's more than 3000 Hiroshima's or ten

times the total munitions used in World

War two even if you'd stood 100

kilometers away you'd have got

third-degree burns now I've got some

very bad news and some slightly less bad

news the very bad is that Russia is

currently developing a 100-megaton

nuclear torpedo that's double a Tsar

Bomba if one of those nuclear torpedoes

hit New York City then eight million

people would be killed

however the slightly less bad news is

that back in 2011 when the US government

produced a report looking at how

authorities should respond to a nuclear


they weren't concentrating on such

overpowered weapons instead their focus

was on smaller improvised nuclear

devices or I and DS the sort of device

likely to be used by a terrorist

organization and thus one people like us

are more likely to deal with as the

report itself noted a low-yield

explosion from an IND is quite different

from cold war strategic thermonuclear

detonation scenarios upon which much of

our current understanding and civil

defense planning are based so just how

big could a DIY nuke be

according to the report anywhere up to

ten kilotons which is almost as powerful

as the first atomic bomb dropped on


thus fatalities and casualties are more

likely to number in the tens of


rather than millions I did say it was

slightly less bad news not good news

ultimately though your chances of

survival boiled down to two factors the

yield of the bomb being detonated and

your proximity to Ground Zero and your

immediate response to the attack let's

examine each of these factors in turn

the yield of a nuclear weapon is a

reference to the energy it releases the

bigger the yield the more powerful the

bomb usually given in kilotons or

megatons of TNT

it's the yield of the bomb that will

decide how likely you are to die in an

instant or live to see Mad Max become

your new reality while we're here let's

take a moment to dispel a common

misconception about the damage dealt by

a powerful nuclear bomb it's logical to

assume that a bomb 1000 times more

powerful than another would do 1,000

times the damage but this isn't the case

a bomb 1000 times as powerful as the one

they hit or Oshima would produce an

equally serious blast damage over an

area 130 times as large not 1000 times

as large of course factors like weapon

design whether it explodes on the

surface or in the air the geography of

the location or even just the weather

can have an impact on the ultimate

outcome of the blast looking back again

at Hashima and Nagasaki even though the

second bomb was more powerful the hills

around Nagasaki helped absorb some of

the damage leading to fewer casualties

so let's take a look at the scenario

considered most likely the detonation of

a ten kiloton nuclear device for the

sake of argument we'll say Ground Zero

is here Centrepointe in London and the

bomb is detonated at surface level the

yellow circle is the fireball which has

a radius of about 200 meters for our

relatively modest bomb remember the

surface temperature of the fireball is

similar to that of our Sun needless to

say getting caught within this area

means a

extremely quick death the red circle is

what I like to call the super shockwave

here the pressure of the blast is so

great that most buildings are destroyed

and while humans can physically

withstand the pressure the

hurricane-force winds combined with the

flying debris mean almost all people in

this area are killed for our iron D this

is 470 meters from the center of the

explosion moving further out we see the

extent of the blue circle which

illustrates the medium strength

shockwave you're likely to find most

residential buildings have collapsed

numerous fatalities and extensive

injuries amongst those who have managed

to survive we're now approaching almost

one kilometer from Ground Zero at one

point to five kilometers we're reaching

the limit of the extreme radiation

within this green circle people are

absorbing doses of radiation 800 times

greater than the average American is

exposed to in an entire year what this

means in practice is death rates of

between 50 to 90 percent from radiation


leading to painful deaths lasting

anywhere from just a few hours to

several weeks expect to suffer from

nausea and headaches to begin with

followed by your hair falling out

bleeding and increased chance of

infection if you make it beyond the

first few days then finally the orange

circle which extends just over one point

four kilometres from Ground Zero shows

the thermal radiation produced by the

blasts people caught in the open as far

as two miles away suffered flash burns

yet protection could have been easily


here a bridge post and rail shielded the

surface behind it

any solid material afforded similar

protection the heat is so intense that

third-degree burns are almost inevitable

these can be fatal in themselves or

require amputation even beyond this area

first and second degree burns are likely

due to the immense heat all tolled an

area of 6.2 square kilometres would have

been decimated by the hypothetical IND

approximately 30,000 people would have

died with 75,000 more injured some

estimates the death toll in such densely

populated areas are far more distressing

coming in at 100,000 according to urban

redlener director of the National Center

for disaster preparedness at Columbia

University even at 13 kilometers there's

between a 10 to 20 percent chance of

dying instantly from a ten kiloton

device so let's take a look at a second

scenario what would happen if the Tsar

Bomba had been detonated in the same

place in London unsurprisingly a bomb

5,000 times more powerful produces

annihilation with over 4.5 million

estimated fatalities and 3 million

injured the thermal radiation from the

fireball even gets close to Oxford and

Cambridge it's probably best not to

think what those doomsday torpedoes the

Russians are currently working on could

do regardless of how powerful the bomb

is if you get caught in this area your

chances of survival are going to take a

significant hit within reaching rock

bottom if you happen to be unlucky

enough to find yourself close to the

fireball at Ground Zero

so make matters worse we haven't even

looked at the effects of nuclear fallout

yet but fear not because this is where

knowing what to do in the first hour of

a nuclear attack might just mean the

difference between life and death right

so now it's time to take a look at the

second factor that would determine your

chances of survival how you respond to

the attack

an atom bomb destroys or injures in

three ways by blast heat and

radioactivity these then are the weapons

of the atom bomb that we must protect

again according to Jeff Schlegel Milch

deputy director at the National Center

for disaster preparedness if you see a

nuclear flash the first thing to do is

get behind a barrier in case the

shockwave comes bear in mind the shock

wave is traveling at hundreds of

kilometers an hour so you won't have

long to find cover

when Yamaguchi took shelter in a nearby

ditch however the shockwave lifted him

up off the ground spun him around like a

tornado and threw him into a nearby

field radiation safety specialist Brooke

Budd Maya recommends sheltering behind

something they structurally sound when I

think of where I would go for protection

from prompt effects and from the blast

wave in particular I think of the same

kinds of things that we do for tornadoes

be in an area where if there's a

dramatic jolt things aren't going to

fall on you if you do manage to survive

the shock wave things sadly don't get

much easier it's now a real race against

time essentially when the bomb goes off

the explosion creates an immense amount

of dust and debris which combined with

the radioactive products a result from

the nuclear reaction at the heart of the

bomb this radioactive dirt is drawn

upward into the sky by the intense heat

this is where you'll usually see the

distinctive mushroom cloud however as

those radioactive particles cool they

make their way back to the ground and

that fallout means trouble for you you

will have some time to take action to

keep you and your family safe the

biggest thing get inside stay inside and

stay tuned the likelihood is they all

have somewhere between 10 to 20 minutes

to find shelter to make matters worse

you might also be blind turns out

explosions that are basically miniature

Suns are a bit overwhelming for your

eyesight fortunately this lack of vision

should only last about a minute

unfortunately if the attack happens at

night and you're out in the dark the

blindest might last up to 35 minutes for

the sake of argument we'll say our

hypothetical situation takes place

during the day since not being blind

makes it a lot easier to find shelter

I'm also going to assume that you

haven't been preparing for the end of

the world and built your own

state-of-the-art fallout shelter

shouldn't you be in your shelter e knees

by now we haven't got shot very nice

it's a pretty safe assumption even at

the height of the Cold War when nuclear

obliteration haunted everyone's lives it

shall be the policy of this nation to

regard any nuclear missile launched from

Cuba as an attack by the Soviet Union on

the United States less than 2% of

Americans ever actually bothered to

build a bomb shelter or create a safe

space in their basement although that

assumption doesn't apply to Switzerland

which has built around 250,000 shelters

enough to accommodate its entire

population but for the rest of us

there's a good chance you don't have a

spare bunker lying around so where

should you go first off don't stay in

your car the metal doors and glass

windows are going to be way too thin to

protect you from gamma radiation mobile

homes won't offer adequate shelter

either instead try to find a basement or

a larger multi-story building

remembering the key factor is putting as

many thick layers between you and the


we're talking concrete or brick here so

nice looking glass skyscrapers or homes

built out of wood and plaster aren't

your best bets if you're in a city with

a subway system heading deep inside

would also offer a decent level of

protection assuming you've made it

inside somewhere above-ground avoid the

top floors all the fallout is going to

settle on the roof and the whole point

of going inside is to stay as far away

as possible from those pesky dust

particles there are emitting dangerous

levels of gamma radiation which could

lead to radiation poisoning instead get

to the center of the building if there's

time to close off areas where fallout

might enter doors fireplaces air

conditioners windows then do it okay

let's look at a slightly different

scenario one where things didn't go

quite so smoothly this time we've

abandoned our car and sprinted to the

nearest sturdy looking building but

fallout might be starting to land around

you if you think it is the best thing to

do is cover your nose and mouth with a

rag and close your eyes stumbling around

like this won't be easy so in the

example it's taken 15 minutes to

actually get inside did any of that fall

out land on you is it in your hair or on

your clothes it might be which means

you're at risk of getting acute

radiation poisoning I don't want to

sound like too much of a pessimist but a

bad sign at this stage is if you've

already started vomiting since your gut

is highly sensitive to radiation puking

is a sign you've absorbed a pretty heavy

dose of the bad stuff and the prognosis

is probably death if you haven't started

hurling everywhere there's plenty of

things you can do to get rid of any

fallouts that might be on you carefully

remove your outer layer of clothing this

can remove 90% of radioactive material

put it in a plastic bag and leave it

somewhere far out of the way take your

time wiping your kids off too quickly

might shake free any radioactive dust

and that's not going to help anyone a

shower would also be quite handy

by all means treat yourself to some soap

and shampoo to help wash yourself off

but avoid using conditioner it will bind

radioactive particles to your hair I'm

afraid your vibrant and glassy hairstyle

is one of the many casualties of a

nuclear disaster even if there's no

shower wash your face hands and any body

parts that were uncovered using a sink

damp cloth or wet wipe again the key is

using plenty of water and taking your

time the last thing you want to do is

scratch yourself and allow radioactive

material to get into your skin by now

it's likely an hour is past which means

that the radioactive fallout outside

will have already decayed by 50% within

the first 24 hours it will have given up

80% of its energy going up to 99 percent

after two weeks but remember if the

radiation was high enough to begin with

that 1% could still be dangerous so

staying indoors for as long as

significantly possible reduces your

chances of contamination according to

the US State Department the importance

of sheltering in place preferably inside

a sealed room for at least the first 48

hours after a nuclear detonation cannot

be overemphasized if you can wait for

government agencies to send help and

listen out for their instructions before

vacating your safe spot if you are

worried about Kim jong-un going

clear a home-made terrorist bomb or

alexa becoming self-aware and starting

world war 3 then you might be interested

in preparing a basic emergency supply

kit chances are though you're not going

to be carrying this with you when

disaster strikes so just remember this

get inside stay inside and stay tuned

and you might just make it thank you for

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