Nuclear War
One’s best chances of survival a nuclear attack is to take shelter. In this photo, a leftover fallout shelter sign, one of hundreds in New York, is displayed on a building in New York City, Aug. 11, 2017. Getty Images/ Spencer Platt

The University of Hawaii (UH) on Monday sent out an email to its students and the staff members about how to survive “in the event of a nuclear attack.” The mail spoke about precautionary measures that the students can follow in case President Donald Trump’s demeanor toward the North Korean leader Kim Jung Un leads the later to start a nuclear war between the two nations.

After UH’s email attracted the attention of all the major U.S. outlets, Director of UH system Communications Dan Meisenzahl, defended the content of the email on Tuesday stating despite its alarming subject line.

“Because of recent events I think over the last two or three months, (UH) leadership, including emergency managers and communicators, had been getting inquiries from a variety of different members of our community regarding (the North Korea issue), and were wondering what we were doing about it,” Meisenzahl told local news outlet Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The email stated what the recipients are supposed to do in case of an unlikely scenario that North Korea declares a nuclear attack on the U.S. “For this type of event, the ten campuses of the University of Hawaii will rely on the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency siren system and follow agency instructions on ‘sheltering in place,’” the email said.

It also mentioned a link to the state emergency management website which is working on a plan to prepare for a potential North Korean nuclear attack.

The email could not have been issued at a better time since searches for “how to survive a nuclear attack” skyrocketed on Google in August, after Trump stated at a press conference at his Bedminster, New Jersey, property that North Korea “will be met with fire and fury and frankly power the likes of which the world has never seen before," if it doesn’t stop threatening the U.S. with nuclear power, Newsweek reported.

But can a deadly nuclear attack really be prevented? Probably not, according to Brooke Buddemeier, a health physicist and radiation expert at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

"National planning scenario number-one is a 10-kiloton nuclear detonation in a modern US city," Buddemeier told Business Insider. "A 10-kiloton nuclear detonation is equivalent to 5,000 Oklahoma City bombings. Though we call it 'low-yield,' it's a pretty darn big explosion."

However, one’s best chances of survival a nuclear attack is "Shelter, shelter, shelter," Buddemeier said. "The same place you would go to protect yourself from a tornado is a great place to go."

But it has to be more than just an ordinary shelter, according to Planning Guidance for Response to a Nuclear Detonation, published in 2010 by the National Security Staff Interagency Policy Coordination Subcommittee for Preparedness & Response to Radiological and Nuclear Threats.

Underground bunkers and car parks can do little to protect someone since they would be completely incinerated on the event of such an attack. Only a very deep bunker with incredible levels of blast proofing would come remotely come close to doing the job.

Also, people who would be a few miles away from the exact point of the explosion would have a better chance of surviving it than most. A person standing at least 10 miles away from the point a 10 kiloton bomb is dropped, would have 10 to 15 seconds to take limited protective measures.

“Duck and cover,” a phrase popularly used by many experts, is also a considerably tried and tested method of avoiding injuries from falling buildings, or winds coming in at almost 600mph from a nuclear explosion, but does little to save one from radiation or fire.

The thermal blast will also ignite any inflammable materials or things in its path, which means that it will be wise to get rid of any piece of clothing or accessory that you might be wearing, which is not fire-proof.

Also, the guide advises one to keep one’s mouth open during such an event. This ensures that one’s eardrums do not burst from wind pressure.

Finally, although, the chances of escaping exposure to radiation are almost next to impossible in these cases, one has to keep moving, if one wants to at least try. "Within 20 minutes, it comes straight down,” Professor Irwin Redlener, US specialist on disaster preparedness, said, Mirror reported. “Within 24 hours, lethal radiation is going out with prevailing winds. You've got to get out of there. If you don't get out of there, you're going to be exposed to lethal radiation in very short order.”