Thank you Greg. It's good to have some knowledge, just in case.

Homeland Security has a website - - with practical suggestions
about storing water and food, and how to shelter for a while. But no

A co n spiracy-theorist friends believes the whole thing is a ploy to
create a "crisis" providing an excuse for military rule. We're a relatively
young country, and we each takes what stands we can to protect what's left
of democracy.

I spend time daily with my gratitude list.

On Aug 9, 2017 12:18 PM, "Greg Nelson" <> wrote:

> I'm actually in the radiation measurement business, so I suppose I ought
> to reply.  However, this is my perspective as an individual and not
> representative of my employer.  Also, this is kind of dire so if that is
> not what you want to read today, consider yourself forewarned.
> First and foremost let's hope it doesn't go there.  But based on your "if
> something dire actually happens" premise, I think the following
> considerations are relevant.
> 1. All indications are that the North Koreans do not (yet) have weapons
> that can survive re-entry or reach the continental US.  This reduces the
> likelihood that a nuclear device will be detonated within the US.  (It does
> nothing to alleviate the pain and suffering of any who live where a device
> is detonated, and I'm not trying to minimize that, but health and safety
> tips for that population are outside my expertise.  It also does not
> eliminate the possibility of a high-atmospheric detonation - see 5 below.)
> 2. Assuming devices (theirs or ours) are detonated in Asia, there will
> definitely be atmospheric fallout.  Depending on the scale of the bombing,
> this might be significantly worse that what was seen during WWII, or it
> might be similar.  However, the levels of radiation reaching the US would
> in any realistic scenario I can think of be not an immediate threat to life
> and health.
> 3. There are two families isotopes of significant impact: iodine and
> cesium.
>    A. For iodine, the largest risk to health will be in the first ~30 days
> due to the very short half life.  Iodine accumulates in the thyroid, and
> one of the common forms of protection is the consumption of potassium
> iodide (KI) tablets (nutritionally similar to salt substitute and possibly
> better for you) to ensure that non-radioactive iodine dominates in the
> bloodstream and the bulk of any radioactive iodine consumed is excreted
> again.  Since KI tablets have a nearly infinite shelf life (as long as
> they're kept dry) there isn't any good reason not to stock up on these.
> (Although as of today, you might very well find the sellers are suddenly
> hiking their prices.)
>   B. For cesium (Cs137) the issue is that it has an extremely long
> half-life, and will be bioaccumulated (it is chemically interchangeable
> with sodium) and do damage over a long period.  In this case, the best
> recommendation I know of is eating as low as you can on the food chain, and
> local.  (Hah, see how this relates to Sustainable Tompkins!?)  The former
> means that you're not eating things that ate things that ate things with
> more and more Cs137 being concentrated all the way up the food chain.  The
> latter means you're getting food from a part of the world that is
> relatively far away from where we've assumed the detonation has occurred.
> I'm not certain whether consuming additional salt (NaCl) or potassium
> iodide may be protective in this situation, but I might speculate that if
> the body has a surplus of sodium and potassium, it might excrete more
> cesium.
> 4. The recommendations above are mostly related to the fission products,
> which are largely similar to what was seen out of Chernobyl and Fukashima.
> Our weapons are (most likely) combined fission/fusion devices, while it's
> less clear that this complex mechanism has been effectively developed by
> North Korea.  I don't have nearly as much information about what is
> typically produced by the fusion portion, other than neutrons.  Neutrons
> are a strictly local phenomenon - once they slow down enough, they will
> generally be absorbed into water, air, etc. and if they don't, they're not
> able to do any damage either (because that absorption is how they'd do
> damage to the body).  I wouldn't say that we can completely ignore this,
> but it's not likely to create the same kind of medium-term byproducts that
> fission will.
> 5. We can't completely discount the atmospheric or stratospheric
> detonation of a nuclear device.  This would also produce fallout which
> would be much more uniform and widespread - both of which mean less
> concentration in any one area.  But there's another immediate impact to
> consider here, and that is the EMP pulse that could disable (temporarily or
> permanently) any sufficiently nearby and unshielded electrical/electronic
> equipment within line-of-sight.  (If you saw the movie "The Day After"
> you'll recognize this concept.)  That could mean massive disruption to
> satellites - presumably the military ones are shielded, but likely most
> public communications, weather, etc. satellites are not explicitly
> protected because of the huge cost of sending any extra weight into space.
> There could also be a significant impact on infrastructure in nearby Asian
> countries, so for example factories in South Korea or Japan might be shut
> down due to power grid outages, rather than due to nuclear radiation.
> 6. Outside of my area of expertise: I would expect massive disruptions to
> the financial markets if a nuclear device were actually detonated in
> warfare.  Also I would be almost surprised if this wasn't used as an excuse
> to declare a state of emergency and a power grab by the federal
> government/executive branch.  How you think makes sense to prepare for
> these I would leave to your own discretion, but I wouldn't ignore these
> risks - food is hard to buy without money or transportation.
> Greg
> On Wed, Aug 9, 2017 at 9:28 AM, Patricia Haines <>
> wrote:
>> Beyond saving seeds, if something dire actually happens, how do we
>> manage? Health and safety tips? Not to be alarmist, just thinking ahead to
>> what might be possible.
> --
> To dither or deliver/Decent deeds don't deceive
> Decide to override/Poor programming
> Gracious gratitude/Sprinkled and spread
> Leading lives of love/And conscience instead
> -- My Love

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