Why are we even talking about nuclear blasts? It is not happening to us. Why are we concerned with it? This must be your trail of thoughts. Let me start by telling you something that will blow your mind (pun intended).
There are more than 14,900 nuclear weapons in the world. The bigger ones are kiloton-class nukes, which mean they have millions of pounds of TNT. These bombs are way more powerful than the atom bomb dropped on Japan during the World War II. So, the chances of getting bombed by one of these are pretty high. We have already had World Wars I and II, so better prepare yourself and brush up on the basics.
There are two points that you need to keep in mind in case of a nuclear bomb explosion. First, there will be “fallout” after the blast. Second, don’t venture outside when there is hazardous fallout in the atmosphere.
To explain in simple terms, the fallout is radioactive particles that fall to earth after the nuclear explosion. It contains weapon debris and fission products which are created by splitting atoms and they emit gamma radiations. Exposure to this will definitely kill your cells and cause “acute radiation sickness.”
Why shouldn’t you escape in your car? Because the light metal and glass of your car are too weak to protect you from these harmful radiations. The hazardous radioactive material will be floating in the air and your car will fail to provide any protection.
In case you think that you will be able to predict in which direction the fallout will go because it is airborne then there is more bad news. These particles are carried by high altitude winds which often don’t move in the same direction as ground winds.
What you should really do is stay in strong and closed structures. A place that will have the least amount of contact with the outer atmosphere will be the safest. An underground space, the innermost part of a building, or a car parked in a well built concrete parking lot.
Our biggest mistake is that we think that “this cannot happen to me”. It takes only a few seconds to change the status quo once a nuclear bomb is dropped. But the silver lining here is that now you know what to do in such a scenario.