Thursday, February 28, 2008

Irwin Redlener

He's a Public Health Doctor with a deep understanding of disaster medicine and medical care. He's also a founder, with Paul Simon of the Children's Health Fund.

He talks about the danger of nuclear holocaust and how lucky we were to have survived the cold war. What is really scary is that most of those weapons are still around! His point here was that virtually every scenario of a nuclear holocaust showed a total destruction of life as we know it. the fact that we told people to hide under desks or build fallout shelters. Every single plan the government suggested was ludicrous. One depended on 4 days notice which obviously would never happen. The point he says is there was a total disconnect with reality.

The really scary thing is what he calls chapter 2 which we're in the midst of now. The idea of an all out war is unlikely, but nuclear terror threats DO exist.
1. The nuclear stockpile is not secure, they can be bought or stolen easily. 18 cases of theft have already been documented. 1300-2100 metric tons of highly enriched uranium are in the global stockpile. Amazingly enough, it takes only about 75 pounds of HEU. Plutonium is no less scary, it takes much less plutonium.
2. The information is readily available on how to build a bomb.
3. Evil-doers are organized, dedicated, "stateless" and "retaliation proof". Al Queda operatives have specifically stated that they have "the right" to kill 4 million Americans, including 2 million children. we, as a country are totally unprepared this kind of attack, both from a prevention perspective and a treatment perspective. Just a small suitcase is all that's needed to carry a bomb. He basically showed us how easy it would be to do.

He feels it's almost inevitable thought there's much more we have to or can do. So what does it mean and who would survive? A bomb in NYC would be insanely devastating. His description of what would happen, from the "nuclear storm" or hurricane, was so scary that almost everyone in the room gasped. You would have 10-15 minutes, IF you survived the blast, to get away from the lethal radiation which will come straight down. If it ever happens, get the hell out of dodge the moment it happens. Get in shelter and stay there if you can't get away. It's critical you find as much information as possible. The really really scary thing is that not one single American city has an evacuation plan. It's not futile, and with some planning we can dramatically impact the survival rate. The key is to get away from the blast as fast and as far as possible. NEVER STARE AT THE CLOUD, DUCK AND COVER, GET AWAY FROM THE INITIAL FALLOUT, MOVE DOWNWIND/CROSSWISE, KEEP YOUR MOUTH OPEN SO THAT YOUR EARDRUMS AREN'T SHATTERED, DECONTAMINATE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE, STAY INSIDE SHELTERS FOR AT LEAST 48-72 HOURS.

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