Thursday, August 04, 2005

Dealing with the "N" Word

Those of you who have followed our recent posts are fully aware that we (me and the rest of the rascally Refugees) want to impress upon others the importance of approaching crisis preparedness in a calm and measured way. Doing so, without overtly trying to alarm the townsfolk that the sky is falling, helps you maintain your sparkling credit rating among local merchants and keeps you near the top of the favorite aunt or uncle list and invited to all of the most prestigious extended-family gatherings and group feeds.

That said (many times over these past few weeks), let's politely broach the topic of certain scary scenarios that can too easily become all-consuming personal infernos that keep you up till dawn vacuum-sealing giant plastic buckets of rice and beans.


Today, we'll just start on the first such adrenaline source ...

The "N" Word

Nuclear. There, I said it.

Mankind has been "on the brink" of nuclear annihilation for 60 years now. Scientists who get together to discuss "big bangs" and such when they're between government research grants, have had us holding our collective breath at "minutes before midnight" on the Doomsday Clock for decades now.

Nightmares of death by instant mass vaporization or slow downwind radiation poisoning have been part of growing up for generations. Then, just when it was getting to be the stuff of "so what? It'll never happen," for many folks, the rules change. Now it's not just superpowers, superpower has-beens, and superpower wanna-bes that conceal-carry fission-bomb weapons of self-defense, but criminal gangs and terror feudalists are said to be wielding or bidding for "respect" as well.

Of course, there's also the "flipside" of the nuclear coin that can look an awful lot like the "heads" side if you look at it just a bit askance. The mostly beneficial nuclear power plants across the globe that are firing the growth of the global economy, do also have the potential to rain radioactive fear down upon dependent and trusting customers if somehow things go very wrong.

Classic Debate Helps Determine Your Approach

So should you consider the potential for nuclear radiation in your neighborhood someday as you build your framework for personal peace of mind?

Well, you probably have to decide where you stand in the ongoing debate out there about whether nuclear war is survivable (or might the matter really be about whether it OUGHT to be survivable?). There's a lot of emotion on both sides of that argument, and it would be worth looking into for yourself, if you haven't already.

For me, I concluded long ago that there would be many, many folks out there, in the event of any single nuclear detonation or series of detonations that would be very much in need of immediate attention and protection. Without a viable national civil defense program anymore, the U.S. people are very vulnerable in this area. Should we at least have a shot at surviving such an attack? I think so.

Moreover, the danger of nuclear radiation imposing itself upon your outlook is not limited to the fallout from a nuclear weapons burst. A nuclear powerplant accident upwind could possibly result in critical conditions most anywhere in the country today. And sadly, now we have to also acknowledge the potential for small dirty bombs to become a reality and bonafide risk factor.

It comes down to this: if you are undertaking preparedness to counter reasonable risks out there to you and your loved ones, and you covet the peace of mind that comes with reaching a certain level of readiness, then you're probably not going to want to ignore this big hole in your defenses for very long.

More on this next time.

2 comments:

iboya1 said...

iboya checking in

gappedout said...

the threat of harm due to nuclear radiation - be it from bombs or seemingly benign power plants - is very real...

there are very few places left untouched by nuclear power...

This list of power plants makes it easy to see just how pervasive they are...

while it is true that, just as with mass air travel, there have been very few incidences of harm, death or destruction at the hands of this technology, there is always the potential for error - both human and computer - to quickly escalate, thereby turning the friendly neighbourhood power generating station from a source of valuable electricity into a source of major catastrophe...

when dealing with any extremely powerful technology such as nuclear power generation, even a small fault in management and disaster mitigation could prove deadly for many people...

it's incredibly easy to improve your odds of overcoming potential issues with ever-present nuclear reactors with a few doses of potassium iodate and a couple of hundred-dollar nbc gas masks (that serve multiple purposes anyway - i'm reminded of a story i read yesterday about someone whose basement had been overcome with hazardous mold due to a leaky pipe - i'm sure the peace of mind when assessing the situation would have been worth the price right there)...

i'm anxiously awaiting your next piece on the subject JCR and will keep an eye out for your thoughts on this important matter... :)

thanks again for taking the time to provide us with answers to such important questions!