FEMA says don’t forget to protect yourself from Covid while you’re in a fallout shelter
MacIver News Service | Mar. 17, 2022
By Bill Osmulski
Government officials realize it’s not easy to switch from fear of Covid to fear of nuclear war.
“Many people may already feel fear and anxiety about the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). The threat of a nuclear explosion can add additional stress,” according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
DHS is the federal government department responsible for keeping the nation safe from disasters and emergencies. It oversees the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA maintains the website, Ready.gov, which provides tips and advice to the public on how to survive a crisis.
As tensions with Russia approach the boiling point, FEMA updated its page on nuclear explosions just last week.
According to Ready.gov, if you survive the initial blast, your biggest concern will be nuclear fallout. You’ll have at least 10 minutes to find shelter… but don’t forget about Covid!
“Go to the basement or middle of the building. Stay away from the outer walls and roof. Try to maintain a distance of at least six feet between yourself and people who are not part of your household. If possible, wear a mask if you’re sheltering with people who are not a part of your household. Children under two years old, people who have trouble breathing, and those who are unable to remove masks on their own should not wear them,” the website states.
Fallout is most dangerous within the first few hours after detonation, according to FEMA. The website says you should plan on staying inside for 24 hours, maintaining Covid mitigation strategies the entire time.
“Continue to practice social distancing by wearing a mask and by keeping a distance of at least six feet between yourself and people who not part of your household,” FEMA says.
Naturally, your chances of survival are much better if you take time to prepare now. DHS explains many buildings near your daily activities might still be closed because of Covid, limiting your options for immediate shelter.
Put together an emergency supply kit, FEMA advises. That includes masks for everyone above the age of 2.
If you’re stocking a fallout shelter, “set aside items like soap, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol, disinfecting wipes, and general household cleaning supplies that you can use to disinfect surfaces you touch regularly.”
Currently, Covid-19 activity is at its lowest level since last summer according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.