Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Carnegie Mellon Professors Question Advice For Nuclear Attacks

Date:
April 11, 2007
Source:
Carnegie Mellon University
Summary:
In the current Fox television adventure series, "24," a terrorist explodes a small nuclear bomb in Los Angeles. In a May 2007 issue of the journal Health Physics, Carnegie Mellon researchers offer simple advice that ordinary citizens can use when faced with such threats.

In the current Fox television adventure series, "24," a terrorist explodes a small nuclear bomb in Los Angeles. In the May 2007 issue of the journal Health Physics, Carnegie Mellon researchers Keith Florig and Baruch Fischhoff offer simple, practical advice that ordinary citizens can use when faced by such threats.

Specifically, the two scientists address the following questions: whether it is worth citizens' time to stock supplies needed for a home shelter, how urgently should one seek shelter following a nearby nuclear detonation, and how long should survivors remain in a shelter after the radioactive dust settles.

Carnegie Mellon's Florig, a senior research engineer and Fischhoff, a university professor, report that many families simply can't afford the government stocking guidelines; they need help to protect themselves.

"A number of emergency-management organizations recommend that people stock their homes with a couple dozen categories of emergency supplies," said Florig of Carnegie Mellon's engineering and public policy department. "We calculated that it would cost about $240 per year for a typical family to maintain such a stock, including the value of storage space and the time needed to tend to it."

Their research also suggests that many families who could afford to follow the stocking guidelines might think twice about whether the investment was really worth it, given the low probability that stocked supplies would actually be used in a nuclear emergency.

"Government websites such as Ready.gov recommend that people take shelter or evacuate following a nuclear blast, but provide no information that might help people determine how much time they have to react before a fallout cloud arrives," said Florig. We advocate a more nuanced message with simple rules for minimizing risk based on how far people are from the blast. If you are within several miles of the blast, there will be no time to flee and you will have only minutes to seek shelter. If you are 10 miles from the blast, you will have 15 to 60 minutes to find shelter, but not enough time to reliably flee the area before the fallout arrives," said Florig.

Finally, the researchers analyze how long people should remain sheltered in a contaminated area before it is riskier to stay than to evacuate.

"The answer depends on how good their shelters are and how long it would take to evacuate. Those who have poor shelters, limited stores and no access to a vehicle will need the most help to escape," according to the researchers.

Understanding these simple rules can help people to plan for themselves and help officials to plan for them.

"More generally, I think our research illustrates how relatively simple analyses that consider citizens' circumstances can help make the best of a bad situation," said Fischhoff, a professor in Carnegie Mellon's social and decision sciences and the engineering and public policy department


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Mellon University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Carnegie Mellon University. "Carnegie Mellon Professors Question Advice For Nuclear Attacks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070410182906.htm>.
Carnegie Mellon University. (2007, April 11). Carnegie Mellon Professors Question Advice For Nuclear Attacks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070410182906.htm
Carnegie Mellon University. "Carnegie Mellon Professors Question Advice For Nuclear Attacks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070410182906.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins