Russia reportedly feels imperiled by the presence of an antimissile system in Romania, and its response is not just words. Russia is building new underground nuclear command posts as part of its major strategic arms modernization program.
"Russia is not the only nuclear threat in this age of proliferation," states Jane M. Orient, M.D., president of Physicians for Civil Defense. "The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been aware of the possibility of improvised nuclear devices packing a yield of 10 kilotons (comparable to the Hiroshima bomb) since 2006."
Official federal response has so far consisted of "guidelines," she states. FEMA's RadResponder Network is extremely limited. Most of the instruments the government has for nuclear preparedness are designed for interdiction. These highly sensitive instruments can detect a nuclear device if they come within 50 feet of it, but after a detonation would be worse than useless.
"For civilians, there are no shelters and little-to-no information," she adds. "The most basic knowledge, that could save more lives than anything else, is usually ridiculed if mentioned at all. That is: if you see a bright flash, drop and cover."
Candidates should be asked what they plan to do about civilian protection. "If people are acquiring radiation monitors," Dr. Orient said, "it makes the issue real, not theoretical: What foreign policy should we adopt to prevent provocations that could trigger a war?"
Physicians for Civil Defense distributes information to help to save lives in the event of war or other disaster.
Contact: Jane M. Orient, M.D., (520) 323-3110, firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE Physicians for Civil Defense