Americans Too Creeped Out by Nuclear Attack to Prepare for It

Never fear — Global Security Newswire reports:

Major cities and other communities in the United States can take a number of preparedness measures to drastically reduce the number fatalities and illnesses that would follow a nuclear strike, a leading nongovernmental organization declared.

Something called Rad Resilient City was created by the Center for Biosecurity of UPMC (the University of Pittsburgh). No indication what Rad means, but Global Security Newswire explains that it’s

… a seven-point checklist … that communities can implement to better protect residents from radioactive fallout after an atomic blast. … starting with obtaining broad community support for nuclear incident preparedness; conducting an ongoing public education campaign on … how people can protect themselves. … The plan also calls for establishing a rapid system for mapping and monitoring radioactive fallout [and] developing strategies and logistics for a large-scale, phased evacuation of a municipality.

… Monica Schoch-Spana, a senior associate at the center. … rejected the assumption that lives cannot be saved after such a catastrophic event. “We must reverse this fatalistic thinking.” she said during the panel discussion.

Here’s a testimonial “Rad Resilient City” from its website.

“UPMC has presented us all with a gift today — they’ve given us this preparedness checklist that can help us go back to our families, our communities, our businesses.” Tammy Taylor, Leader, Nonproliferation Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory

New York City dad to his family: “The Center for Biosecurity has brought us all a wonderful gift.”

Little Emma: “What is it, daddy?”

Dad: “Why, it’s a plan to help us survive and recover from a nuclear attack.”

Emma: “Oh, daddy. We don’t ever have to be afraid of anything again.”

Dad: “Actually, we won’t be 100% secure, Emma, until America is completely protected by missile defense.”

Emma: “I’ll put that on my Christmas list and send it to Santa!”

Mom: “What’s most important is that we’ll be together as a family, even as we die a slow death by radiation poisoning.”

Yes, Ms. Taylor, cities and regions might find the Center for Biosecurity preparedness plans a useful gift. Though where they’ll find the funding is another question. But if yours is like most American families, the silence with which the checklist is met will be deafening.

Failing to demonstrate an interest in preparing for an attack might seem fatalistic to the Center for Biosecurity’s Ms. Schoch-Spana. But, one suspects that most Americans have no stomach for thinking about and preparing for a nuclear attack with all that it implies about living through the aftermath of a nuclear apocalypse. In fact, preventing the attack would be the gift that keeps on giving.

Besides, what’s truly fatalistic is when the United States can’t envision a national security policy without weapons which can’t be used lest they invite retaliation that condemns us to, if not obliteration, a kind of living death for a generation or two.

Meanwhile, the Center for Biosecurity and the government might count 100,000 dead in a nuclear terror attack on a city rather than 400,000 a triumph of civil defense. But to the inhabitants of the city it’s a Pyrrhic victory. Especially considering the hell that the 300,000 who were “saved” will be living through.