Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

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Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by Lonestar » 2018-01-18 03:29pm

Oddly, I haven't seen a lot of discussion about the Hawaiian false alarm this past Saturday. It was a subject of much discussion while waiting for the wedding to start for us.

So, here's a scenario for everyone, similar to how I went with the food and pandemic one awhile back.

The scenario: You are located wherever you are at the time you first read this post. You receive an emergency alert through your phone that a hostile nation has launched three ICBMs at your country. An anti ICBM system successfully intercepted one, but two are in bound and you are in one of the anticipated target areas. Each surviving missile is believed to carry a warhead that will yield 500 kilotons. The message says detonation is expected in 17 minutes. 5 minutes later you receive another text that the threat is real, this is not a drill.

For results, google random number generator. Set the min at 0 and Max at 30. The number it returns is the distance between you and ground zero. Set the min to 0 and the max to 360. The resulting number is the compass bearing in degrees from you to ground zero.

Your response:. Describe what you would do, with what you have available at your current location. One paragraph for the 17 minutes before detonation. One paragraph describing how you would handle the aftermath of your specific attack. Good luck!
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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-01-18 04:43pm

...is there really anything anybody could do but put their heads between their legs and kiss their ass goodbye? The more pertinent question is what do you do after it goes off, if you survive that?

Anyway. *googles*

Random number is 4. Is that kilometres or miles? Compass bearing is 101. *maps* ...and I have no idea. Uh, 0 degrees is magnetic North, 90 degrees would be East, 101 degrees is a few ticks east-southeast... http://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/

I'm fucked, whether it's kilometres or miles. I don't know anybody with a useful cellar. I'm within the air blast radius if that's kilometres from ground zero. The terrain isn't extreme enough to protect me, mostly gentle hills and I'd be on the facing slope of one such. If I try to jump in my car and drive, there's going to be hundreds of thousands of drivers trying to do the exact same thing unless I'm the ONLY person who got this text.

I suppose I could pop out to the backyard, grab my shovel and pick, and start digging a foxhole for my kids. That's about it. The rest is attempting to survive third-degree burns, flash blindness, and being in the middle of neo-Hiroshima.
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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-01-18 04:49pm

Well fuck. I got 0 for the distance, so the bearing of 128 doesn't make a sodding difference. No way I can get far enough to survive in the ~15 minutes I have, that'd only get me about two-three km away which I think is still within the fireball.

So, I sit on my sofa and finish off the last of my good Scotch. I sure as shit ain't dying sober.
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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-01-18 04:52pm

Fireball isn't that big for a 500-kt device actually. Less than a km. Not that that matters at 0 distance. That Nukemaps calculator is actually pretty thorough.
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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-01-18 05:00pm

Given how out of shape I am, the best I think I could manage in 15 minutes on foot was two km. Ok I'm outside the fireball but I'm still very, very dead. So instead of dying tired I'll die relaxed and drunk, right under the bomb when it goes off.
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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-01-18 05:07pm

For shit and giggles and because I'm bored, I did it again:

Distance is 27 (we need clarification on whether this is miles or km, man)
Bearing is 126. So still pretty much east-southeast.

The max damage radius given by the Nukemaps calculator is ~5+ miles for third degree burns. I'm pretty safe. Fallout would be my concern in this situation, but it's far enough from me and far enough from the major highways that I can probably get my family together and evacuate. The detonation is well to the south and east of Atlanta, between 20 and 75. Gonna shred up a bunch of country and not much else.

EDIT: I did the calc with a 200 ft burst height for fallout, and yowza. As far as fallout goes, my area would be glowing. Yup, definitely getting the hell out of Dodge.
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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by aerius » 2018-01-18 05:14pm

19km at a bearing of 172. I'm about 1km from the water so this sucker's going to drop in the middle of Lake Ontario. Guess I won't be eating any lake trout for a while.

According to a nuclear effects calculator I just looked up, I'm well outside the blast zone and thermal radiation radius, looks like I should be good as long as I'm not staring at the damn thing when it goes off. The worst effect I'll likely have to worry about is the radioactive rain from all the lake water that's about to be nuked, my far more immediate concern is the mass panic that's going to break loose from all the people around me. I'll probably setup my GoPro on a south facing window then go camp out in my office while everyone else panics and runs for the subway. Probably won't even lose my internet connection, I could livestream the entire event if I can get my GoPro to interface with my office wifi network. Yeah, I'm having a one man nuke party in my office.

Afterwards, don't eat the lake trout. Other than that everything should be fine. Hang out in my office building until the panicking dies down, then hop on the subway and go home. Upload my live nuke videos to youtube and monetize the shit out of it.
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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-01-18 05:20pm

So tried again. This time I got a distance of 25 (I'm assuming km) and a bearing of 320.

Given I'm in south-west Cardiff that means the missile lands...pretty much dead on top of my old place in Pontypridd. I'm far enough away that I'm fine, and the valley even curves between hear and there so flash blindness shouldn't be an issue. Current prevailing winds would be blowing fallout north-east from the impact site, which means the Brecon Beacons are glowing for a while.

So the worst that happens to me is that I can't go stargazing any more and my old favourite pub is atomised.

I love how I've gone from "Totally dead" to "Mildly peeved."
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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by Tribble » 2018-01-18 05:53pm

aerius wrote:
2018-01-18 05:14pm
19km at a bearing of 172. I'm about 1km from the water so this sucker's going to drop in the middle of Lake Ontario. Guess I won't be eating any lake trout for a while.

According to a nuclear effects calculator I just looked up, I'm well outside the blast zone and thermal radiation radius, looks like I should be good as long as I'm not staring at the damn thing when it goes off. The worst effect I'll likely have to worry about is the radioactive rain from all the lake water that's about to be nuked, my far more immediate concern is the mass panic that's going to break loose from all the people around me. I'll probably setup my GoPro on a south facing window then go camp out in my office while everyone else panics and runs for the subway. Probably won't even lose my internet connection, I could livestream the entire event if I can get my GoPro to interface with my office wifi network. Yeah, I'm having a one man nuke party in my office.

Afterwards, don't eat the lake trout. Other than that everything should be fine. Hang out in my office building until the panicking dies down, then hop on the subway and go home. Upload my live nuke videos to youtube and monetize the shit out of it.
*rolls*

Unfortunately if you're in Toronto my nuke blew up 2 km from where I am atm and 180, which I think puts it at roughly Billy Bishop airport. Hope you don't have a flight to catch... and that you brought some sunscreen with you :P

Edit: and to be fair, the lake trout are probably radioactive already, so I doubt we'd notice the difference ;)
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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by Rhadamantus » 2018-01-18 08:51pm

8.9 miles away, 16 degrees, so northish from here. I'm at a decent risk of third degree burns if I'm out, but I should be fine if I get into a basement. Fallout is blowing away from me, towards NYC. I should be fine after impact.
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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by Alferd Packer » 2018-01-19 09:05am

9 miles away at 34 degrees. Looks like MetLife stadium is getting proper fucked. Anyway, I'm in a brutalist all concrete/asbestos building from the sixties with a basement that's about 30 feet underground. As far as shelters go, that's about the best you're going to get in the United States, so I'd be safe from the blast. Prevailing winds in the area would generally blow the fallout away from my location, towards either Manhattan or the Bronx/Yonkers, but if there is an onshore breeze, it is possible, though not likely, that the fallout would be coming my way.

I'd use the lead-up time to gather up as much water as possible, as I might be spending a week or two down in that basement with a few hundred of my newest, closest friends. Luckily this building gets regular water deliveries, so there are several hundred gallons of potable, transportable water in plastic jugs already. Between that and the water we'd be able to get from the taps before the power goes out, we might not all die of dehydration before it's safe to leave (this is assuming I get unlucky and the fallout does come my way).

Assuming I survive to the point where the fallout is nonlethal, I expect the NG or the army would find us and transport us to safety. The most severe of issues would be dehydration and malnutrition, as we're well outside the area of immediate danger. I would, of course, probably get a sizable enough dose of radiation that I'd be looking at a cancer diagnosis in 10 or 20 years, but I'd certainly be faring better than those in the surrounding buildings.

All in all, not too bad a roll. It could definitely be worse, especially if the missile had hit somewhere west of me.
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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by Omeros » 2018-01-19 02:15pm

I got 15 miles away at 14 degrees, almost exactly due north. Even assuming an airburst I'm too far away to suffer any significant damage from the blast wave.

I fill up the bath with cold water and make sure I'm in the part of the house with south-facing windows so I won't be visually affected by the initial flash, just in case it's still dangerous at that range. I close the curtains and blinds on the north-facing windows to reduce the spread of any glass shards. I also phone my nephew to try to warn him as he lives a lot closer to the ground zero than I do. There isn't much else I can do in 12 minutes.

Prevailing winds here tend to be southerly or south-westerly so I should be fairly safe from fallout.

My reactions are much the same if the distance should be kilometres rather than miles. I'm still well out of the blast and fallout zones.

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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by MKSheppard » 2018-01-21 10:19am

Lonestar wrote:
2018-01-18 03:29pm
Oddly, I haven't seen a lot of discussion about the Hawaiian false alarm this past Saturday. It was a subject of much discussion while waiting for the wedding to start for us.

So, here's a scenario for everyone, similar to how I went with the food and pandemic one awhile back.

The scenario: You are located wherever you are at the time you first read this post. You receive an emergency alert through your phone that a hostile nation has launched three ICBMs at your country. An anti ICBM system successfully intercepted one, but two are in bound and you are in one of the anticipated target areas.
Live near DC, so not credible; because 30 GBIs in Alaska would have shot down up to 10 threats from the only credible target sources; but lets play anyway.
Each surviving missile is believed to carry a warhead that will yield 500 kilotons. The message says detonation is expected in 17 minutes. 5 minutes later you receive another text that the threat is real, this is not a drill. For results, google random number generator. Set the min at 0 and Max at 30. The number it returns is the distance between you and ground zero. Set the min to 0 and the max to 360. The resulting number is the compass bearing in degrees from you to ground zero.
RNG generated:

29
173

So you say 500 KT, that is a height of burst (HOB) of about 1300 meters for maximum blast effect roughly.

At 29 miles; the Defense Nuclear Agency's WEAPON EFFECTS version 2.1 (21 Dec 1984) says that causes virtually negligible overpressure and a thermal fluence of 0.29 cal/cm2.

Pulling a map out, it means that Waldorf MD just got nuked.
Your response:. Describe what you would do, with what you have available at your current location. One paragraph for the 17 minutes before detonation. One paragraph describing how you would handle the aftermath of your specific attack. Good luck!
I'm already in a semi prepared location. FIll bathtub with water; drag furniture over to the side that's protected by earth, get the dogs and wait.

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Aftermath? Likely conscripted as a driver to drive supplies to Waldorf.
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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by Alyrium Denryle » 2018-01-21 07:06pm

Someone decided to nuke the Fountain Hills and the Salt River Reservation. Jesus christ, haven't they suffered enough?

18 km at 43 degrees.

Well, for 17 minutes, I basically collect all the water I can into all the containers I can, the same with food. Then I get mom, myself, and the dog (along with the gun and ammunition) into the bathroom (it's internal) and take shelter. The nuke will be an air burst (probably) so I know fallout will be minimal, and prevailing winds won't carry it in my direction anyway, nor toward water reservoirs. I am gathering water in case local infrastructure gets disrupted. Shut down ALL electronics.

Now, once I feel what's left of the air blast, I look outside and see where the nuke hit. Local water infrastructure probably is damaged (lots of canals in the damage radius) but the dams on the reservoirs AND the reservoirs themselves are intact and prevailing winds will carry any fallout away. Mercifully. So we shelter in place and listen to the radio. We have enough food and water to wait for emergency broadcasts and a government response for a few days this time of year (in the summer, this approach would NOT be an option). Eventually it will be evacuation time, at which point, looks like we're moving to Salt Lake for a while.
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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by MKSheppard » 2018-01-21 07:37pm

Alyrium Denryle wrote:
2018-01-21 07:06pm
Shut down ALL electronics.
Ooh good point. Don't forget to unplug it from all sources; power cord, ethernet cables etc.

Do the same for your cable modem too; from the main cable into the house.

That eliminates the major threat of EMP; using the extremely long runs of power lines/data lines as a giant antenna to pick up the voltage and fry electronics attached to them.

FYI: Turn off electronics and disconnect antenna is also the Cold War US Army's recommended doctrine for mechanized units.
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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by Sky Captain » 2018-01-25 03:54pm

Got 10 and 297. Luckily ICBM probably intended for our capital malfunctioned and came down over Gulf of Riga. 10 km is outside the damaging blast radiuss and third degree burn radiuss so I should be fine. Prevailing winds during winter are S, SW so if I'm lucky fallout goes to the north. Some towns and villages under fallout zone will have to be evacuated, some agricultural land will be unuasable and no fishing in Gulf of Riga for some time. If we got really lucky fallout rains down over Gulf of Riga and there is no need to evacuate anything.

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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by Titan Uranus » 2018-01-26 08:26pm

15, 340. It looks like the missile aimed at Atlanta went wild and whacked Sweetwater Creek State park.
Just about the worst/best place to hit in the Atlanta Metro short of the mountains to the north. It's decently hilly country down there, which would probably limit the actual blast radius. Nukemap estimates only 28K fatalities and 127K injuries.
It would sever a major highway, I-20 which connects Atlanta with Birmingham, but I don't think very many necessary supplies travel that road in any case.

I'd grab my go bag and hiking kit, head down to a nearby cave and take cover (I trust the rock cave a hell of a lot more than my house.) I'll poke my head out and look for the blast after I hear it through my shooting muffs + ear plugs. After that, I'd get to the local Habitat office to find some way to help immediately and then I suppose the recruiting office a few weeks later.

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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by Jub » 2018-01-28 12:29am

I'll be doing mine for kilometers and miles, just because we don't exactly know the intended unit of measure for distance.

My numbers are 7 units of distance at 75 degrees.

For kilometers, this means the weapon is detonating right over Burnaby Lake in the middle of a dense metropolitan area. With a detonation height set for maximum overpressure, the estimates for the surrounding city don't look very good. 155,000 dead and another 550,000 injured. I'm well within 3rd-degree burn territory and facing 3 psi of overpressure. Thankfully I'm in a basement suite so I may avoid some of the worst effects at my range. I feel like my best chance to survive is to wet down as many blankets as I can, take the glass doors out of the bathtub and hunker down. With any luck the house is sound enough to not collapse from 3 psi of overpressure, the two doors between myself and the outside keep the glass and other debris off of me, and the blankets keep me from being too badly burned.

I'm probably too close to the blast to get away without serious injuries or death at this range so I'm likely incapacitated and waiting for rescue post-blast.

If we use miles, the blast is over Austin Heights and a lovely golf course becomes a blasted crater. Casualties are lower as the weapon detonates further from the denser parts of the city. The site estimates 131,000 dead and 406,000 injured. At this range I'll be much safer, but still not exactly out of danger. We're talking second-degree burns and 2 psi of overpressure. My plan is still the same, wet down blankets, take down anything that could shatter in the bathroom, and hunker down in the tub with the cold shower running over me.

I'm still probably pretty messed up after the blast, but I might have a chance of getting myself to an evacuation zone if being in a partially below ground level and under wet blankets helps enough to prevent severe burns. I'm not 100% convinced that they will so I'm lucky injured and forced to stay in place with and wait for rescue even in this scenario.

-----

For the sake of seeing how much direction rather than distance changes things at these ranges, I'm going to set the blast off at 255 degrees at both distances and see what changes.

Starting at 7 miles at 255 degrees, the weapon detonates over YVR. This is very likely a terrible outcome as it's going to make getting supplies into Vancouver even harder than it would already be. That said, in terms of the number of people dead and injured in the initial blast things are slightly better with 112,000 dead and 368,000 injured.

Very little changes for me with this change of angle.

At 7 kilometers the weapon detonates over Marpole and still wipes out the airport. This causes the most immediate deaths of any scenario thus far simulated with 225,000 dead and 460,000 injured. This is likely one of the worst places the weapon could detonate in terms of casualties and infrastructure being destroyed.

Again, I'm likely suffering from horrific burns and probably not getting rescued in time to matter.

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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by KraytKing » 2018-01-28 04:06pm

I got pretty lucky. 27 at 25, so a couple thousand rednecks get vaporized and the edge of a radiation cloud touches Washington. Prior to impact, I'll fill up the tub and button up. Lock the doors, get out my Eclipse Glasses, and watch the show.
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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2018-01-30 08:59pm

Get gallons of water and hide in nearby basement-apartment. Not much in way of canned foods but oh well.
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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by The_Saint » 2018-02-02 12:56am

13 (I'll assume km) and 341.... hmmm that helpfully and somewhat ironically lands square on the bogans to the north, probably won't notice the difference after the blast damage and fireball have been through.

Unhelpfully though that lands square on my preferred "run away from apocalyptic world ending problems exit route". Luckily I'm already a reasonable distance away, I have a car and there's a decent highway heading further away that happens to go right past where the other half is at work. (Slight downside is that's to the East, South-East so downwind).

I have a car and in 10min I can be down the road an even safer distance. If I don't take the option of leaving fast then I head downstairs to hide under a double-brick and concrete floored house from extraneous gamma rays.

Afterwards.... well I do like all good Australians do and get on with the job and clear up from whatever recent imposition on our lifestyle someone has labelled 'disaster'.
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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by Guardsman Bass » 2018-02-02 01:36am

I got 27 kilometers and 92 degrees.

. . . Honestly, I think I might be fine in the short term. The nuke is going to detonate 27 kilometers away and on the other side of a big part of the Wasatch Mountains, which means the worst thing I probably have to fear is contamination of the watershed.
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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by phred » 2018-02-09 04:01am

11km, 332. Drops in the hills North of town. If it's an airburst my house is gonna need new windows, groundburst wont touch us. Either way, I'll probably hit 12 East and make a run for it.

If its miles, it wont hit a heavily populated area at all Nukemaps claims not even 100 fatalities. Either way I will probably have to move closer to the bay again.
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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by fordlltwm » 2018-02-25 07:41pm

2 and 190,

Drops straight into the cooling lake for the decominssioned inland nuclear power station to the south.

With 15 minutes, I'd grab my girlfriend and drive up to the the slate mines at the top of town, go down a couple of levels under the surface and wait it out. I think they should keep me safeish.

Helpfully there's also about five tons of cheese down the mine I'd head for so even if we had to stay underground for a few days we wouldn't starve.

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Re: Scenario Drill: Nuclear missile attack

Post by KraytKing » 2018-02-26 10:19am

I'm intrigued. Industrial amounts of cheese in a slate mine? What are the circumstances of this?
If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.

--Mace

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