Red Cross needs to adjust advice for nuclear attack

The Garden Island published an article on page A6 on Jan. 16, three days after the horrible mess caused by the warning we all suffered from on Saturday, Jan. 13. It was put out by the Red Cross and written by the CEO, Coralie Chun Matayoshi. I have quite a few issues with it that I will cover shortly.

My background is from working in a defense-commercial company for 33 years in their test labs as an engineering technician. I also subscribe to several science magazines and read them cover to cover.

Now back to your printed article, titled: “Here’s what to do if missiles are inbound.”

No. 1 (third paragraph)

“Government agencies in Hawaii do not try to open shelters in case of nuclear missile attack, as the estimated timeline of about 15 to 20 minutes would not be sufficient for people to get there.”

I feel that this is a great injustice to those thousands of us who may live within, say, two miles of a designated shelter, if we had any, who would be saved by arriving in the time allotted. The government or the Red Cross needs to rethink this one.

No. 2 (top of second column)

“If you are indoors, stay indoors well away from windows.”

You would be safer to be in a space that has no windows because the flash from the detonation is so bright that you will be blinded. In Japan when we dropped the “big one,” the flash burned the concrete, except where the people once stood outside, leaving a permanent shadow. The shadows of these people are still visible today. The people were burned to ash.

No. 3 (next item)

“If you are outdoors, seek immediate shelter in a building, preferably a concrete structure …”

As long as you can find a space with no windows or openings. A wood structure might be destroyed by the pressure wave (speed of sound, five seconds per mile) from the blast. It arrives shortly after the flash (speed of light).

No. 4 (next item)

“If you are driving, pull safely to side of the road and stop. If a shelter is very close, shelter in that structure. If not, remain in your car and lay on the floor.”

With the small amount of space inside cars these days, how do you lie on the floor? See No. 3 above. For two weeks?

Nos. 5, 6, 7 and 8 (next four items)

These items all suffer from the same related communication problems:

No. 5 “… told it is safe to leave …” By whom and how?

No. 6 “Listen to local radio stations for official …” See item Nos. 7 and 8.

No. 7 “Cell phone, television, radio and internet services will be severely disrupted or unavailable.”

No. 8 “Walkie-talkies may give you communications …”

A nuclear detonation releases an EMP (electrical magnetic pulse) that will destroy all most all electronic systems within many miles. This also affects most of the newer autos and power- generating plants. So there will not be any power, running cars, boats, cell phones, phones, water pumps for domestic water systems, etc. The walkie-talkies might be saved if they are stored inside a closed steel toolbox like I do, when the bomb goes off. But a walkie-talkie has a very limited distance capability, about half to one mile clear line of sight only.

I wish the best to all and hope the worst never happens here. Aloha.


Eric N. Campbell of Kalaheo is a member of CERT (Community Emergency Response Team).

  1. billyjoebob January 22, 2018 5:01 am Reply

    …. But They knew that, Eric, the Powers to Be have now addressed the issue of nuclear disasters.
    Given the logistics along with other factors, the Islands are basically ” sitting ducks “. There is only so much that can be done given the circumstances. Unfortunately most people just want the government to do something and say that it is fixed.

  2. larry January 22, 2018 5:29 am Reply

    This article was informative and correct on Every point
    Basically better hope you are right with God if this ever happens

  3. Reverend Malama Robinson January 22, 2018 8:20 am Reply

    The only way to prepare is to prevent! We demand that the illegal ocuppiers of our peaceful nation leave immediately! No more belligerent USA military industrial complex.. this is NOT AMERICA!

  4. PauloT January 22, 2018 8:55 am Reply

    The unfortunate fact is unless a nuclear blast is a good distance away there is no safe shelter and nothing we can do to avoid death. For those who actually think in the 15 minutes it takes a nuclear missile to arrive, that taping their door and window frames would actually seal out radiation but not the necessary oxygen, I give up. Face it unless you have a deep in ground nuclear shelter with everything needed to sustain life for multiple weeks, all these little tips are pointless.

  5. Steve Martin January 22, 2018 8:23 pm Reply

    I knew my underground earth berm home dwelling designs would eventually be the ticket. They are the only way to survive a nuclear blast.

  6. Charlie chimknee January 22, 2018 9:52 pm Reply

    The food the water the enclosed floor, walls, ceiling of a concrete room, fbut the fresh oxygenated air…for 2weeks…I think I need an education…but where…the url in the last comment was a dead end. A flush toilet would pull vital air out of the room.

    Are there air filters that can filter nuclear fallout and allow,it into a confined space safely.

    Coincidentally I just read a book some few months ago and it talked about some survivors of at least 1of the 2 atomic bombs devastating 2 cities. Some people at relatively near ground zero to the bomb impact were in concrete bank buildings and are alive today with no apparent sickness from the fallout or explosions.

    While bombs today would be of greater magnitude…with planning we could survive an Oahu blast; especially with the Trades or northerly winds if we are lucky and the winds are typical.

    Air raid shelter air filters and sewage may be the task, as food and water can be stored.

    Anybody got a plan…?


  7. HaloHalo January 23, 2018 2:14 pm Reply

    There is absolutely no point in trying to open a shelter in less than 15 minutes, come on now. If there is a bomb coming and if it’s big enough, you are going to die anyways, no matter how sturdy or windowless the structure you are in is and no matter how safe people claim it to be. Sure, trust the school cafeteria to protect you from a Hurricane, but a nuclear explosion? Get real. I’d rather be home with my family and pets. And IF I survive, then I am ready to protect my property from the looting that will guarantee follow.

  8. Steve Martin January 23, 2018 5:06 pm Reply

    Charles…. My site was hacked a short time ago according to my provider go daddy. I don’t have the time to deal with it for a while due to medical reasons for my wife. I have worked several years on my design and yes when built it is totally self contained and will work well in the case of a a nuclear attack, hurricanes, earthquakes, and anything Mother Nature wants to throw at it. When it’s back up I’ll let you know.

  9. Becky January 26, 2018 10:01 am Reply

    Well written article and very informative. The Red Cross would be wise to adopt you as their science expert.

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