It's no surprise that tensions between the United States and North Korea are running hot right now. Thanks in large part to U.S. intelligence sources claiming that North Korea has successfully miniaturized nuclear warheads that can be equipped with intercontinental ballistic missiles, and the threats from both sides since, it's clear that this is a highly charged moment. So highly charged, in fact, that Guam is informing its citizens on nuclear attack readiness, and what to do if the worst were to happen.
Although there's no reason to think war is actually imminent or unavoidable ― North Korea has been promising to destroy America and its allies for decades, as such statements serve a purpose as domestic propaganda ― the isolated, repressive state's recent threats against Guam, the U.S. island territory in the South Pacific, clearly sent a message.
In response, the Guam Homeland Security department released a fact sheet detailing exactly what people should do if there's a nuclear strike, and it's a rather harrowing read. Again, it's by no means a foregone conclusion that any of the worst-case scenarios will ever actually happen. But even seeing these sorts of instructions distributed to the public raises a haunting feeling, not unlike the days of Cold War nuclear preparedness drills. Here are some of the takeaway pieces of advice being given to residents of Guam:
1. Prepare A Plan For Supplies And Shelter
Guam releases document telling its citizens how to survive a nuclear attack https://t.co/wcy66hTs2k— CNN International (@cnni) August 11, 2017
2. Don't Leave Shelter To Look For Your Family
3. Don't Look At The Explosion
Guam issues guidelines for nuclear attack: "Do not look at the flash or fireball" ... if outside, "get clean" ASAP https://t.co/3U7Fo7Ihrj— Scott Wong (@scottwongDC) August 11, 2017
4. Take Cover Behind Any Nearby Obstructions
Guam's newspaper: It would take 14 minutes for a missile from North Korea to hit the Pacific island pic.twitter.com/BO7tNmKCkf— Axios (@axios) August 11, 2017
5. Clean Off Any Radioactive Particles
Guam: Post-missile attack u should shower. Shampoo but dont condition hair. It'll bind radioactive material to hair. https://t.co/XACxBQtKVU— Anna Giaritelli (@Anna_Giaritelli) August 11, 2017
6. Bag Up Any Contaminated Clothing
7. Take A Shower, But Don't Use Conditioner
8. If Showering Is Impossible, Wipe Off Your Exposed Skin
9. Listen For Official Instructions
Guamanians are wary and ready, but our proximity to North Korea does not define our island or our community. https://t.co/eIi7ymBvqy— Michelle Ye Hee Lee (@myhlee) August 11, 2017
If you're curious to review the entire document, you can do so here. While Guam is the location most recently threatened by North Korea, it's worth noting that the advice contained within is valuable under any circumstances involving a nuclear attack.