If a Nuke Hits, Stay Inside
But government researchers afraid to start panic by spreading the word
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2010 7:09 AM CST
A fallout shelter sign graces the Madison County Courthouse in Huntsville, Ala., Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2007.   (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

(Newser) – The government has new advice in case of a nuclear attack, and it ain’t too far removed from “duck and cover.” If an attack ever comes, do not flee. Instead, get inside any stable building immediately (a basement is optimal), and stay there until officials give the green light to come out. This simple tactic could save hundreds of thousands of lives, new research suggests, but the Obama administration is afraid that if it spreads the word too zealously, it’ll be labeled alarmist, the New York Times reports.

Washington has been working mightily to prevent nuclear terrorist attacks for years, but sees the next step as preparing citizens for the worst. “We have to get past the mental block that says it’s too terrible to think about,” says one FEMA administrator. Research suggests that it’s crucial to shield yourself from the blast’s radiation—even hunkering down in a car can reduce fatalities by more than 50%. “It’s more survivable than most people think,” says one official involved in the planning.