What can protect you from nuclear radiation?

Cover your mouth and nose with a mask or other material (such as a scarf or handkerchief) until the rain cloud has passed. Close ventilation systems and seal doors or windows until the rain cloud has passed. Enter the nearest building to avoid radiation. In any case, it's easy to find out for yourself if you live within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor.

An accident at a nuclear power plant, a nuclear explosion, or a dirty bomb are examples of radiation emergencies. The good news is that the half-life of the most dangerous particles in a nuclear event is a few days, maybe a week. But in the case of a nuclear threat, government officials may not be the best source of accurate information and appropriate action, experts say. Here's how to act and where to take refuge if you receive an alert about an ICBM or other nuclear threat.

And after the collapse earlier this year of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty that limited weapons testing, the world could see more and more nuclear weapons tests. Although the incident does not appear to have involved an active nuclear warhead, submarines armed with such weapons are a key component of Russia's nuclear deterrence strategy, just like in the United States. When Hawaii's ballistic threat system issued a statewide alert on Jan. 13, many people didn't know where to go, what to do, or if they could survive a nuclear attack.

The most important thing to remember if a nuclear bomb is supposed to explode, he says, is to take refuge in place. If you're not yet dead, on fire, or in a building that is most likely the result of a nearby nuclear explosion, you have work to do. The next danger to avoid is radioactive fallout, a mixture of fission products (or radioisotopes) that a nuclear explosion creates by splitting atoms. Since nuclear events are rare and potentially catastrophic, as well as opaque and confusing, an incorrect response that triggers massive panic could be worse than the real event.

But if there really is a mishap in a reactor, the effects will become much more widespread, says Edwin Lyman, physicist and expert on nuclear energy safety and security at the Union of Concerned Scientists. All of these are viable options to protect yourself if the nuclear event is not too large and is not a total exchange of nuclear weapons. That is, until one of them Googled the safety nuclear bomb how to shelter from the beach and found a Business Insider article titled If a nuclear bomb explodes, this is the most important thing you can do to survive. Staying indoors can also limit the amount of invisible nuclear radiation produced by an explosion that will reach the body.