Could it actually happen? Could North Korea carry out a pre-emptive strike on a U.S. territory that initiates a nuclear war? Not since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 have Americans felt they were on the brink of a nuclear catastrophe.
North Korea’s continued intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) testing led the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution imposing more sanctions on the Communist country, targeting many of its exports, according to CNN.
U.S. officials have said North Korea may have the ability to attach nuclear weapons to missiles that could reach areas in the U.S.
Following more threats from North Korea, President Donald Trump made it clear that any more threats to the U.S. “will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un had earlier promised to “make the U.S. pay dearly” for the UN sanctions.
Later, the North Korean government threatened a plan to strike the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam with missiles, The New York Times reported.
Though Secretary of State Rex Tillerson assures there's no "imminent threat" and "Americans should sleep well at night," the escalating tensions are still worrisome.
Here are seven things to do incase you and your family are facing a major disaster stemming from a possible nuclear attack:
- Stay calm — Although U.S. relations with China have been tarnished recently, the two nations participated in negotiations to pass the UN resolution. The U.S. has the greatest missile defense system in the world. Its recent test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system successfully intercepted a target over Alaska, CNN reported. North Korea may have nuclear capabilities, but its program is in its infancy.
- Prepare for emergencies — Have an emergency supply kit that can last for up to two weeks and make a family emergency plan, recommends Ready.gov, the official website of the Department of Homeland Security. Find out from local officials if buildings in your community have been designed as fallout shelters. Think of any possible shelters in your area, such as basements, tunnels, middle floors of high-rise buildings, or subways.
- Take cover immediately — Although areas in or along the Pacific may seem more vulnerable, an attack could theoretically strike anywhere. Iowa’s Polk County Emergency Management recommends protecting yourself from radioactive material with any shield or shelter. But, if you can, go as far below ground as possible.
- Get indoors — Keep away from windows during or following a nuclear strike that is near your home. Seek immediate shelter if you happen to be outdoors and seek shelter in a nearby building if you are driving, advises the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.
- Remain sheltered — Do not leave your shelter until advised by authorities that it is safe or for as long as two weeks. Electrical, water, and other utilities might be damaged, so it’s possible you may be advised to leave a shelter temporarily to find food, water, or medical care.
- Stay tuned — Listen to local radio stations and TV if possible for official information. Cell phones and the internet may be unavailable. Radioactive material can contaminate the air, water, and ground surfaces for miles after a nuclear attack. Radio and television can provide news about what to do, where to go, and the places to avoid.
- Follow instructions from emergency response personnel — Whether there is a warning of a nuclear attack or the situation appears to be over, stay in a shelter or below ground until you are instructed to do otherwise.
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