Americans have been instructed by the country’s emergency management agency to maintain social distancing and to wear a mask if sheltering with members from outside of their household in the case of a nuclear explosion.
In instructions provided by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which were last updated on Friday, Americans should have already familiarized themselves with potential refuge points near to their homes, their place of work or indeed during their commute, and are encouraged to “prepare NOW” by creating an “Emergency Supply Kit” with supplies “for three or more days.”
In the event of a nuclear explosion, which Americans are reminded may occur “with or without a few minutes warning,” residents are advised to “maintain a distance of at least six feet” between themselves and those not a part of their household, to prevent the spread of coronavirus. “If possible, wear a mask if you’re sheltering with people who are not a part of your household,” the instructions state.
It references the need to protect from coronavirus throughout a nuclear explosion, encouraging those who may be evacuated to a public shelter not to forget essential items including “hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol, cleaning materials, and two masks per person.”
There’s more. Those who may have been required to take refuge following a nuke are encouraged to contact 9-1-1 if they believe they may have Covid-19, and asked to “put on a mask before help arrives,” provided there continues to be the existence of external support in the nearby vicinity.
Those who may be feeling upset or stressed about the impact of a nuclear explosion decimating their homes and their communities are encouraged to talk to someone.
“Many people may already feel fear and anxiety about the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). The threat of a nuclear explosion can add additional stress,” the instructions add.
The updated guidance in the face of a nuclear explosion came shortly before Russian President Vladimir Putin told his country’s nuclear deterrent forces to be on high alert.
Speaking on state television on Sunday in an address to the nation, he said: “As you can see, not only do Western countries take unfriendly measures against our country in the economic dimension — illegitimate sanctions that everyone knows about.
“But also the highest-ranking officials of leading NATO countries are allowing themselves to make aggressive statements in relation to our country.
“For this reason I order the minister of defense and the chief of general staff to put deterrent forces on special combat duty.”
The hugely incendiary comments are the latest in a number of escalatory remarks by the increasingly erratic Russian leader, who had previously warned countries thinking of intervening in his country’s invasion of Ukraine that they would face consequences they had “never encountered in [their] history.”