Want to live? Great, read on.
For those of you who patiently wait for the occasion to put your scout skills to use, the time to do so has crept up on us like a sneaky, grabby Trump hand.
Alternatively, for the futon riders among us who want to cash in those innumerable hours of watching Doomsday Preppers, you too are in luck.
The media shouts it from the rooftops about the pissing contest that the man-child presidents of the USA and North Korea are currently engaged in. So are you prepared if it escalates beyond name calling, to an all-out spitball war? In this instance, however, the spitballs are made up of nuclear energy instead of toilet tissue and saliva.
If you are dizzy with questions like, “Where do I take shelter?” or “How should I prepare?” and importantly, “Will Twinkies actually survive long enough until I can find radiation-free food?”
I’m here to help answer each of these very valid questions.
The first thing everyone who I’ve emailed in Korea has said to do is, “register with your embassy, they will send you important updates.” Here, I Googled your embassy for you. What this answer really means though, is that nobody has a plan. Not your job, not your school, and I’m betting not you either.
So make a plan. Locate your nearest shelter, have basic supplies handy for an emergency and plan to either be stationary for two weeks or get out of dodge. Most likely you will be told to hunker down at home or wherever you are when disaster strikes.
Below I’ve provided resources and information that should help in the event that a nuclear temper tantrum erupts.
We often scoff at the drills they have the children do at school. While hiding under a desk inside a dated building may seem hopeless, fret not, it is actually recommended over making a run for it. After blast effects, the number one thing that will hurt you in a nuclear disaster is inhaling or ingesting radioactive material. If radioactive material gets into your bloodstream you can’t just wash it off. Therefore, waiting it out until the radioactive material has decayed to safe levels is the better option. Believe it or not, radiation effects eventually diminish meanwhile staying sheltered with provisions will save your butt while you wait it out.
For your perusal is a handy-dandy illustration of decently safe places in regular buildings.
Let’s say your one-room apartment isn’t cutting it and you have to find shelter elsewhere for whatever unforeseen factor.
It’s not entirely unpractical to prepare a gtfo-bag if your neighbor to the north is run by a dictator with a bad haircut whose vernacular includes, “rivers of blood” when referring to your capital city.
Have a bag with only essential things. Calorie dense food with a long shelf life, a mylar blanket since winter is upon us and quite apparent with the repetitive, “추워,추워” mumbled every five seconds. Consider getting a radio (I got a crank radio that is also a flashlight and phone charger), whistle, hygiene products, a lighter, stock up on prescription meds, and your ID and passport.
There are a couple of Korean online retailers that sell ready eat meals and emergency equipment. Click here and here and I did a quick search on Gmarket for emergency supplies and found a few cheaper items. If you don’t want to spend your last days of life during the next coming subsisting off of dehydrated kimchi, iherb also offers a decent selection of international fare that is not technically military grade REMs but they have incredible shelf lives nonetheless.
If you were hoping to become a recluse never to resurface and have Twinkies on cheat day I’m here to burst your antisocial bubble. The new formula (I refuse to say recipe because it’s not real food) has a shelf life of 45 days. According to NPR they get hard after a while. For your viewing pleasure, here is a picture of a 40-year-old Twinkie.
Once you are packed and ready to face the imminent dangers beyond your coffin-sized dwelling, it’s time to play the apocalypse version of Pokemon Go with the Emergency Ready app, available in both English and Korean. It uses GPS to find the nearest shelter. Some locations are marked with a sign indicating a designated shelter while others aren’t.
To clarify, most of these South Korean “shelters” are in fact mostly in subway stations or basements and parking garages in private apartments and commercial buildings designated as shelters with the consent of the owners. In most cases, they are not stocked with medical supplies nor basics such as food and water, according to an official interviewed in this Reuter’s report.
If you aren’t a country bumpkin and are lucky enough to be living in a city with a subway system go there first. Unless it’s a chemical attack, in that case, go up. Confused yet? Artillery and normal bombs, down. Chemical attack, up. Well, how in tarnation are you supposed to know the difference? Listening to your super cool crank radio, that I mentioned earlier, should give you information..which will probably be in Korean. Good luck with that one.
In all seriousness, we’ll all be fine. Unless we’re not. Then thank goodness we didn’t procrastinate and prepared ahead of time.
Resources and Further Reading:
- Information for emergency situations (Korean)
- Conventional Firepower
- Shelter list (Note: these places are schools & parking garages & likely aren’t stocked with supplies)
- Further Reading on Finding Fallout Shelter
- Response Nuclear Blast Guidelines and Other Emergency Situations
- Extremely Comprehensive FEMA PDF for those with time to kill
- List of Emergency Kit Necessities
- Korean Online Retailers for Ready to Eat Meals and Disaster Prep (Korean,easy to navigate)
- 응급대피용G-market English has better prices on Emergency Evacuation supplies (also lookup: crank radio)
- Iherb has delicious options as well
- Emergency Ready App (English)
- Emergency Ready App (Korean)
- Prepping for beginners