The source of nightmares for all of us the thought of a nuclear bomb going off and the destruction left behind in its wake is almost too devastating to comprehend not just from the initial explosion but what follows after. So, what should you do if you ever find yourself in such an unfortunate situation? the answer lies underground.
Should you be pre-warned about the explosion you should head inside and try to avoid the extremely bright flash given off from the bomb on impact which can give you flash blindness even if you're nearly 50 miles away, a real shame if you plan on watching the infamous mushroom cloud loom overhead. But if you think that sucks then spare a thought for anyone within a 10 mile radius of the bomb, as they'll find it even harder to watch due to the fact that they're in reach of the blasts scorching fireball, it's shockwave and dangerously high radiation levels - even those that are 50 miles away are still at risk of third degree burns.
If by this point you've had a chance to realise what's happening and can still see where to go it's recommended that you find shelter immediately, preferably inside the most dense building you can find - the thicker it is the better protected you'll be from the fallout radiation. The less windows there are the better making basements and cellars the perfect place to wait it out whilst reducing the amount of fallout radiation you're exposed to just 0.5% of what it would be if you were outside.
At this point a bomb shelter would be ideal but given that not everyone has access to one large concrete structures are your next best bet, as per the useful diagram above. Although a home can feel safe, large wooden or brick structures offer little in the way of protection from nuclear fallout however moving to another, better protected location isn't always ideal, particularly if it's shortly after the blast. According to Michael Dillon, a researcher from the Lawrence Livermore National Library, if you can make it to a better spot within 5 minutes you'll be ok, much longer and you're better off staying put for an hour and waiting for radiation levels to drop, reducing the amount you're exposed to.
If you have made it to a safer spot already then there's a few things you can do in the meantime, if you have the facilities of course. The EPA recommends you keep away from doors and windows whilst ditching any clothing that may have been exposed and contaminated before sealing it off and keeping it away from others. You can also take a shower - if you have one of those handy in your newly found bunker, making sure to only use soap and not to irritate the skin.
It's also important to remember that water and food left exposed during the blast may have been contaminated therefore you should only eat food from sealed containers and drink bottled water. You can find out a whole lot more of useful information on EPA's website as well as here.