A new study released last week will likely cause major disruption to employers across the country, as they scramble to revise and implement dramatically new emergency plans in the event of a nuclear detonation. The research, conducted by people who obviously had nothing better to do with their time, determined that the best course of action in the event of a nuclear explosion is to “run to the nearest safe shelter”. 

I am so glad that we have academic intelligentsia to guide and advise us of these things. I never would have thought of that. Truth be told, my personal contingency plan in the event of nuclear detonation was to blubber like a baby while soiling my pants. While I have never had the opportunity to use that plan, it has been in place since 1963 and I feel it has served me well. Although, I must admit I will not miss the practice drills.

Researcher Michael Dillion is an atmospheric scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. His research was published in January by The Royal Society, which is a mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences journal. It is apparently a serious publication, and not Britain’s version of MAD Magazine. Dillion determined that “it is better to run away from a nuclear detonation blast zone and the fallout, instead of taking shelter in a building with only limited protection from radiation.” He says his study showed “If your current shelter is poor and higher quality shelter is less than 5 minutes away, the model suggests that you should run there as soon as you can.”

What is not clear to nuclear neophytes such as myself is whether we have to physically run, as his comment would imply, or if we could drive five minutes to the nearest safe shelter. That would certainly improve the number of options I would think, although parking at the shelter would likely be a problem. Unless, of course, no one reads about this study and their contingency plans do not change, meaning they would still be at their offices crying and pooping their pants. An alternative thought would be to ignore expected social parking convention and leave your vehicle in the middle of the street outside the shelter. I don’t know about your city, but  our meter maids will likely survive Armageddon and still continue their demonic work, and I frankly can’t afford the ticket. I guess I’ll stick to running.

Of course as I write this, it dawns on me that it may not have occurred to Mr. (or Dr.) Dillion, that the majority of us do not work at a National Laboratory, and do not have fallout shelters a short jog from our malfunctioning lab experiment.

At any rate, I suggest employers review their nuclear response plan. This new knowledge is a game changer. I have a few other suggestions to include in any revised plans you may create. I suggest issuing dark sunglasses to all your employees, as in the event of a nuclear incident it will briefly get very bright outside. Also, you may want to give them an extra 10 minutes on their lunch break, so they can attend to any wounds or any strange lesions that develop. Alternately, they could use that time to find and sort out any missing body parts. There should of course be a plan in place for filing any workers’ compensation claims, in case anyone is left to process them. Lastly, I would suggest you identify what secure fallout shelter is a brief five minute jog from the office, remembering that one woman’s jog may be another man’s death march. For some of us in my office, a five minute jog means the shelter better be at the bottom of the stairs to our office. Or the bathroom. It’s an individual choice.

I sincerely hope that you heed my advice, and adapt to this revolutionary information. It is my pleasure to provide this as a public service, and I expect nothing in return. But if you could save me a parking spot at the shelter, I would appreciate it mightily. 

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