I recently learned an interesting fact about the readiness state of pilots during nuclear war scenarios. Interestingly, at DEFCON 2 (the second highest level), pilots in the Strategic Air Command (SAC) are required to wear eye patches to protect one eye from the blinding flash of a nuclear detonation. This got me thinking about the utility of such a step for preppers to potentially take if they ever find themselves in a “get home” situation when nuclear war may be imminent.
When a nuclear weapon is detonated, there are several immediate effects, including a blinding flash of light. Many survival experts simply give advice like, “don’t look at the flash.” However, I consider that easier said than done. If you are close to the detonation, you may instinctually look toward the disruption created by the blast with little control over your body’s natural reaction. This instinctual response may leave you blinded in both eyes and in a rather precarious position if you are attempting to get home or get to a substantial shelter.
For the reason outlined above, I would recommend preppers, especially those living in or near large cities or strategic military targets keep an eye patch in your “get home” bag. It’s unlikely that a nuclear attack will come as a complete surprise. There will likely be a bit of warning by government officials or news media and that will provide you an opportunity to put on an eye patch to walk or drive home or to shelter. This way if you look towards a blinding flash you will only be blinded in one eye.It is important to note that continuing a “get home” trip following a nearby detonation is not advised unless you can get home within 10 to 15 minutes, max, after the blast, otherwise seek shelter where you are. If you are closer than about 5 miles this won’t be an option, because you will likely be dead or severely injured from the blast pressure. If you are farther than about 5 miles, you will have a few minutes before the fallout begins to settle out of the atmosphere and the radiation levels begin to skyrocket exponentially. If you have preserved your vision with an eye patch, use that sacred time to find a shelter that puts the densest material possible between you and the outside atmosphere and stay there as long as supplies will allow, up to two weeks if possible.