Duck and Cover Right All Along?

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20 years after the United States stopped preparing its youth for nuclear attacks, Stanford professors [have determined]( that (modern-day) “duck and cover” was right all along. In [their study](, co-authors Lawrence Wein, Youngsoo Choi, and Sylvie Denuit found that in the event of a nuclear detonation in an American metropolitan area, many more lives would be saved if most citizens sheltered in building basements. This result is due to the fact that any attempt to flee would likely be delayed by similar attempts by other citizens, exposing people to lethal levels of radiation. Staying underground until government officials can establish an effective evacuation route reduces overall radiation exposure and thus reduces the net death total.
Smart kids. (Image source:
So maybe duck and cover (at least in its updated form) isn’t so bad. Keep your head down and nice little layer of lead or a nice big one of concrete between you and the epicenter and you’ll be ok. Well, as long as you’re not one of the 23,100 unlucky D.C. residents that would die anyways, even with minimal evacuation. No plan is perfect.

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