Please take note: a rich and exhaustive lexicographic reference is included in the work so that those terms which might not be properly explained in the text can be found there. All words with a technical meaning, written in cursive in the text will be found in the lexicon.
 
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SURVIVING THE DAY AFTER
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Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) Civil Defense

Should a nuclear war break out - and, currently, it does not seem to be at all un-probable - each individual would have three choices: to be in the wrong place at the right time and be obliterated in a millionth of a second or little more. Or to be at the right place at the wrong time and survive in more or less miserable conditions for an indefinite period of time, very likely a short and, indeed, very miserable period of time. Or, lastly, to be in the right place at the right time and then having to cope with a disrupted planet under a blanket of radioactive fallout. While the individual in the first case simply would not care at all, the poor wretch at the right place at the wrong time could still get away with it and, an hibakusha [1] of the new millennium, somehow might survive even for a long time. The lucky ones at the right place and at the right time, however, would not be lucky at all unless they had a basic knowledge of how to face the disrupted radioactive environment that most probably would face them within a short, or indeed very short, period of time.

The charred remains of a boy, Nagasaki, 700 meters from ground zero. (Yosuke Yamahata, HNPC).
[1] The name which was given to the survivors of the atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

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Will this happen again? There is no valid ground to exclude it. Man has been inventing arms of all sorts since time immemorial, always more deadly and refined. And he always used them to the utmost, a kind of being unable to live in a peaceful world just like if war and slaughter are an indelible part of his genetic makeup. But the next time it will not be two Japanese towns to suffer this fate, perhaps no corner on the earth will be spared, directly or indirectly.

Since we have not the least certainty at all about what is in store it would be wise to be prepared to confront a future without a future and, to this purpose, the pages that follow are written. They might never be necessary and thus be nothing more than a little addition to the personal basket of knowledge in a matured world. Utopia? Quite likely yes. It may not happen tomorrow, it may not happen during our life time, it my never happen.

Look at the world as it is now, the moments that you live in it, and you will be able to judge for yourself whether the following pages should be trashed at the outset or whether they might have some value which could make the difference between life and death. For me, personally, it is a duty to share this little knowledge since nothing warrants that it might not be necessary.
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Franco Dell'Oro except the pages that do not carry this notice. Free for educational and personal use. Cannot be reproduced in print for commercial purposes.