In an article that appeared in The Conversation, Professor Cham Dallas the Director at the Institute for Disaster Management at University of Georgia says that the nation is not well prepared for what would happen if a 10 kiloton device hit the US.
Dallas says the problem is that many people are living in denial. They believe the threat from nuclear weapons has receded when it is actually increasing steadily.
According to Dallas, the impact from a detonation on medicine and public health would be devasting:
The majority of deaths – around 100,000, depending on the area – would happen soon after the detonation.
No real evacuation plans are in place, so survivors will remain trapped in area.
Local health care response capability would be largely eradicated.
Damage will make it extremely difficult to respond, recover and rehabilitate.
Health care workers would have little to no familiarity with the treatment of radiation victims.
There would also be a massive number of laceration injuries from the breakage of virtually all glass in a wide area.
Large swaths of territory will be uninhabitable for decades.
Many could die from the effects years later, as the fallout spreads across the country.