By Steve Arney
A nuclear attack could occur at precisely 10 a.m. on the first Tuesday of the month. Our alert officials would not be able to warn us, because the alarm would already be going off during the routine test of the emergency siren.
People would hear the alarm. Look up. Think a second. They would say to themselves, Oh, 10 a.m. first Tuesday. They would walk on, oblivious to the danger. They wouldn't know to get to a shelter, or a home or a school or some other safe place. They wouldn't think about ducking under a table or desk and covering themselves to prevent injury.
They might see a bright flash and it wouldn't occur to them that an atomic bomb had exploded, because the routine emergency warning -- and the bombing -- both would be occurring at 10 a.m. on the first Tuesday of a month.
No one would duck and cover. No one would remember to put a coat or a newspaper over his head to protect himself from a bad burn -- worse than a sunburn -- from the atomic bomb. Kids wouldn't shield themselves by scrunching their heads against brick walls.
The unprotected people would get hurt. Some of them would get burned. Worse than a sunburn. Some of them would get cut by flying glass because they did not duck and cover.