How to Survive the Nuclear Holocaust as a St. Luke’s Student

Jack Hobbs ’17, Staff Writer

~This article was written entirely under the influence of

If Russia were to detonate the Tsar Bomba- its 100 Megaton super nuke- over the heart of Manhattan, it is estimated that upwards of 8 million people would perish. The fireball would destroy Manhattan in its entirety, and the subsequent blast would level cities as far outside of New York as twenty miles, including Yonkers, Newark, and New Rochelle. Most importantly, however, St. Luke’s students without immediate shelter would suffer potentially fatal third degree burns within minutes due to thermal radiation.

While St. Luke’s’ proximity to New York City (only 55 miles) is largely positive, allowing students to visit concerts, museums, theaters, and institutions on field trips across one of the largest and most diverse cities in the world, such a location might prove less than ideal in the event of the nuclear holocaust. New York’s population and status as a major hub of diplomacy and commerce make the city that never sleeps an incredibly probable target should  World War III commence in full nuclear capacity.  As such, we St. Luke’s students should be prepared for a stray sonic boom to hit us in the middle of an otherwise normal school day as we’re trying to eat lunch in the Fireplace Commons. Who knows, after the blast, Flik might try to salvage any food left by fleeing students and serve it the day after. Careful, though–some foods retain radiation for long periods of time!

So, should a mushroom cloud appear on the horizon, St. Luke’s students should not evacuate. Your first instinct may be to hop in a car and drive upstate as quickly as possible, but a lot of people will probably have the same idea. While you’re trapped in the standstill traffic with thousands of other people, the blast will trigger an electromagnetic pulse strong enough to wipe out your cell phone, or maybe even disable your car. Without Waze to direct you on your phone, how will you know which route will help you escape imminent nuclear destruction? Besides, trying to get out of one of the St. Luke’s parking lots isn’t very realistic. Just think of the line of SLS moms snaking its way down North Wilton as they open all four doors and trunk of their 10-seater Suburban so that their 1.5 kids can take their sweet time tossing their lax bag and Kanken into the car while radioactive fallout turns their labradoodle into Gumby.

If you can’t flee, what can you do? Believe it or not, you can indeed hide from radiation. However, since St. Luke’s does not keep Hazmat suits on hand, and has not installed any sort of effective bunker to shelter its students from radiation, you’ve got to be resourceful. The key is to know the layout of the school. Thankfully for us, most of the school is made of bricks and concrete. This is an ideal situation in the case of a nuclear detonation, as such solid building materials work more effectively than wood to shield radiation. However, it would behoove students to vacate such places as the Science wing and the Fireplace Commons in which large glass windows dominate. These will shatter and wound those nearby with shrapnel! As such, the best place to hide is only known to loyal Sentinel readers…the secret clubhouse under the school! It’s right by Flik’s long term storage of water and food supplies, so not only will the thick cement between it and the contaminated surface protect against radiation, but you’ll be able to hide out there until help arrives.

While the apocalypse might seem to be the perfect opportunity to leave the Hilltop once and for all, if the nuclear holocaust should commence during a school day there could not be a worse time to escape the storm.  Take note!  You heard it here first!


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