With the constant warmongering between the governments of the world, knowing how to “nuke-proof” a basement or crawlspace could ramp up your chances of survival in the event a nuclear weapon is deployed. Unless you’re at ground zero, in which case, there’s nothing you can do, there are a few ways to prepare your house for the best chance of survival.
As the risk of a nuclear attack increases, unless you live in a major city or right beside a strategic target, it’s definitely worth preparing your home. That will give you the best chance of survival. First, there are 5 different way a nuclear attack could kill:
- Thermal pulse – A very intense flash of heat and light
- Blast – Overpressure and high winds
- Prompt radiation – A pulse of X-Ray and gamma radiation
- Residual radiation – Alpha and beta radiation released by the ground around Ground Zero
- Fallout – Radioactive particles scattered by the explosion
If you survive the initial blast and your home makes it through, your biggest problem is going to be nuclear fallout. Radioactive particles will be scattered far and wide after the explosion and they can harm you. Radioactive dust blasted into the air is fused together with bomb material and reduced to the consistency of fine sand. It is then pumped up into the mushroom cloud and dispersed all over in the form of fallout. The heavier particles will start falling downwind of Ground Zero within minutes of the blast; while the lighter ones can be carried into the stratosphere’s high-altitude winds and come down almost anywhere on the globe. In the two weeks following a nuclear attack, the whole planet will get a very light dusting of fallout.
But you can prepare your basement or crawlspace. You should prepare a room inside with no external walls as a “fallout room.” Because fallout will collect on the roof, a basement is the best place to create your fallout room. You want to be able to stay as far away from the fallout as possible. Seal off your room and then thicken the walls. The main hazard is going to be beta radiation, and that can make it through a few inches of wood or nearly an inch of aluminum. So build up either bricks or cinder blocks. Sandbags work great too if that’s all you can get your hands on. Stack furniture or other objects around your room to absorb fallout before it can get to you.
Because you’re going to be staying in there for two weeks or more after a nuclear attack, store some food, and water in sealed and covered containers so fallout cannot contaminate your supply. Firefighting equipment and camping gear should be in your fallout room, and any comforts you have space for. Consider getting a portable toilet. You may want to spend extra money on something like this just because it is going to be stuck in your fallout room with you for several weeks.
This is a basic starter’s guide to creating a fallout shelter in your basement and won’t account for everyone’s individual situation. However, it’s a start!