How to Survive a Nuclear Disaster

by | Apr 22, 2019 | Headline News | 21 comments

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    This article was originally published by Prepper Aaron at The Simple Prepper.

    With the advent of nuclear technologies – the threat to everyone is unfortunately very real. If you are truly going to prepare for the nuclear threat, you must understand all the possible outcomes to be best prepared.

    When you hear the words nuclear disaster, most people start thinking about a nuclear strike from a foreign country.

    However, the threat of a nuclear disaster is much more than just nuclear weapons and war. In fact, you could have a serious nuclear threat right in your backyard.

    If that’s the case, you need to know how to react and what you need on hand to stay alive through the radiation and fallout.


    Top 3 Known Threats Of Nuclear Disaster

    1) Nuclear Power Plants

    There are nearly a hundred active nuclear power plants in our nation. These power plants supply millions of Americans with power each day and they are simply benign in the landscape and in how they affect our daily lives.

    However, the greatest nuclear disasters of the 21st century did not happen on the battlefield.

    Rather, they happened at a nuclear powerplant in Japan (Fukushima in 2011), and of course Chernobyl in 1986. Both are catastrophic nuclear accidents that have left irreparable damage to their surrounding areas.

    Source: Wikipedia

    Experts estimate it will take 20,000 years before the 19-mile radius around Chernobyl is safe for habitation by humans.

    2) Terrorists

    While the threat of terrorists is very real, their current capacity seems to be limited to things like guns and trucks. Do you think it will be that way forever? Sad to say, but the day may come when we see an American city attacked by a dirty bomb.

    The dirty bomb is an explosive device that contains radioactive material and is used to spread that radiation over a small area. It pales in comparison to the destruction and affect of a nuclear bomb but in a small crowded area the dirty bomb can do plenty of damage.

    The time may come when terrorists figure out how to incorporate nuclear capabilities into their arsenal, so take note.

    3) War

    Of course, we are still facing the threat of nuclear war. Even after all these years and the understanding that an all-out nuclear war could mean the end of humanity. Its hard not to envision a future war where both sides are pushed to the brink and start lobbing nukes at one another.

    Whether we are facing the growing contingent of radical dictatorial leaders or some other nation state, nuclear war is far from a thing of the past.


    How Far Reaching Is Nuclear Fallout?

    We all need to get real when it comes to the conversation of radioactive fallout. While it can be very dangerous, fallout itself requires the right conditions. Of the various nuclear threats we face only one version is going to produce a large cloud of nuclear fallout.

    According to Dave Jones, a long-time military man and expert in the field, a surface detonated nuclear bomb is the only tool that is going to send that plume of radiated material high enough into the sky that it will rain down for miles.

    Dave also mentions that the most likely form of detonation in a large city, in America, would be in a delivery truck at ground level. So, there is validity in being prepared for fallout depending on how far from a city you might be.

    One of the best ways for a civilian to understand the affect or radioactive fallout on their town is to use NUKEMAP. This is a free service that allows you to simulate a detonation of powerful nuclear weapons across a map of your area.

    Aside from offering up information on immediate damage it also shows the full scope and direction of radioactive fallout. You can detonate powerful weapons in the most populated city or army base in your area and see if the fallout reaches your home. You may be out of range of this threat altogether.

    What Happens If You Are Exposed To Nuclear Fallout?

    As bad as nuclear fallout sounds, you may be surprised at the simple methods that can be used to mitigate the risk and exposure.

    If you find yourself exposed to nuclear fallout (ash, rain, radiation, etc.) – it can be managed by simply removing your clothes and leaving them outside or in a rubber made container and promptly taking a soapy shower. Doing this with a protective respirator on will assure the fallout doesn’t get inside the body.

    Once you have been washed off you are free of the debris that has been touched by the radiation. Thus, the radioactive fallout is gone. Only when you are trapped outside in the fallout does it really become an issue.

    Symptoms Of Radiation Sickness

    If you or someone you love has been affected by nuclear fallout you should know how to identify the symptoms. You are going to be feeling a lot of things in a nuclear disaster. Feeling sick from stress, emotional drain and downright terror could all make you feel like sick.

    This is a list of symptoms attributed to radiation sickness.

    • Extreme fatigue
    • Ringing in your ears
    • Frequent colds or increased infections
    • Unexplained bleeding or small red spots on your skin
    • Fever or burns
    • Headache or confusion
    • Nausea, vomiting, or bloody diarrhea

    Setting Up A Radiation Shelter In Your Home

    While you might think that the only way to survive the effects of nuclear fallout is buried deep in an emergency shelter, you are wrong. In fact, every American is completely capable of setting up their own in-home fallout shelter and waiting out the radiation.

    Just to be clear I am talking about surviving nuclear fallout, not a nuclear blast. If you find yourself in the blast area, unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to survive.

    Beyond the blast radius, radiation from a blast will not last forever. Contrary to popular belief. In fact, levels can seriously decrease in a matter of hours. Check out FEMA’s guidelines on the 7:10 rule.

    The 7:10 Rule of Thumb states that for every 7-fold increase in time after detonation, there is a 10-fold decrease in the exposure rate. In other words, when the amount of time is multiplied by 7, the exposure rate is divided by 10. For example, let’s say that 2 hours after detonation the exposure rate is 400 R/hr. After 14 hours, the exposure rate will be 1/10 as much, or 40 R/hr.

    As you can see radiation will decrease over time, but you need to be insulated from it during the decrease period. The best way to do this is to think about insulation. Things like mattresses, cushions, and thick blankets can provide you with this insulation. Even plastic sheeting taped along doors, windows, and any other opening to the outside will provide substantial protection.

    You will want to find a location near the core of your home, away from windows and air flow from the outside world. Here you can create an insulated shelter in a closet or hallway that will put the maximum distance between yourself and the fallout outside.

    Into this shelter, you should bring things like food, water, entertainment, and an emergency radio. As you can see, you might be holed up in there for a while to avoid as much radiation as possible!

    So be prepared for that. Listen to the radio so you can stay on top of radiation levels and how your area is being affected. These broadcasts will also tell you when it’s safe to go outside again.


    Addressing Demands That Follow A Nuclear Disaster

    A nuclear disaster is a very scary thought! Depending on the size and scope of nuclear disaster we could see a variety of failures in public service. These will have the biggest impacts on life after the disaster. If we see critical infrastructure like water treatment, power and waste management services disrupted you will quickly feel the effects.

    Contrary to popular belief, a nuclear blast (assuming it is a single event) is much more manageable afterward than other types of events. In situations like Chernobyl and Fukushima – radioactive waste is dumped for days at a time, or longer, in massive quantities.

    Bombs and power plant disasters are two very different things. If you are in an area facing a meltdown of a power plant, you must leave immediately.  The condition of the land and water will be so bad, it is irrelevant.

    However, if you find yourself managing fallout from a nuclear blast you should consider these 4 things to be best prepared.

    Food and Water

    You can count on your sealed food and water in a nuclear disaster (like these). They will be fine to eat and drink. Don’t grab food from your garden or water from your rain barrels. These will have nuclear particles on them for some time.

    Backup Power

    The effect on your local power grid is going to be substantial. Multiple city blocks will be obliterated. Don’t look for power to be back on for some time. The same can be said for WIFI signals. Be sure that you have other options like solar or a generator.

    Security

    Unfortunately, in times of severe distress people may act in their own self interest and try to take things. Even a nuclear bomb won’t keep the bad people away. You need to have a means to secure that food, water and backup power.

    I will let you decide how you plan to do that, but my first option is a 12-gauge shotgun deterrent.

    First Aid

    Emergency services are going to be busy, to say the least. The more self sufficient you can be when treating illness and injury the better off you will be. This doesn’t mean avoiding the proper care if you need it but just be prepared to be turned away and have another option. Consider reading this if you have a medical condition.


    5 Nuclear Specific Preps

    There are certain preps that really lend themselves to prepping for a nuclear disaster. Take a minute to explore these 5 below. You might find that you are more prepared for a situation like this than you thought.

    1) Potassium Iodide Tablets (PI Tabs)

    These tablets find a home in the nuclear disaster kits of most preppers. These small pills are used to saturate your thyroid which will keep your body from allowing radiation to spread throughout it. These tabs are cheap and are easy to get your hands on. They are not top-secret stuff anymore – be sure you have enough for your family and maybe some extra to spare. The benefits of these tablets are immeasurable immediately after a nuclear disaster.

    2) Radiation Counters

    A much larger investment than the PI Tabs a radiation counter or radiation measurement device is going to tell you exactly how much radiation is in the air. There will be no guessing here. While these are expensive preps, I think if you are near a nuclear power plant it might be worth having. You never know when you might need it.

    3) Baking Soda

    Baking soda or soap and water are the key to radiological decontamination. You know, its not like you need a secret serum to decontaminate yourself. You will need something to scrub your hair and body with. Baking soda is a pretty common prep and you are likely storing it already.

    4) Respirator Masks

    While fallout on the body can be washed away, fallout in the body is going to do serious damage. If you inhale micro fallout particles it’s going to affect your lungs first and your whole body over time. A quality respirator is a very important prep to have on hand in case of a nuclear disaster. Check out these respirators to add to your stash.

    5) Eye Protection

    Eyes are another area that can be affected by fallout. Maybe you rub your eyes with a sleeve and not understand what you are doing. This is very dangerous and will spread that material throughout your body, as well. Be sure to have something to cover your sensitive parts immediately after a nuclear event.


    Make Sure You Are Ready NOW!

    The threat of a nuclear disaster is more complex than most people think. Every radiological disaster is different. The most important takeaway is to understand what items you need to add to your inventory to assure you can respond to such a disaster.

    The one thing that all nuclear disasters have in common is that they inflict serious damage either from blast radius, radiation or both. No matter what the situation, you must act in a nuclear disaster.

    Having the knowledge and the right preps will help but in most instances of fallout and radiation you are going to fall back on two major skills. The first being patience. You can safely wait out radioactive fallout. That is the best move if you are on the outskirts of the disaster.

    The other skill is going to be your evacuation or bugout skills. If you are too close to an area and the radiation is hazardous, well, you have no choice but to leave.

    For those in the blast radius of a modern-day nuclear weapon, well, there aren’t really any preps that will help you. The best thing you can do is be prepared for the worst and hope and pray for the best!

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      21 Comments

      1. Kevin2

        It’s important to follow the six steps to do in event of a nuclear attack.

        1. Close ALL of your windows
        2. Go to the lowest part of your home, preferably the basement.
        3. Go to the wall on the side where you expect the attack to come from.
        4. Pull your pants down
        5. Bend over
        6. Kiss your ass goodby

        • Stuart

          Sick Kev, very sick. 🙂
          My rule number one for nuclear survival is – don’t be where the bomb goes off.
          I’m not being cute. Everyone thinks that they’re OK if they don’t live around a military base but, with the exception of strategic forces; ports, refineries and other industrial areas are far more likely targets than your local joint training base.
          In other words, live out in the country. I personally like the Southwest because the prevailing winds are out of Mexico and nobody is going to nuke Northern Mexico.

          • Kevin2

            Stuart

            What is sick are the weapons themselves.

            If one lives in the middle of nowhere, away from everywhere you’ll likely initially get by up until you have a now early treatable medical need like an inflamed appendix or even an abyss tooth which post armageddon would likely be fatal. Russia has 1600 warheads that are good to go. I assume 500 or so are directed at the US proper, maybe more. It’s likely a bio / viral attack would occur (as is nature providing same post boom wouldn’t be enough) as a follow up. Medical science and facilities? They got boomed too along with the irreplaceable highly educated personnel. Conversely the “shithole countries” in the southern hemisphere would be largely untouched. This altering of demographics by madness would likely raise them into dominance in some kind of “Planet Of The Apes” world.

            • Kevin2

              One could think that a post apocalyptic world would be a technical manifestation of Pol Pot who intentionally killed off the educated (granted his educational bar was quite low) leaving the ignorant. The technology developed by the smart destroys them disproportionately leaving the primitive to proliferate. What an irony.

              • Genius

                NOTE TO SELF: put ape costume in with preps.

            • Stuart

              ” Conversely the “shithole countries” in the southern hemisphere would be largely untouched.”

              There’s a lot to be said for Uruguay. Buenos Aries is quite nice. Just be sure to bring your own money.

              Anyway, the Russkies are just a whipping boy to keep the Hoi Paloi stirred up to assure military funding. Russia will never attack us. China on the other hand…

              • Kevin2

                Stuart

                Any nation with a reasonably high industrial base and with it an educated skilled workforce that isn’t a target nor in proximity of a target is solid gold Realestate post boom. In all likelihood Spanish may become the dominate language.

        • TharSheBlows

          Go to this site http://www.RadiationNetwork . com to see all the Nuke Power plant location in the US. Live updates and nuke radiation levels that are being emitted right now in your area. Keep this Link APP on your cell phones.
          You want to live far up wind from any of these facilities.

          Want to survive a Nuke Disaster? Don’t live next to one of these places. Go remote, off the grid and set up all your utilities yourself. water, electric, septic.. And you can only do this in rural areas. Away from the masses.

          • TharSheBlows

            Go to this site ht tp://www.RadiationNetwork . com to see all the Nuke Power plant location in the US. Live updates and nuke radiation levels that are being emitted right now in your area. Keep this Link APP on your cell phones.
            You want to live far up wind from any of these facilities.

            Want to survive a Nuke Disaster? Don’t live next to one of these places. Go remote, off the grid and set up all your utilities yourself. water, electric, septic.. And you can only do this in rural areas. Away from the masses.

      2. Stuart

        I also think these writers place far too much emphasis on fallout.
        Yes, it is critical to know which way the prevailing winds are but that is a short term phenomenon with an air-burst.
        It is hard for me to believe that a foreign power would purposely dilute the superior devastation of a low altitude air-burst by mixing the shock wave with large quantities of dirt.

        • Genius

          I think the downwinders in southern Utah would beg to differ. They have been sueing the govt. for decades over fallout related cancers etc. Fallout from testing in Nevada.

          • Stuart

            Of course they would but that’s about MONEY not reality.
            Nevada testing also happened in war time 75 years ago before these issues were well known. It has absolutely no relevance to the issue at hand.

      3. rellik

        When I was in the Military in Guam.
        I was dispatched to repair an aircraft that had been flown
        through a Chinese Nuke bomb test cloud. Somebody had screwed up and had not decontaminated the aircraft or informed us about contamination. We all got new uniforms as they took all of ours. We all went to the navy base for radiation evaluations and briefings on radiation de-contamination and illnesses. Our barracks were cleaned by somebody, not us.
        A lot of people think we treat our soldiers like crap, but those people were pretty damn serious about what we were exposed to.
        That was 44 years ago and I’m still here.

        • John

          Rellik
          You were likely exposed INTENTIONALLY. USA/British gov uses soldiers as lab rats. We don’t matter. Especially enlisted men. Very glad you are ok.
          Did your hair fall out? Ours did after they intentionally exposed us.
          Get this free pdf online. Then I would order several hard copies for yourself, family, friends, church, etc.
          – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
          Book:/ free pdf
          “Nuclear War
          Survival
          Skills
          Updated and Expanded
          1987 Edition”

          Author:
          Cresson H. Kearny

          With Foreword by Dr. Edward Teller
          – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
          Find it at web site Here:

          0 i s m . 0 r g / nwss /

          This VERY IMPORTANT pdf, book, info, might save your families life.

          -Remove yourself from ground zero and blast zone. NOW. You must move your location away from ground zero and likely downwind fallout drift if possible.

          Blast -Destruction
          EMP -vehicles, electronics, don’t work, no water pumps.
          Flash -Fire
          Fallout -Remember wind direction. Are you downwind?

          Earth protection is your friend. Stay protected underground much longer than you believe, or the “experts”/military, say is necessary. Military wants us soldiers to fight. They don’t care if you as a soldier dies later. The commanders just want to win the battle at that moment.

          As civilian who wants to live. You must remember about radioactive half life. Stay underground.

          Good fear monger entertainment, Two DVD movies:
          1. “The Day After”, from MGM 1983
          2. “The Road”, from 2009 w/Viggo Mortensen, Robert Duvall (make sure 2009 version. As there is another different movie by same title)

      4. lost karma

        This is a pretty good short article. There are extensive “how to survive a nuke accident/attack” manuals on the web that expand on this.

        Remember TDS: minimize Time around a source of radiation; maximize Distance from a source of radiation; and Shield yourself with anything you can find that’s practicable.

        One comment: If I saw 40R/hr on one of my meters and leaving my house wasn’t an option I’d get a bottle of whiskey and my .357. I’m basically cooked in 24 hours. I’m not going through weeks of pain waiting to die.

        Diarrhea and vomiting are usually the first symptoms of radiation poisoning. The cells in the intestines undergo mitosis very quickly and the body is trying to get rid of the damaged cells any way it can.

      5. Old Codger

        20,000 years eh?

        I wonder how it is that a very large number of wild animals have been living there for years, along with a similar thing with human ‘squatters’?

      6. Jim in Va.

        Unfortunately I’m 15 miles from Mount Weather in northern Va. You can bet they’ll hit that with more than one missile and devastate everything within 40 miles. there are a lot of scattered facilities around us and some in West Va. the winds go northeast from us which is good but we’re not in an ideal area. This is where we would bug in(basement)

      7. Sgt. Dale

        MAC Now this is what I’m talking about. Thanks for a great article.
        After reading this I find myself setting pretty. Doesn’t mean I’m stopping on the prepps for this but I’m in Damn Good shape.
        Again Mac Thanks.
        Sgt.

      8. brotherhorse

        1) Potassium Iodide Tablets (PI Tabs)
        **KI** never herd them referred to as PI

        Serious lack of info there, you make it sound like it blocks all radiation.
        That will get people killed, nothing blocks all radiation and KI pills
        don’t block anything they stop *most* absorption of iodine 131 only.

        KI has a single main function in this area, other effects can be useful/harmful.

      9. Bilge Pump McCoy

        I love playing with the nuke simulator. But for some reason I keep nuking Washington DC. Somebody stop me.

      10. george

        any commercial airline hub capable of refueling military aircraft will be hit .

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