How to Survive Nuclear War

how to survive a nuclear war

With tensions between the United States and North Korea growing higher every year and relations between Russia at their lowest to date, we thought you might want to know how to survive nuclear war.

How to Survive Nuclear War fallout thumbs up nuclear war mushroom cloud
Vault Guy from Fallout giving the thumbs up.

Back in the day kids were taught in school that if they ever were to spot a nuclear mushroom cloud to hold their arm out with thumb out and use that as a gauge as to how near or far they are to the blast. If it is barely showing or not showing at all you were fairly safe. If it was clearly visible all around your thumb, you were suppose to start running. In fact, that is what many gamers speculate that the Vault Guy from Fallout is doing. This method is a very basic way to try and gauge how far the cloud is from you, but don’t bet your life on it’s accuracy. Depending on the type of bomb dropped your thumb may or may not be effective, additionally if a larger bomb is used it might not be an accurate method to determine the distance of the blast. In other words, if you enjoy your breathing, you’d probably be better off getting some cover.

Sedan crater at Nevada nuclear test site
Sedan crater at Nevada nuclear test site

One thing that you need to know is that if you are at ground zero of the blast site, odds are you won’t survive. About the only way that you would survive is if you were deep underground in a very strong blast resistant bunker, an option if you’re living in a densely populated city you won’t have. With this being the case, the carnage and destruction from a nuclear attack would be hardest felt in the densely populated regions of the US making targeting of these areas by our enemies a greater possibility. The best option for you to survive nuclear war would be to hightail it out of these targeted areas and spend some time in a more remote region.

If the bomb is a ground level or smaller tactical nuke, you would need to stay above the blast in at least an attempt to survive. If you live in or near a high-rise you should head to the top floor as fast as you possibly can to try to come out on top or above the blast. Your other option would be to go to a basement level of your home or apartment building and then find something to cover yourself with and do so, then lay down or squat down.

After the the initial blast of the bomb, you have about ten to twenty minutes to get at least a mile away from the blast. The further away from the blast and the resulting nuclear fallout the better. One thing to note here is the direction of wind. Make sure whatever direction you intend to move in is not in the direction of the wind, you do not want to move to a new area only to have the wind bring to fallout towards your new location. Getting away from the fall out if critical because you want to ensure that you lessen your exposure from the radiation. The majority of the fallout and radiation danger is from particles that you can either inhale or ingest. So, if you have Tyvek suits and respirators it would be critical to don this gear ASAP so you can limit your exposure and make the job of decontamination easier when you get to your final destination. If you don’t have fancy respirators it’s critical that you use something to keep from inhaling the particles, you can use a dust mask, a wet shirt, a bandana, etc. If you don’t have suits, make sure you remove all your potentially contaminated clothing and thoroughly wash off your entire body.


food storage prepper prepping nuclear fallout

One insurance policy you should have if you’re not already doing this is stocking plenty of canned foods. Making sure you have enough canned food and shelf stable products on hand will come in handy for any type of event, not just for a nuclear attack. Plus, you can usually pick up these items when they go on sale and typically have a long shelf life. It is understandable that many reading this just don’t have the space for extra, but you really should find some space somewhere to not only store those, but also water. My family does this simply because we live in a state where snowstorms could happen and are located very far off the road up a two track drive. Many can’t fathom keeping extra around in case of emergency, but you should start. You never know what could happen. When and if a nuclear attack did occur you will need a food source and a clean water source. Even with a well stocked pantry however you will definitely need to ration the food you and your family eat. MRE’s or meals ready to eat are something that cost a lot but could assist in making your food last longer.

Wherever you do end up at after the blast, there will be fallout soon after. The fallout is obviously radioactive and harmful to you. It is highly suggested remaining indoors somewhere safe or in the area you have chosen to avoid the initial blast. You will need to try and find more clothing for yourself as well. Layer clothing onto your body to keep a sort of barrier between any possible radiation and your skin.

shipping container fallout shelter
Shipping container fallout shelter.

Ideally, you should have a shelter or safe area where you can retreat to. If you live in the country this is not super hard to do being that you most likely have at least a few acres of land. One cheap way to build one is by purchasing shipping containers. Shipping containers can easily be buried into the ground near your home leaving the hardest job being building the access point to it. They typically cost around 1,500-8,000 dollars and some can even cost less than that. Once in the ground they can be converted into a more homelike area or left as is for basic survival. Some have converted their basements into shelters as well. You will need vent piping of course because you will be in there for a while and probably enjoy breathing. Build a cheap charcoal air scrubber yourself to be sure you are only breathing healthy air.

No matter where you end up you will be stuck there for up to nine days. You must remain inside for that period to allow all of the fallout to stop falling and to be able to travel freely. This is why rationing food is important, especially with families with more than two people. Once you feel it is safe to exit, any processed food you find in the new environment is safe as long as it is in the package still. Be sure to check for cracks or open lids. You may also want to carry at least some sort of weapon with you because you truly never know who you may run into out there or their intentions.

Once you are able to leave the bunker or safe are you found, you have virtually survived a nuclear attack.

Odds are that our military would  be able to prevent a nuclear attack, however choosing to remain unprepared for any possible event is a silly decision. How many times have we seen footage of or experienced a bad storm and the news shows footage of empty store shelves and frantic shoppers? Why go through all that? You shop weekly and could easily just add a few cans of food to your cart each week to be prepared for your family.

Is your family prepared? Got any tips? Leave them in the comments section below!

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