Nuclear Preparedness and Survival: A Guide To Staying Alive In The
The possibility of nuclear war is real, and nuclear preparedness is important!
Most people don’t want to think about nuclear war, and for good reason: it’s scary. But we need to be honest with ourselves about what could happen and what we can do to survive it.
A nuclear explosion is basically an extremely powerful explosion that releases a huge amount of energy into the atmosphere when an atomic nucleus splits or fuses. The resulting blast destroys everything in its path. This creates a shock wave that can travel hundreds of miles, which is what causes most of the damage.
There are many things you can do to protect yourself and your family in the event of this attack, including preparing a disaster supply kit, having an emergency plan, and having other items in your home that will come in handy if you’re forced to flee. Here is a guide to helping you prepare for nuclear threats:
Prepare your emergency kit as soon as possible.
We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have an emergency kit ready to go at a moment’s notice. We suggest you pack your emergency kit inside a sturdy backpack or duffel bag so it’s easy for you and everyone in your family to carry if you need to evacuate. Your emergency kit should include the following items:
- A pair of durable walking shoes for every member of your family
- At least five days’ worth of nonperishable food, including canned meats and stews, shelf-stable milk, peanut butter, and dried fruits
- Water bottles filled with clean water, enough for every member of your family for at least four days
- A first aid kit that includes:
- Antiseptic ointments like Neosporin
- Gas mask
- Antibiotic wipes
- Potassium Iodide(radiation emergency aid)
- Aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Glucose tablets or gel to treat low blood sugar (also known as hypoglycemia)
- Whistle (to signal help)
Check out these first-aid kits and medical supplies to keep your emergency gear stocked.
- An assortment of batteries in varying sizes, including AA, AAA, and D batteries
- A flashlight with spare bulbs
- A hand-crank radio that allows you to tune into local public service broadcasts during times when the power might be out — we suggest purchasing one with a cell phone charger built-in so it can double as a mobile phone charger if needed
Know the signs of an imminent nuclear explosion.
It would be pretty hard to miss a nuclear explosion if it were to happen near you. According to Department of Homeland Security the blast would come with intense light and heat (also known as thermal radiation) and a damaging pressure wave.
There may be widespread radioactive contamination of air, water, and ground surfaces. Fires would result from the heat pulse and secondary fires from the destruction. This blast is comparable to the heat inside the core of the sun.
When you hear a warning siren, whether it’s an air raid or tornado warning, or if you see flashing lights that signal a possible nuclear attack or an impending tsunami, take cover immediately.
An explosion will occur within 30 seconds of the initial warning. You won’t hear it coming because the sound travels at 768 miles per hour—the speed of light—and will arrive after the blast.
Seek immediate shelter as soon as you hear the siren or see the flash.
When you see a bright flash of light or hear the siren that accompanies the blast, drop to the ground and cover your head with your arms until after the shock wave passes. This will protect you from any debris that could otherwise injure you. Then seek shelter immediately, ideally in a sturdy building with thick walls, like a masonry home or basement.
Stay inside until it’s safe to come out.
There is no doubt that radiation levels near ground zero will be incredibly high immediately after detonation.
However, thanks to how quickly nuclear radiation decays through either dispersion or decay, it’s not as deadly as most people think in the long term.
As such, once the initial radioactivity dissipates through dispersion and decay (which can be anywhere from several days to weeks), it will be safe to come outside again so long as you’re careful about what you touch and eat.
If you’re caught outside when the blast hits, don’t look at the flash or fireball – it can blind you.
During a nuclear attack, you may find yourself outside in the open. If so, as soon as the flash appears on the horizon, drop to the ground and cover your head with your arms. Keep your eyes away from the flash or fireball – it will blind you. If you see a bright flash, close your eyes and turn away. This will help preserve your night vision if you need to move around later on (but make sure not to rub them).
Covering your body with some kind of thick material – even a jacket – will help protect against burns from radioactive particles falling from the sky following a blast. While an explosion is unlikely if you live far enough away from where an attack occurred, it’s still possible for radioactive fallout to reach areas hundreds of miles away from its origin.
Drop to the ground and cover your head with your arms until after the shock wave passes, then take shelter immediately, ideally in a sturdy building with thick walls, like a masonry home or basement.
Stay put in a shelter for 24-48 hours
During the first 24 to 48 hours following a nuclear explosion, radiation levels will be at their highest. To reduce exposure to radiation during this time period, stay inside and tune in to local radio stations for further advice from officials.
Under no circumstances should you leave your home until local officials say it is safe. Do not go outside for any reason! The only exceptions are fires, chemical hazards, or other emergencies inside your home.
Wait for officials to announce it’s safe to leave the shelter
In most cases, it’s safe to leave your shelter no later than 48 hours after detonation, but wait until officials announce it’s safe to do so.
After two days, it should be safe to leave your shelter. You will have to evacuate and follow the directions given to you by the officials in charge of the disaster. There will likely be a lot of people and traffic, so be patient and stay calm.
If you are not in an urban area, this may not apply. Generally speaking, if there are no nuclear facilities near you, you can leave sooner than 48 hours after detonation. Wait for the all-clear signal, then leave your home or shelter and head only in the direction that officials tell you to go.
A nuclear war could happen at any time, and the best way to survive one is nuclear preparedness. . This is an imminent threat, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world you know. With careful planning and an eye on the science of survival, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from the worst dangers of a nuclear attack.
We think you’ll find this guide a useful resource during any nuclear emergency or natural disaster. But don’t wait until it’s too late—start planning for the future today.