1) Bring home any family members that are overseas. Russia is doing this, and we would be wise to follow their lead. If a world war should break out, or nuclear weapons be used even in a limited way, it will be months or even years before you will be able to reunite with family members that are overseas when hostilities break out. Bring home NOW any students studying abroad, or any other family members who are overseas for whatever reasons. Cancel any overseas vacations or trips. You can always go later if nothing happens.
2) Newbies: Start preparing now, if you haven't already. It doesn't matter if you call yourself a prepper, a survivalist, or just someone trying to be more self-reliant. Just do it. Don't know where to begin? Read my article A quick, no frills, down & dirty guide to preparing for the End, which will give you the basic outline, in less then 10 minutes, of what you need to be doing. There are numerous other articles on this website with lots of preparedness & survival inforamtion, along with book and gear reviews. Start with those articles listed in the "Solutions" section in the left hand column.
Another good resource for general preparedness and survival is James Wesley Rawles' book How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times.
3) Advanced Preppers/Survivalists: The 1987 edition of Cresson H. Kearny's Nuclear War Survival Skills is available for FREE download at http://www.oism.org/nwss/. I list this as being "advanced" because folks need to be doing the basics of prepping first, before trying to prepare specifically for a nuclear war.
4) Are you living in or near a likely nuclear target? For a variety of reasons, all-out nuclear war is extremely unlikely, but the limited use of nukes is a possibility. The Russians would want to exploit the resources of the US after the war, therefore don't want to reduce all of America to a radioactive no-go zone. A likely scenario is a handful of nuclear weapons are used to take out a few crucial military and command-and-control targets.
The Russians may be counting on Obama's weakness to prevent him from ordering a counter-strike, thus partially removing the Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) doctrine that actually helped us survive the cold war. Carefully consider where you are living, and if there are any critical military targets nearby. Consider moving if you are near one.
5) Food and Water will be critical. You need to have plenty of stored food & water, and ideally the ability to produce even more. Our modern food distribution system is precariously balanced, and will likely collapse during and following a major world war.
6) Dealing with Radiation: Kearny's Nuclear War Survival Skills (link to a FREE download is given above) goes into much more detail, and with more expertise, than I can give here, so I'll only make a couple of quick comments:
a) The best protection against radiation is space and mass. The further way from a nuclear blast you are, the safer you'll be. The more mass you have between you and a nuclear blast, the safer you'll be.
b) Potassium Iodide Tablets offer some protection (not complete radiation protection), but you need to know how to use them properly. Find out now how to use them, and ONLY use them when absolutely necessary. Start with the CDC video Pharmaceutical Countermeasures for Radiation Emergencies – KI (Potassium Iodide).
c) Dr. Joe and Amy Alton's excellent book, The Survival Medicine Handbook, has a chapter on Radiation Sickness. I HIGHLY recommend this book, and consider it a MUST HAVE for any serious prepper or survivalist.
7) Minimum Pre-Crisis Preparations for a Nuclear Event: Chapter 16 of Kearny's Nuclear War Survival Skills gives a list of minimum preparations, including shelter, ventilation-cooling, water, fallout meter, food, sanitation, medicines, light, radio, and other essentials. You can read chapter 16 on my website, or preferably download the entire book for free at
8) My Personal Preparations: What am I actually doing in response to the threat of war with Russia? I've been a "prepper" for well over 10 years, so have already made many preparations. My personal preps over the last 2 weeks include:
- Closely monitoring news reports relating to the situation, form both mainstream & alternative sources, and both American & international sources.
- Added additional food storage. Made a special trip to Sam's Club last Thursday for the express purpose of buying extra food, especially canned meats (salmon, chicken), and a few other items.
- Purchased extra ammo last week above what I had organically planned.
- Ordered extra fish antibiotics (to take care of my pet fish, of course), and ordered two bottles of Potassium Iodine tablets (the first I've ever purchased).
- Double checked my water storage to make sure it is properly rotated (I rotate water every six-months). I plan on adding to my water storage this week.
- Stocked up on antioxidant vitamins I take for my eyes (I now have a six-month supply on-hand). Likewise, you should stock up on any special medications or supplements you take.
- Performed maintenance on my vehicles to assure that they are in excellent working condition. You don't want your bug-out vehicle to break-down in a crisis.