What If...? Nuclear War Preparations
By Tim Gamble
I went to elementary school in the 1970s, during the Cold War with the old Soviet Union. The public school I attended held "atomic bomb" drills every so often, much as public schools today hold fire drills. An alarm would sound (different from the fire alarm), and we all had to get up from our desks and move into the hallway, where we would line up along the walls. Then the teachers would have us sit down on the floor with our backs against the wall, our knees pulled up in front of us, arms around our legs, and our heads placed between our knees. These "duck and cover" drills were commonplace throughout America during the Cold War.
As horrible as it is to contemplate, the possibility of a nuclear war, either all-out or limited in scope, is at least as real today as it was back then, probably even greater. Unless you die instantly from a direct hit from a nuclear warhead, you will survive the initial nuclear attack and have to deal with its aftermath. How do we do so? How do we prepare for nuclear war and its aftermath? Here are some ideas and resources to get you started:
Nuclear War Survival: A One Hour Crash Course - Learn the basics fast, just in case. It is a short book that is exactly what it says it is - a crash course covering the basics for nuclear war survival. Only $7.99 for the paperback or just 99 cents for the kindle edition at Amazon.
2) The 1987 edition of Cresson H. Kearny's Nuclear War Survival Skills is available for free download at http://www.oism.org/nwss/. This is the highly-recommended classic nuclear war survival guide commissioned by the US government. It is also a good idea to have a hard copy of this book instead of relying solely on a digital copy. The paperback of the 1987 edition is available on Amazon for just $10.39 at the moment. Folks, it doesn't matter what edition you get, as the physics of nuclear war haven't changed, and the information presented by Kearny is not "out of date."
3) Potassium Iodine (KI) tablets are used for radiation poisoning. They are not expensive, and are available without prescription, but learn how and when to use them first*. Click here to find them on Amazon (there has been a big run on KI so prices are going up quickly and supplies are running low).
* According to the CDC "People should take KI (potassium iodide) only on the advice of public health or emergency management officials. There are health risks associated with taking KI." Learn more on the CDC website by clicking here.
4) SouthernPrepper1 (David Kobler) has done many videos over the years on preparing for nuclear, radiological, and EMP events. I highly recommend you look up those videos on his YouTube channel.
5) Dust kicked up by nuclear explosions can travel great distances, but the good news is that the fallout dust is contaminated by gamma radiation, which degrades very rapidly. You will need to protect your homes/shelters, and especially your skin, eyes, and lungs, for the first 48 to 72 hours after a nuclear event. I recently bought some extra plastic sheeting, tarps, and gorilla tape to build dust barriers (covering windows, doors, attic access points, etc.) from potential nuclear fallout.
N95 masks and even those ear loop facemasks we all have now are actually pretty good for protecting against fallout dust (the dust being considerably larger than viruses). Long pants, long sleeves, shoes, safety glasses, ski masks, and gloves also work. Reduce the amount of exposed skin as much as possible. You don't have to have really expensive gear. If you do want to go the extra step, check out protective suits and N 95 masks on Amazon. You do not need gas masks to protect yourself from nuclear fallout dust.
6) All other forms of prepping - from stockpiling food and water to establishing a family communications plan - will come in very handy in surviving a nuclear war, so keep up and even intensify all your current preparations.
7) Distance + Mass = Safety. The more distance, and the more mass, between you and a nuclear event, the safer you will be. If you live in or very near potential targets (large population centers, important cities, military bases, etc.), you may want to consider moving further away.
***** Completely new to prepping? Please check out my recent article Preparedness - A Quick Start Guide, for six easy steps you can take this week that will get you more ready for any future chaos than 90% of other folks.