Staying Alive After A Nuclear Attack:Step By Step Guide

While it is true that the likelihood of a full-scale nuclear conflict between Superpowers is far less likely then it was decades ago, the risk of a more targeted nuclear strike by a terrorist state or organization, or the release of a radiological event, has actually increased.



The Department of Homeland Security identifies the following most likely targets of nuclear attack.

  • Strategic missile sites and military bases.
  • Centers of government such as Washington, DC, and state capitals.
  • Important transportation and communication centers.
  • Manufacturing, industrial, technology.
  • Petroleum refineries, nuclear and electrical power plants, and chemical plants.
  • Major ports and airfields.
  • Major cities and financial centers.

If you live near any of the above, your risk is greater than someone who does not.

Communications in the aftermath of a nuclear event may be difficult or totally non-existent, because of the effects of EMP. If you are separated from your family, you had better plan on some methods of communication other then cell phones.

Taking shelter during a nuclear blast is absolutely necessary. There are two kinds of shelters – blast and fallout. Most communities no longer have designated blast or fall out shelters. Look for buildings or facilities with large basements, such as hospitals. Not a pleasant prospect but hospital morgues make for great shelters, as they usually are in the lowest basement, and have heavy concrete walls. Other places to take shelter:

  • Boiler Rooms and Pipe Runs and Chases (a pipe run or chase is under large buildings such as schools, that are a series of catacombs housing pipes and electrical conduits, usually below the basement.)
  • Subways and Other Tunnels,
  • Underground Parking Garages
  • Bank Vaults – a great shelter if you can get access, and not locked in if electronic or timed locks fail in the blast.
  • Caves – as long as you stay well back from the entrance.

Any protection, however temporary, is better than none at all, and the more shielding, and distance from the blast or fallout area you can take advantage of, the better.



You do not have to be within the immediate vicinity of a nuclear blast to feel the effects of fallout. Once fallout is predicted to start, sleep in the basement, especially along the walls that are underground, to enhance the minimal protection offered by your house. Pile items on the floor above you – such as books and heavy or thick furniture, because everything between you and the fallout on your roof will offer you some degree of protection.

In the section on first aid, I told you that we are trained to keep wounds uncovered to let them drain. In a radiation fallout area, that changes -you MUST cover any exposed wound to prevent radiation from entering your body.

Tips and Takeaways

Here is a trick I’ve learned that could come in very handy for you during civil unrest, or martial law.

Buy A Video Camera

  A big one, not the kind that is used for personal use, but a big camcorder that looks like it is used by TV News Crews. You can find these pretty cheap on EBay and such as they have been replaced by much smaller and digital models, it does not even have to work. It is not for filming, but a great way to “hide in plain sight” and stay safe during a riot. If you look like you are part of the Press, usually both rioters and police will avoid attacking you. You can complete the disguise by wearing a “Shooter’s Vest” with lots of pockets, and a baseball cap with a TV News logo on it, which you can usually find in any Thrift or Second hand store.


Crushed in a crowd?

Self preservation is the key. Try to ride it out like a buoy in the sea. If caught in a crowd surge, stay away from anything solid like a wall, barrier, or pillar. Keep hands out of your pockets and remove your tie, or anything else that could be grabbed and take you down.

Be careful of roadblocks.

In a time or urban conflict or unrest you are going to see both expanded police roadblocks, with warrantless searches, harsh questioning, and possibly mass arrests, and most likely “freelance” roadblocks set up by anybody from political protesters to bandits. If it’s humanly possible, avoid roadblocks. It’s not illegal to turn away from a police or military roadblock, as long as you don’t disobey any traffic laws. Police do consider it suspicious behavior and may come after you, even if you’ve done nothing wrong; but in a time of civil unrest, avoiding a roadblock could save your skin. If, in a time and place of unrest, you’re in a line approaching a roadblock, watch what happens to the people ahead of you. If you see any sign that the motorists ahead are being abused, get the hell out of there.

When confronted by a thug, or mugger – look for anywhere nearby where you can flee to help you escape or gain an advantage. This is not a movie, this is life and death. There is nothing dishonorable or “unmanly” by running away if that will save your life!

A great Survival Tool is a large Mag Light or similar Tactical Flashlight — it not only serves your needs for a flashlight in various Survival Situations, thispowerful flashlight may dazzle an attacker, and also makes for a sturdy and handy club.

If you live in an area that has outlawed the sale of Pepper Spray, go to your local hardware store or supermarket and get a can of Wasp Spray in the insecticide aisle. Get only the Wasp or Hornet Spray, nothing else. It gives you a range of 25-50ft with a chemical spray that is almost as effective as pepper spray when hitting the face of an aggressor.

HEPA filters do not filter out chemical agents, and will not help you during a chemical attack, however they are useful in biological attacks. If you have a central heating and cooling system in your home with a HEPA filter, leave it on if it is running or turn the fan on if it is not running. Moving the air in the house through the filter will help remove the agents from the air.

You should add a radiation detection device, and potassium iodide tablets to your survival kit if you live within 10 miles of a nuclear power plant.



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