When I was growing up the Cold War gave us the threat of nuclear annihilation. The collapse of the Soviet Union seemed to ease these problems. Now, it seems, our idiotic “leaders” in Washington may be bringing the specter back. I recently wrote a story about it.
Those of us beginning to gray might remember what we’re supposed to do in the event of an atomic attack. The younger folks have no idea.
Luckily Karen Hendry wrote an article at Ask A Prepper about Finding an Alternative Fallout Shelter When You Don’t Have A Ready Bunker. Given the current insane political climate, it is really worth reading.
Nuclear Blast Dangers
There are multiple reasons to fear a nuclear explosion. Even a “small” bomb – 10 kilotons or so can wreak havoc on a large area. The heat at ground zero incinerates basically everything. Effectively, there is no good protection at ground zero. Of course, the odds are you won’t be there anyway.
Even a mile out the heat from a small bomb causes substantial burns to human tissue. And there is a terrible threat of radiation poisoning. Beyond a mile the chances of survival increase dramatically.
The larger the bomb, the more power it produces. More power means more devastation over a larger area. Terrorists and small countries might be able to round up the ability to deliver a 10-Kton bomb. Major powers have Megaton bombs, sufficient to eradicate entire major cities. Such bombs are optimally detonated in the air, less than a mile above ground. That way the blast spreads out evenly over a larger land mass.
These are not pleasant considerations but it is important to understand how things work. There’s also the danger of an EMP – electromagnetic pulse, which destroys unshielded electronics and can kill if one is close enough. If one is close enough one probably has worse things to worry about – the shockwave, crushing pressure, and fire among them.
Hendry explains some of the major targets, mostly considered from the Cold War. The above map is a guide on where to not be on doomsday. Those major targets include:
- Large cities;
- Military bases;
- Nuclear Missile sites (construction and storage);
- Government centers;
- Major transportation centers;
- Large industrial areas;
- Power plants;
- Airports and harbors (usually in the large cities);
- Oil refineries.
The further away from anything on this list, the better off you will be when the bombs drop. If you are caught in one of these areas or are close to one there is really no point in fleeing. The attack will come without sufficient warning and even the space shuttle can’t outrun the blast.
The best bet, really the only means of protection, is to seek shelter as fast as possible. Fifty years ago the country maintained a network of shelters. These did not protect against the main blast but they did offer some defense against the side effects of wind, radiation, etc. A few are still around. (See the sign featured below). However, nowadays, you’re generally on your own. Here’s what to look for:
Finding a Makeshift Fallout Shelter
First, if you can by any means avoid the area, do so. This is very difficult due to the unpredictable nature of the attack and its extreme speed. If you can shelter or escape, then you must account, as far as possible, for necessary supplies.
The best way to ride out a nuclear storm is to go deep under something dense, thick and heavy. Put as much steel, concrete, dirt, masonry material or water between you and the bomb as possible.
If your home or office has a basement, go there. It offers the best possible protection from the fires, pressures, and the radiation of an explosion. You can construct a bunker of sorts at home. Make sure it is as deep as possible and under as much material as possible. Try to seal it off completely.
If you are away from home look for the tallest building around. Go in and try to get the the lowest level. If there is a basement or sub-basement, go there. Taller means more material over your head which affords greater defense from fallout.
Wherever you shelter, stay there for a minimum of 24 hours unless you have to evacuate for safety reasons. A collapsing structure is worse than radiation. After a day or so much (not all but a lot) of the radiation will disperse. Once you emerge get as far away as possible as fast as possible. Travel into the prevailing winds if you can. That will keep you out of additional fallout. Seek medical attention. There isn’t too much that can be done to counteract radiation poisoning but any little will help.
Some of us thought the threat of nuclear war was ended in the 1990s. Thanks to ISIS, rogue states, and the utter stupidity of some in D.C. the threat has returned. As of old, we can pray that those fools we call leaders and their foreign counterparts are not quite as insane as they seem. No-one wins an all-out nuclear war.
Other than praying (never a bad option), knowing what to do and where to go are critical for survival. Use this guide. Read it and the original article so you know what to look for. Finding the right place to hide from the giant mushroom in the sky will save your life.
Perrin Lovett writes about freedom, firearms, and cigars (and everything else) at www.perrinlovett.me. He is none too fond of government meddling.