Has the news been shaking you up a little bit lately? All this talk about countries testing nuclear missiles and outbreak of war is enough to make anyone get a little edgy.
Well, I’ll be honest, I never really thought much about preparing for a nuclear war. I was younger when the Cold War ended, and I guess I’ve just always felt it was a thing of the past.
But I remember in my grandparents’ basement, they had a room, that my grandfather eventually turned into a woodworking space, that was built as a bomb shelter.
Now, I’m watching the news and thinking maybe I need to take similar precautions as my grandparents did.
But how do you prepare for nuclear war? What should you think about in advance?
Well, I’ve got you covered. You can go all out in preparation or simply retain some knowledge, so you’ll know what to do if this ever becomes a reality.
Either way, you’ll at least have a game plan. So here is what you need to know in order to prepare for a nuclear bombing:
Nuclear Preparations – What you will need
1. Pack Your Supplies
It is obvious that if you are going to be in the midst of a nuclear attack, then you are going to need some supplies in order to survive.
So here is what you’ll need in your nuclear kit:
- Non-perishable food items (preferably items that you’ll eat cold)
- Lots of water
- Battery operated or hand-crank radio
- Dust musk
- Wet towelettes
- Can opener
- Change of clothes
- Garbage bags
- Cat litter (to help with odor control for sanitation purposes)
- Flashlights with extra batteries
- Cell phone with charger
- Extra cell phone batteries
- Camping supplies
- Chemical toilet
Once you have these items, you’ll want to consider packing smaller kits for both your office and your car because you never know where you could be when something like this could happen. It is always better to be prepared and not need it, then need it and not be prepared.
2. Think of Your Family
Next, you are going to want to think of your family. What if disaster strikes and your kids are home with the sitter, your spouse is at work, and you are at your office? Then what?
How do you call and check on your elderly mother who is in a different state, or check in on your sibling who is hundreds of miles away?
Well, you have to think about these things in advance. You need to talk with your immediate family ahead of time to make sure that everyone knows where your shelter spot is if you are all home together.
But if for some reason you all are spread out, then you need to consider how you will communicate. You need to have a kit prepared that includes any medications your family members need with instructions on their usage.
Also, consider packing foods that your family members will need to meet their specific dietary needs. And don’t forget your family pets. You’ll need to consider what they need as well such as medications and pet food.
Realize, when you think these things out in advance, you won’t have to worry quite as much when the situations arise because everyone will know what to do, and they will act.
3. Know Where to Go
Now that you have your supplies and your family covered, you need to think about where you should go in the event of a nuclear attack. That way you can give appropriate instruction to your loved ones.
So you will need to decide on a safe spot in your home, locate a safe spot in your office, and also locate designated bomb shelters in your area. In your home, you should choose a basement because you need layers of soil, concrete, and brick between you and the outside elements.
Also, for a school, you’ll want to go to the lowest level in the innermost room.
But you can always ask local authorities if any buildings in your area have been deemed fall out shelters. If they have been, then you’ll know where to go in the event you need one.
4. Create a Safe Space
Once you know where to go, you need to get busy building this safe space in your home (if you have that option.)
So for my family, we have a basement that is completely underground. We need to start getting our items together and then placing them in our fallout shelter.
But if you don’t have a basement, you can actually create a fallout shelter. Here is a helpful tutorial. If you are worried that you don’t have room for a fallout shelter in your budget, then you could consider this earthbag option as well.
As you can tell, there are lots of options to help you be prepared.
5. Have a Plan for an Inner Refuge
Now that you have your safe space, or are considering building a safe space, you need to also consider how you can build an inner refuge within your fallout shelter.
The reason you need an inner refuge is that when the initial bomb goes off and the blast happens, an immense amount of radioactive particles will be flying through the air. In order to better protect yourself and your loved ones, you’ll want to take a thick table or a wooden door and be prepared to place it at a 45-degree angle towards the direction that radiation is traveling (if you go with the door.)
However, the table is a little easier, because you can just set it up as normal and then layer it with thick curtains and other material to help protect you from the particles. You should be prepared to stay under the inner refuge point for the first 24 hours, if possible.
6. Prep Your Home
We all think of the nuclear fallout and the radioactive particles, but I’m not sure we prepare ourselves enough for the fires that will come along with the blast. If your home is close enough, when the blast happens it will put off so much heat that fires will quickly develop.
So you need to think about how to fire-proof your home. You can do this starting early. You will want to paint your home white in order to reflect thermal radiation. The less energy your home attracts means less chance of a fire. Even if you can only paint it on the side you think that is closest to the blast.
For instance, if you know that you have a military base close to your home, then you’d want to paint the side closest to the direction of that base.
Also, if you have flimsy outbuildings around your home, you’ll want to consider going ahead and tearing those down. If not, they could become weapons against your home in the midst of the chaos. You’ll also want to empty them of any other items that could become a danger to your home if they were sent flying through the air.
Finally, you’ll want to remove anything flammable from the outside of your home and consider replacing your lighter curtains with heavier ones. The reason being that heavier curtains can actually protect you from flying glass if your windows were to break in the explosion. Where the lighter curtains would provide no protection at all.
7. Paint Your Windows
This may be a step that you are leery of, but it could protect your home. If you paint your home white, then you might want to consider adding a layer of white emulsion paint to your windows as well.
So the reason why this is recommended is that it could help reflect some of the energy from the thermal pulse which could protect your home from catching on fire.
Again, this may not be a step everyone is willing to take, but some say that it does help. There is quite a bit of debate on this step because some say that your windows will be busted out so this step is pointless, but others claim it can actually help protect your home from damage and fire because the white paint reflects the energy.
So I wanted to throw it out there for you to make your own decision as to whether or not it is worth it for you in your preparation for nuclear war.
8. Be Prepared for a Fire
I just mentioned that fire is a huge risk in nuclear war. When you detonate a hydrogen bomb, this should be expected I guess.
So you need to be prepared to handle fire around your home. You need to stockpile fire extinguishers so you’ll be prepared to put out a fire all by yourself if needed.
Also, consider stockpiling water as well. You’ll just need to make sure that it is covered so radiation doesn’t contaminate it because the water could be used for drinking or putting out fires too.
9. Pack Some Meds
There is such a thing as Acute Radiation Sickness. This means that when the radioactive particles travel to you, that you got too much exposure and it makes you sick. This can mean that you begin to vomit from the exposure.
But what you may not have known is that there is a medicine that you can include in your first aid kit that could help with this. They are called Potassium Iodine tablets. You should take them as directed and hopefully, if you ever need them, they’ll do their job and potentially save a life.
10. Know How to Cut Power
Next, you are going to need to know how to cut power from the main breaker in your home. This could mean cutting electricity in your home, or it could also mean cutting the gas to your home as well at the main line.
So you need to know how to do this because when you hear the warning for a nuclear bomb has been issued, then you need to be prepared to move and know how to react. Cutting these things from our home prior to a nuclear bomb, protects our home from a potential fire hazard.
11. Remove Debris
Prior to hearing a nuclear bomb warning over the radio or TV, you need to make sure all debris is removed from around your home.
So if you have any dead trees or limbs near your home that could potentially fall on it, then you need to get those taken care of way in advance. That way you don’t have to worry about any huge holes in your home allowing radioactive materials in, while you are trying to stay sealed off from it in your safe space.
12. Rule of Thumb
This is an interesting fact that I think everyone needs to know about a nuclear bomb. We all know that when a nuclear bomb goes off, you will know it because there will be a huge mushroom shaped cloud over the area.
But you should know two things. First, don’t look at the bright flash when the bomb is going off. It can blind you temporarily which will make taking shelter in the next 10-15 minutes before the radioactive particles make their way to you, difficult.
Second, you need to know the rule of thumb. If you hold your arm out, close one eye, and hold up your thumb and the mushroom cloud is bigger than your thumb, then you are in the fallout zone. Meaning, the wind is going to carry the radioactive particles to you, so you need to seek shelter immediately.
13. Do Some Research
Nuclear war may never happen in our lifetime. But then again, it could. Something I’m learning with age is that ignorance is not bliss. The more you know, the more power you have.
So you need to do your research. Don’t worry so much about the headlines on the news because you can’t do anything to stop nuclear war from happening if it is going to happen.
Instead, take those scary headlines and prepare yourself. Learn as much as you can about being prepared, what to expect, how to help your loved ones in these situations, and anything else you think you may need to know. Don’t let it drive you to paranoia, but instead let it build confidence.
So if this terrible tragedy happens, you won’t need to panic as much. Instead, you’ll react to the situation around you and help others in the process.
14. Make Preparations to Bathe
Something I may have not thought about prior to writing this article is the ability to bathe in my safe space. The reason is that if you are outside when a nuclear bomb detonates, then seek shelter in your safe space, chances are you still have radioactive material on your clothing and skin.
So you’ll need to have soap and water in your safe space where you can wash your exposed skin, wash your hair with soap and water (no conditioner as this causes the radioactive material to bind to your hair), and also have trash bags ready to take off those clothes and seal them.
Then you can utilize the fresh change of clothes you packed in your supply kit.
15. Trash Cans
When preparing your safe space you’ll want to have two good sized trash cans with lots of heavy garbage bags. The first trash can is going to be to get rid of your sanitary waste. You are going to have to dispose of it at some point.
So it is wise to have a trash can in place for this purpose.
Next, you’ll need a trash can to contain trash. When you eat non-perishable food items, you are going to have empty cans that you will need to dispose of.
So think ahead and put your trash cans in place just in case you need them.
16. Loaded Buckets
Finally, you are going to need lots of loaded buckets. But loaded with what exactly?
Well, you’ll need buckets that are loaded down with fresh water and have lids on them. These buckets of water can be used for drinking or for putting out fires, if needed.
Also, you’ll want buckets loaded down with sand. The sand can be used as well for putting out fires.
So be sure that you have plenty of buckets filled with items that will be good for protecting your home (and safe space) from fire.
Well, you now have 16 different tips to think about when preparing for nuclear fallout. It is a scary thing to have to contemplate, but better to be prepared than not. Hopefully, this will give you some good starting places.
Now, I want to hear your thoughts. What are you doing to prepare for nuclear fallout? Do you have any pointers for people who are trying to prepare?
We love hearing from you so leave us your thoughts in the space provided below.