Is There Life After A Nuclear Blast?

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The world is far less stable insofar as mass numbers of people are exposed to the risk of a nuclear event.

While Russia and North Korea have the bulk of people’s attention, every single nuclear reactor and other nuclear locations can be the source of disaster. That’s why it a bomb based nuclear war is a small problem compared to our electric grid being hacked/infiltrated and other situations that can be far more dangerous.

As for the nuclear event, if you survive the initial attack, you’ll face a different world in the aftermath.

But how are you going to survive? Here are 10 questions answered about how life is going to be after a nuclear blast.

Make sure that you can do as well as possible in a medium where the following changes are expected to occur.

1. Look for Safe Areas when Traveling

While explosions can easily take out roads and bridges, there are invisible threats that come with a nuclear disaster. Even if you won’t meet the heat found inside the Fukushima reactors, you’ll pass through areas where elevated levels of ionic radiation will pose a risk to your health. If you eat or drink contaminated in these areas, you’ll get very sick.

Traveling in the post nuclear world will not be as simple as trying to get across blocked roads or other common navigation issues. Instead, you will need to read the more subtle cues that radiation is present and needs to be avoided.

You’ll need the very best in mapping skills and the ability to read wind and air currents so that you know which places are most likely to be downwind of the radiation source. While avoiding these areas, take them into account within the larger context of other areas where nuclear radiation may be higher.

For example, if you are approaching an area with elevated radiation from a nuclear reactor, think what will happen if you head towards another reactor located within 100 miles.

Get this lifesaving information about surviving when doctors, pharmacies and hospitals are shut down!

To understand the level of radiation in the areas you travel, lookout for people or animals with unusual sores, animals and plants with unusual sizing, or deformed plants and animals. Also, take into account the elevated readings on a Kierny fallout meter (KFM) or Geiger counter.

2. Sheltering Underground Can Save You

In the direct aftermath of a nuclear event, you may have to stay underground for days to months. When your return to the surface, do not make the mistake of believing that buildings and other forms of shelter are safe to occupy.

Dust filled with radiation may still be all over the place as well as contaminated soot from fires. If you are in a more “silent” area such as one produced by a nuclear reactor melt down without an explosion, you will need to rely on Geiger counters or other radiation meters to find out if the area is safe to live in.

Overall, I would say your best bet for survival is to stay underground for as long as possible. It will be to your advantage to have a comfortable shelter and storage area beneath the ground. Today, there are all kinds of specialized LED lighting strips and other resources that can enable you to grow plants and have a good degree of lighting even if located underground.

If you can live underground and sustain that, you will be well ahead of the curve for nuclear disasters as well as many other kinds that may come to pass.

3. Survive Growing Food Underground

If you stored your food above ground, it will be contaminated by nuclear radiation, and your stockpile and all the hard work you put into it will be useless. By the same token, animals and plants in the area will not be a viable option for food consumption.

When it comes to obtaining and preparing food, here’s what to do:

  • Store your food and ammo for hunting far enough underground so that they will be safe from nuclear radiation.
  • Make sure that you can farm and garden in an underground cave or some type of bunker that you build for this purpose. This includes sufficient underground ventilation and air recycling systems in place.
  • Keep radiation shielded jars for micro gardening and insect farms, and make sure that all seeds are either stored underground or in a radiation shielded storage container. Water and other materials used for this purpose have to be kept free of contamination too.
  • If you are going to live underground, make sure that you have the right lighting for the plants you plan to grow. While hydroponic and aeroponic gardening require fewer resources, the plants still need plenty of light for optimal growth and disease prevention.
  • In the post nuclear world, bees may very well be driven into extinction. If there is one skill you should try to learn, it is making and caring for a small beehive. Even just a few dozen bees can pollinate crops growing underground or other radiation safe locations.

In the outer world, the safe game and fish will not be safe anymore, as radiation travels from the source of the event, it will contaminate everything in its path.

Even if you are a few years to decades past the initial nuclear event, you will always need to be on the lookout for signs of radiation related diseases and problems. This includes everything from genetic mutations to increased rates of cancer (including tumors found in plants), leukemias, and other disorders that aren’t commonly found in animal and fish populations.

Since you never know when the food supply will become unsafe to harvest or eat, store food away underground as well as the means to produce it.  From there, it will be up to you to decide if you want to evacuate once again or simply stay where you are and live underground.

4. Filter, Filter and Filter Your Water to Stay Clean

As with food, you won’t always find sources of clean water in the usual locations. Your stockpile of water will also be worse than useless if stored above ground. Large scale storms and other systems can carry all kinds of contamination and spread them for hundreds of miles. Once this water leaches into the water table, well water and other sources will not be safe to drink.

In fact, even if you are getting water from a flowing underground source, you need to test it on a regular basis for nuclear contamination even years or decades after the nuclear event. Depending on the source of the radiation, you’ll need different filtration systems.

Most forms of radioactive material can be filtered out by distilling the water because the contaminated particles will be left behind in the original vessel. Since Tritium is an isotope of Hydrogen, it won’t be removed by distillation. While Tritium cannot be removed by using this method, don’t worry unless the incident involves a nuclear reactor. Tritium is also very hard to detect, yet it is very dangerous if it gets into your lungs or other internal organs.

Boron, borax, activated carbon, and bone char can also be used to filter out radioactive materials. Remember, unless you are dealing with Tritium, it is not the water molecules that will be radioactive. Rather, it is the dust, microscopic debris, and other molecules that will carry the radioactive signature, and therefore pose a threat to your health. If you have a reverse osmosis system on hand, run the water through an activated carbon filter.

5. Switch to Light Colors in What You Wear

Anything that you were wearing during the nuclear event will have to be discarded. To be on the safe side, anything that comes into contact with any kind of dust may be harboring radioactive materials. As with everything else, the garments that will be the safest are the ones stored and worn underground.

Other than that, the way you dress will change in order to stay protected:

  • Even in hot weather, you’ll be covered from head to toe because most fabrics will prevent Alpha and Beta particles from reaching your skin.
  • You will be saturating your garments with perfumes or baby powder, both of which can prevent x-rays from getting to the body. Make sure these chemicals do not touch your skin since they can be as dangerous to your health long term as nuclear radiation. Ask a medical x-ray technician which perfumes cause the most problems insofar as preventing x-rays from passing through the body. Some herbal perfumes will do the same job without putting as much of a toxic burden on your body.
  • You’ll be wearing a mask / respirator capable of filtering out dust and other radioactive particles. Today, there are activated carbon masks that are no bigger than a surgical scrub mask. These are better than nothing, but without a better sealing wrap around the mask, they will only filter out about 50% of the particles in the air. Full respirator masks work too, but they can be expensive to maintain and they are very hard to breathe through.

Video first seen on BlackScoutSurvival.

  • You’ll need garments in light colors or white to reduce the amount of heat that reaches your skin. In fact, wearing white or light colors it may literally save your skin from being burned in the first critical moments of a nuclear event. If you wear a head or face covering, choose white, and wear an appropriate eye shield as well.
  • Learn about disposable paper garments that are sturdy enough to be worn and then disposed off on a daily basis. A full body suit capable of blocking nuclear radiation also helps, but remember you’ll have to decontaminate the suit and yourself before you go into any area that you want to keep clean.
  • Bone based gowns or other garments – as with perfumes and baby powder, X-rays also cannot penetrate through bone. If you can create some kind of exoskeleton from animal bones, focus first on protecting your vital organs and any access points to your brain.

6. Rely on Lye Soaps to Maintain Your Hygiene

What you need after a nuclear disaster, is cleaning agents that will remove as much dust and debris from your skin as possible. Typically, lye based soaps will do the best job. Learn how to make these kinds of soaps from animal and plant based sources. I do not recommend adding herbs to all of your lye soap batches as the herbs and oils may prevent the soap from doing its job.

Once you are sure that your skin and hair are clean, you can always go back and add herbal oils and skin conditioners. Just remember, however, that these products can still allow any remaining radioactive dust or debris to remain trapped next to your skin. While you will be rinsing and scrubbing vigorously to avoid these problems, they can still happen.

7. You’ll Have to Deal with Personal Illnesses

Of all the areas where you can expect major changes after a nuclear blast, medical care and personal illness may be the hardest to deal with. While modern medicine is filled with dangerous drugs, it does have some saving graces in the face of a nuclear crisis. Surgical procedures, dental care, treatment of sores, therapy for burns, and a source of knowledge on how to treat radiation sickness are all very important. Medical providers will become very limited or unavailable at this critical time.

Search for alternatives, since vital resources can be found in herbal remedies and vitamin related research. From potassium iodine tablets for your thyroid to Vitamin C, E and other antioxidant cellular shields, you never know what new studies will come out and help you figure out what to stockpile.

Make sure that you have a viable source of medicinal herb seeds as well as the means to grow them. Develop a complete and comprehensive library of binaural music to help you manage a range of medical and mental conditions. Learn more about acupressure and other forms of alternative healing.

It never hurts to store these things away to use in time of need. From Bible verse healing to crystals, reiki, and prayer systems, you never truly know what will work for you within the paradigm of your personal belief systems. In essence, what modern medicine calls a “placebo” effect, may, in fact, be a true cure for the disease under consideration by virtue of the fact that your particular belief system allows it to happen.

What modern medicine considers quackery today may actually be proven more effective and safer tomorrow. Consider that very recently researchers found a connection between the brain and the immune system by way of the lymph system. Up until now, it was believed the immune system had very little, if any access to the brain. This discovery alone may undo decades of dogma on how to treat  “immune disorders” and shift the treatments towards the kind of “mind-body” dogma associated with alternative methods.

8. Money and Exchanging Goods: How Safe Are They?

Depending on where you and others are in relation to the nuclear event, less or more people will survive. On the other side of the equation, government, and currency collapse might occur, and any form of paper or plastic money will be useless. An occupying force may also prevent you from using gold or other metallic money as a trade medium unless it is stamped from their mint.

Trade and barter won’t be easy, regardless of the number of people and resources available:

  • You will be as concerned with preventing theft of your goods and trading mediums as you are actually exchanging them with others.
  • It may be harder than usual to trade or barter without external interference from people seeking to control the flow of goods in order to make a profit for themselves.
  • Securing items that haven’t been contaminated by nuclear debris can be very difficult. You will need to know how to test all different kinds of materials so that you do not come into contact with goods that will endanger your health.

9. Social Changes: God, Bad, and New

In the modern world, people will shun each other over things that will not matter in the post nuclear world. While this may seem like something of a positive social change, other problems will come up.

For example, as people realize that there’s no fast solution to the nuclear problem, they’ll turn to rioting and looting. When important supplies become unavailable, stealing, and other related crimes are likely to increase beyond expectation. These problems can happen in any crisis, but a nuclear one can be even worse because there are few, if any ways to remove radioactive contamination once it occurs.

More than a few preppers today work with a small family group, or several families as they work towards being ready for any kind of disaster. When disaster strikes, people you from your survival group may be dead, while total strangers might contribute something to the groups overall odds of success.

Being able to gauge what other people’s social intentions are will be more important than ever in the post nuclear world. No matter how tempted you may be to veer towards suspicion, it may be not always be to your advantage. Things can also change very quickly in a survival situation, and  you may come to realize that both old and new acquaintances aren’t who or what you thought they were

10. Political Changes: Same Fight, Different Actors

When governing bodies collapse, a struggle starts to see which individuals will emerge as dominant political forces. The laws and values that we hold today may no longer exist, or change radically in order to meet many different needs. To make matters worse, if there is any usable and clean land left, foreign adversaries might occupy the area and use it for their own purposes.

Over the years, I have taken a long, and hard look at the words and facial expressions used by certain world leaders. What I found can be best described as chilling. While some are mainly concerned with being the biggest nuclear brat on the block, others seem to be driving our world into a nuclear crisis for the express purpose of selective reduction of the human population.

There is a much bigger picture than a simple demand for weapons, energy, and medical diagnostics that drives the usage of nuclear materials. Rather, a leader that wants to occupy a foreign land will limit the damage to the land itself, while taking the maximum toll on the resident population. This hidden agenda has vast implications for every area of modern politics. From trade to preventing a new world war, the politics of global nuclear materials is more dangerous than we may realize.

The Next Generation Is Born Underground

One of the most heartbreaking things is to see a child sick or in pain, and the children will suffer the most from any kind of nuclear incident, for sure. No matter how much you prepare the younger ones for surviving on their own, there are limits to what they can do in a time of need.

Once adults or children are exposed to nuclear radiation, they might not be unable to conceive, or future children will be born with all kinds of birth defects. While surviving children may still reach adulthood and contribute in other ways to the society, the problem of producing the next generation is a very serious one.

There is really only one way to deal with this problem, and it entails being part of a survival group that already lives independently underground. Children that are born in this setting and kept away from radiation have the best chance of bringing forward a new generation. Studying genetics and making sure that the gene pool remains diverse and strong will be a top priority.

As you may be aware, there are also different methods for preserving sperm and egg, as well as transplanting embryos into a viable uterus. Not only are these methods expensive, they are not likely to be available to people after a nuclear crisis. Therefore, your best bet remains using the earth itself as a shield from nuclear radiation so that the next generation will be as healthy and viable as possible.

Just about any kind of large scale disaster will cause serious disruptions in society. In most cases, however, the devastating effects disappear in as little as a few years. From there, people will be able to rebuild society, perhaps faster than expected.

But nuclear radiation continue to poison and kill for centuries on end, and recovery from a nuclear incident will not be as fast or as easy as other types. Think carefully about how the world around you will change and prepare to be a part of it .

And remember that knowledge is the only doctor that can save you.

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

Written by

Carmela Tyrrell is committed to off gridding for survival and every day life. She is currently working on combining vertical container gardening with hydroponics. Tyrrell is also exploring ways to integrate magnetic and solar power generation methods. On any given day, her husband and six cats give thanks that she has not yet blown up the house. You can send Carmela a message at editor [at] survivopedia.com.

Latest comments
  • Very informative. I know I want to become more prepared and it's time to begin

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  • Very helpful and much appreciated! Been a fan of the survivopedia for years. So much to learn and to do. Trying very hard to get my land of 42 acres but have to sell my house to get to where I need. Again thank you and may God bless you!

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  • Let us pray that it never comes to this...........

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  • Go with aquaculture-- a complete system for survival.

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  • How far underground is safe? Can it be an extension of your basement thru a hidden passageway? What type of material can be used to build an underground area- concrete?

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    • Read"Nuclear War Survival Skills" free on the web.

      I think the author should have read it too.

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  • You seem to be mixing the effects of nuclear weapons fallout with that of a Chernobyl type incident.

    The radioactive materials in weapons and power plants are not the same.

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  • Where do I get the book/articles "The Basic List for Your EMP Survival"?

    John E Harper
    [email protected]

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