North Korea doesn’t have the power to wipe out the United States. They can take a lot of lives and make us uncomfortable, but they won’t be able to destroy us.
Our nation still faces a nuclear crisis; and it may come right from our own nuclear power plants.
No matter what nation you look at these days, there are hackers that can turn our power plants against us. This is an imminent threat that can disburse lethal radiation to just about every corner of our nation.
If you have been putting off nuclear prepping because it seems useless or expensive, then you may be wondering if there is something you can do right away. Keep reading to find out!
Here are 10 things you can do in just a few minutes to 48 hours to secure your survival in the outer bands of a nuclear crisis zone from the time the event occurs to 5 days past the main event.
Know Where the Nuclear Shelters are in Your Area
One of the first things you should do is find out where the local blast shelters and fallout shelters are located. You can try doing a web search for this information in relation to your local area, and also ask at your town or city clerk’s office.
Since the United States has become remarkably lax in this area, you may not get any viable answers.
If you find that you cannot get the address and information on a viable nuclear shelter, then start looking around for places that might make a viable shelter in time of need. Old brick churches, schools, or other sturdy buildings with solid basements might be of some use.
Do not overlook underground parking garages or other places where you can put a lot of heavy material between you and the radiation. If you find a viable place, but no plans have been made to store water, food, and other supplies, now might be a good time to approach the owner and get some volunteer efforts going in that direction.
Given the current state of the news, you may find people are more amenable to these ideas than they would have been even a year ago.
Have a Plan for Getting Underground and Test It
It is often said that most people living in a city will be doomed if a nuclear bomb is detonated. On the other hand, if the city buildings survive, there is every chance the lower and underground levels of the buildings may be suitable for a fallout shelter.
Therefore, if you live in a city, locate at least five buildings with basements that you can get into quickly in a time of need. Try to space out the buildings so that you can get to them in under five minutes on foot.
If you have to approach a building owner or superintendent to make these arrangements, do not forget to add extra supplies. Unfortunately, people can become very untrustworthy in a time of need, however you may still find others that will honor their agreements.
No matter whether you live in a rural area or a location in the city where you can dig into the ground, build a small fallout shelter that you can reach in a matter of minutes. There are several resources online that you can use for starter plans to build everything from a foxhole design to larger ones.
When building your shelter, you must make sure you have at least 3 feet (6 – 7 feet is better if you can manage it) of well packed soil around you and above you. Just remember to make sure there is also enough room in the shelter to store at least 5 days of water, food, and anything you may decide to take along to another area.
If you are looking to build the shelter in less than 24 hours, you can also add a vent shaft, however the air will need to be pulled in through a MIRV 16 filter or better in order to remove as much radioactive dust as possible.
Be Able to Calculate When and Where to Go
As soon as you find out there is a nuclear blast and that you are in the radiation zone, get underground or put as much material between you and the blast site as possible. When you find the safest possible shelter, you’ll need to stay there for about 5 days.
When it comes to short term, fast prepping for a nuclear disaster, you will find the time after this much more challenging. Even though the most immediate threats from heavy doses of radiation will be over, you must still contend with all the contaminated things in your area. This includes food, water, tools, and anything else that would normally be of use in time of need.
Insofar as where to go after emerging from your blast/fallout shelter, it will depend largely on where the blast occurred and what else is going on in surrounding areas.
If you are dealing with a single nuclear power plant, you must know where the radioactive fallout is most likely to be carried by wind and water currents. Heading away from the projected fallout zone will be your best bet.
Make sure you know where all the nuclear power plants are within a 500 mile radius of locality. Some college campuses also have nuclear reactors for research purposes, so make sure that you know where those are in case they also get hacked.
Listen to the radio and find out what other areas are contaminated so that you have a better chance of picking a safe area. Take geographic features such as mountains and fresh water resources into consideration when deciding where you will go.
At the current time, relatively few analysts think that North Korea has a vehicle capable of reaching the eastern areas of the United States. Most also think North Korea has not yet developed a MERV device, so it is likely you will be dealing with a single detonation as opposed to a localized pattern.
On the other hand, a strike far enough into the west coast can still bring a lot of radiation to the eastern areas in a matter of a day or two. It is important to know how to get to the mountains or other areas where air and water currents from the west will be mainly blocked out.
Prepare for Radiation Sickness
You can start preparing for radiation sickness by having potassium iodide tablets on hand. Even though you will not need them until a nuclear event happens, it is still important to have them on hand. If you live close enough to a nuclear power plant, they may give them out for free if you ask for them.
There are also some vitamins (E and C) that can help reduce the effects of nuclear radiation, however they are best taken beforehand. Do not take more than the recommended amounts of these vitamins as some can be poisonous if you take too much.
See our articles on foods and vitamins for prepping to see what you need to be consuming right now, as well as which foods are best to store. Fortunately, the most useful vitamins for nuclear prepping can be found in a good quality multi-vitamin.
Just make sure that you include a new bottle in your food cache so that you have an uncontaminated supply at your shelter location.
Overall, treatment for radiation sickness will entail managing symptoms such as nausea, vomit, cough, and bleeding. To keep things as simple as possible, buy extra of any OTC medications you use for the most common symptoms and keep them in your shelter area. This includes any herbal remedies that you may already have experience with.
There are also some medications you can use to remove radiation from your body if you become exposed to it. The cheapest and easiest to obtain will be activated carbon capsules and zeolite capsules. When using zeolites, bear in mind, however, that it can be carcinogenic. Try not to use zeolites for a prolonged period of time.
Build a Radiation Detector
The fastest and cheapest way to build a radiation detector is to follow the designs for a Kearny Fallout Meter.
Try to build at least three or four of them, and place them in different areas. Once you know how to read the meters, it will be easier to determine when radiation levels are elevated in your area.
If you have some extra money, you can also buy a device that will attach to your cell phone that will act like a Geiger counter.
Secure a 5 Day Food Supply
One of the most important things you can do is store away at least five days worth of food. Stick to canned, dried, or powdered foods that do not require heating.
At least half of your food choices should be items that will shield your body from radiation or remove it from your body. It may also help to store away a few MREs for more balance. Sadly, I would not necessarily recommend putting food in a bug out bag, as it will get contaminated by radiation while you are moving to a place of safety.
Store your foods in your fallout shelter, and the remainder under at least 6 feet of dirt, and then retrieve when it is safe to do so.
Water Cleaning During a Nuclear Disaster
The cheapest way to remove nuclear radiation from water is to use uncontaminated dirt. Zeolites and activated carbon will also remove some radiation. Later on, when you emerge from your shelter, the best thing you can do is distill the water.
Even though this will not remove tritium, it will still get rid of all the other nuclear contaminants. It is also very important to have a 5 day supply of bottled water in your fallout shelter.
The plastic bottles will shield the water from the radiation. Be sure to wipe all dust off the bottles so that you do no contaminate the water with any fallout that may have gotten into the shelter.
Secure Decontamination and Hygiene Essentials
With the exception of Gamma radiation, almost all other radiation will be trapped by your clothes. Therefore, it is very important to have a change of clothes in your shelter.
The most effective decontamination is a long shower and scrubbing with lye soap. Since it is not likely you will be able to create an underground piping system for this purpose in a day, your best bet will be to make sure as much of your skin and hair as possible remain covered with white fabric.
Include a bandanna or scarf (preferably sari cloth as it can also double as a water filter) that you can quickly and easily slip over your nose and mouth to block out as much dust as possible. Even weaker Alpha and Beta radiation particles can wreak havoc if they get into your body via your mouth or nose.
Insofar as hygiene, store away wet wipes and other aides for keeping yourself as clean as possible without using water.It will also be useful to store away bags that can be used for urine and stool as you will not want them building up in the shelter. These can be pushed into an adjoining tunnel from your living area, and then sealed off with dirt or a door.
As much as you may be tempted to find a way to put these bags above ground, I do not recommend it. They can leave you open to detection by people above ground. You will also be exposed to radiation each time you emerge from the earth.
Be Ready to Defend Yourself
If you have a gun and ammo, you will be ahead of the game. That being said, it is also important to store away knives and anything else you can use as a weapon. Try to practice basic self defense moves now and do what you can to brush up on your situation awareness skills. Even 15 minutes of practice each day can be of benefit.
Depending on where you live and the severity of the blast in your area, it is possible that people will be roving around while you are still underground. These people are likely to be looking for food, medicine, and water. Even if they are suffering from radiation sickness and have just a few days to live, do not be surprised if they try to get into your shelter to steal from you.
Do what you can to disguise your shelter so that no one can find it once you enter it. If you have neighbors, it will be best to dig and work on your shelter during night hours or other times when no one knows what you are doing.
Communications and Gathering Information
Other than medical devices, your phone and radios are the most common electronic survival tools that will be damaged by an EMP.
Be sure to put an unlocked smart phone, a mobile SIM (Freedom Pop gives you free minutes and time every month), and backup computer files in an EMP proof bag, and store them in your shelter.
Even if cell service and internet go down, you can still use the phone for accessing digital files. Most web pages can be easily saved as PDF files, and it is also possible to download many useful YouTube videos for viewing offline. Build your library now of information that you may need while you are in the shelter, and once you emerge.
It is also important to store away a radio that gets AM and FM bands. If the radio is based on transistors or IC circuits, it should also go in an EMP proof bag. Include a solar battery charger and sufficient rechargeable (and fully charged) batteries to last 5 days for all your devices.
You may not be able to use the solar charger during the first five days of a nuclear crisis, but you can use it once you emerge from your shelter. Since crank radios can be quite expensive, you may be better served by storing away simple materials that you can use to build a foxhole radio and a simple transmitter.
Right now there are several things you can integrate into your daily life to prepare for a nuclear emergency. There are also some cheap, fast things you can do in a weekend that will put you well ahead of anyone else that makes no effort at all this direction.
While these suggestions will not take you much past five days, they are an important start that will give you an advantage that can still be wielded once you emerge from your shelter.
This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.