How to Survive a Nuclear Strike

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By Daisy Luther

Learning what to do in the event of a nuclear strike just took on a whole new urgency now that Kim Jong Un just threatened to nuke the US.

We don’t know if Kim Jong Un actually has the capability to nuke the United States, but we do know that little dictator in North Korea is batcrap crazy. So if he actually does have the ability to hit the United States with a nuclear weapon, do you have any doubt whatsoever that he’d do it?

Last week, it was reported by numerous sources that Seal Team 6 had been deployed to do away with Kim Jong Un. At the time, I thought that seemed a little weird, because wouldn’t that be a top secret mission? Why would they actually warn Un that they were coming?

Weirdness aside, the leader of North Korea responded with an incredibly unsettling warning via his Foreign Ministry:

“The Korean People’s Army will reduce the bases of aggression and provocation to ashes with its invincible Hwasong rockets tipped with nuclear warheads and reliably defend the security of the country and its people’s happiness in case the US and the South Korean puppet forces fire even a single bullet at the territory of the DPRK.”

According to a report on SHTFplan, the Secretary of State said that Americans “patience has ended” with the antics of Kim Jong Un.

If you were one of those people who felt such a sense of relief when Trump became president instead of Hillary Clinton that you stopped prepping, you might want to rethink that. A nuclear attack could mean one of two things – a missile sent to some location on American soil or even an EMP that detonated above the country, wiping out the power grid.

If there is anyone is crazy enough to start a nuclear war, it’s this guy. He has already shown that he refuses to cooperate with the demands of neighboring countries. Even though he has to be aware that retaliation would be swift and brutal, if he thought he could get in a sucker punch, I believe he would do it.

Do you know what to do in the event of a nuclear strike?

Preparing for a strike vs. an EMP are very different. For the purposes of this article, we’ll talk about a direct strike.

Contrary to popular belief, a nuke won’t kill everyone within hundreds of miles. If you aren’t in the immediate blast radius, a nuclear strike is absolutely survivable.

If you are within 10-20 miles of the blast, the winds will be coming at about 600 miles per hour. This will take down buildings and cause a tremendous amount of pressure. Some experts recommend that you keep your mouth open to try and reduce the pressure on your eardrums.

If you manage to survive that part, you have about 10-15 minutes to evacuate the area before you are exposed to a lethal amount of radioactive fallout. It’s time to get the heck out of Dodge if at all possible. The advantage you will have is that most people will still be trying to figure out what on earth happened. The disadvantage is that roadways may not be clear due to damage from the blast.

Your other option is to immediately get to shelter.

During a talk on surviving a nuclear attack, professor Iwrin Redlener, US specialist on disaster preparedness, said: “In that 10 to 15 minutes, all you have to do is go about a mile away from the blast.

“Within 20 minutes, it comes straight down. Within 24 hours, lethal radiation is going out with prevailing winds.”

Prof Redlener said you should feel for the wind and begin running perpendicular to it – not upwind or downwind

He said: “You’ve got to get out of there. If you don’t get out of there, you’re going to be exposed to lethal radiation in very short order.

“If you can’t get out of there, we want you to go into a shelter and stay there. Now, in a shelter in an urban area means you have to be either in a basement as deep as possible, or you have to be on a floor – on a high floor – if it’s a ground burst explosion, which it would be, higher than the ninth floor.

So you have to be tenth floor or higher, or in the basement. But basically, you’ve got to get out of town as quickly as possible. And if you do that, you actually can survive a nuclear blast.”

The most hazardous fallout particles are readily visible as fine sand-sized grains so you must keep away from them and not go outside if you see them. (source)

If you take shelter, you should plan to stay there for a minimum of 9 days.

A few other nuclear survival tips:

  • If you are in your car, make certain to turn the vent to recirculation so that you don’t bring any outside air into the vehicle.
  • If you have duct tape on hand, use it to seal up any entrances to the room in which you are taking shelter. (Hint: You should always have duct tape on hand.)

If you are far enough out to have a bit of time, you can fortify your home to prevent much of the fallout from getting inside.

  • Use duct tape and tarps to seal off windows, doors, and vents.
  • Turn off any type of climate control that pulls the outside air into your home.
  • If someone enters the home, make certain that there is a room set up that is separate from other family members so that they can decontaminate.
  • All clothing they were wearing should be placed outside and they should immediately shower thoroughly.

Have enough supplies on hand to wait out the danger.

As with many emergencies, you need to be prepared to survive at home without help from anyone.

  • Stock up on emergency food.
  • Have a supply of water for all family members and pets that will last throughout the 9-day waiting period that you need to remain indoors.
  • Make certain you have an iodine supplement on hand to protect your thyroid gland.
  • Be prepared for the potential of a power outage.
  • If you have pets, have supplies on hand for their sanitation – you can’t let them go outside because not only would they be exposed, they would bring radiation in with them.
  • Make sure to have a supply of any necessary prescription medications.
  • Have a well-stocked first aid kit.

We put together a quick anthology of all our nuclear preparedness and information articles that you can get here and name your own price. If times are tough, pay as little as you like, and if you want to support the site more, pay as much as you like. This is information available on the website in an easily printable format so you can get a hard copy immediately.

Finally, print out this manual from the US government about surviving a nuclear emergency. It was written with first responders in mind, but much of the information would be applicable for us, too. It discusses:

  • The effects of a detonation in an urban environment
  • Shelter and evacuation recommendations
  • Medical care
  • Decontamination
  • Preparedness steps you can take well before an emergency occurs

None of these preps are completely outrageous items that you’d never use. I’m not suggesting that you go set up a bunker in an underground cavern. (Although that would be pretty cool.)  These are common sense preps that many of you may already have on hand.

For thorough, practical, and actionable information, check out my on-demand webinar with former Army NBC Specialist Chuck Hudson.

Personally, I’d rather know what to do ahead of time instead of trying to figure it out after the fact when I only have 10 minutes to save the lives of my family members.

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Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

  • Hi Daisy. Another interesting resource would be NUKEMAP by Alex Wellerstein. It’s an online website that shows the effect of surface or airburst nuclear detonations, along with additional information regarding fallout, blast radius, casualty estimates and so forth. It allows you to choose from the different payload sizes used throughout our nuclear history. Worth a look, scary but informative!

  • Honestly, the nuclear missile defense system would stop any and all attacks from the DPKR, as they have a limited amount of nukes. The biggest threat would be an EMP as the result of the nuke being blown up high in the atmosphere. But, China might decide to help out, and with hundreds of nuke (small compared to the thousands stockpiled by the USA and Russia), a nuclear strike is more likely.

    P.S if you do decide to get a bunker, shop around. Rising S Steel, Atlas Survival Shelters, Ultimate Shelter and Doomsday Dwellings are all usable options that could be good for your situation. But the first option is nearly never the best. With your family’s lives at stake, good enough is not good enough.

  • After surviving 2 Gaza wars 2012 and 2014 with constant missile attacks and warning. We have a Bug-out bag at the front door. Israel has the best Anti-missile system around but even then it only has a 30% kill ratio. It is better then the 1991 Gulf War Patriot missiles. The only thing we have is prayer.

    • That’s correct, although I would probably err on the side of caution and allow for a wider radius than recommended.

  • I am married to man who worked on Nukes. That is including disarming and rearming them. He was second in charge for nuke clean up in europe for years. He said 9 days is a joke. For months, the fall out will be in the dirt and will be kicked up by winds, walking on it, etc. The radiation of the fallout will be around for years and sometimes thousand of years depending on the type of nukes involved. The winds can carry the fallout through the planet. You have to watch were the winds are carrying it. Remember the red dust from China that hit America some years ago?! Every time you go out you should have protection and then wash up when you go back inside. Full shower, change cloths before going into your main area, full decon process. Nuclear winter may cause us to go into a ice age. Depending on the amount of tactical nukes used. Those nuclear winter could last a thousand years. God Save Our Souls.

    • Hi, Mette!

      This is fantastic information. As I commented to another reader, I would err on the side of caution and felt that the government recommendations weren’t stringent enough. How long does your husband suggest staying in full lockdown?

  • Mette’s husband is not referring to fallout (radioactive particles falling out of the sky). The fallout period doesn’t last long. Mette’s husband is referring to groundshine. That’s what you call fallout after it has settled on the ground. Groundshine will be around a long time and will necessitate large-scale decontamination projects. People will need to temporarily relocate to an area that is not contaminated. It is not reasonable to suppose that the entire North American continent will be irretrievably contaminated by one strategic nuclear weapon striking one city. There will be places to evacuate to. And DPRK would not be able to get more than one such weapon launched because we would retaliate immediately. I would hope that Dear Leader or someone around him retains enough sanity to know this.
    Yes, the fallout will be carried around the world on the wind, but we know we can survive it, because we already have. The entire world was contaminated by hundreds of above-ground nuclear weapons tests in the mid 20th century, and yet here we are. Nor is one strategic nuclear weapon strike going to plunge the world into nuclear winter.
    I consider the real nuclear danger to be from INDs i.e. “suitcase nukes” in the hands of terrorists. Many INDs disappeared from the Soviet arsenal during the collapse of the Soviet empire.
    I want to add that I have never read such weird advice as that given by Irwin Redlener in the news article quoted. I don’t care how many degrees he’s got. Telling people to feel for the wind and start running perpendicular to it is nuts. Maybe an Olympic athlete can outrun a nuclear blast, the rest of us should follow the standard advice which is to immediately get under shelter and stay under shelter.

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