Prepping For Nukes: Est. 1947

Why everyone seems to be prepping for the dubious event of a zombie apocalypse is beyond me. Quite frankly, it probably has to do with popular TV shows, and the desire to rig a shotgun to a chainsaw.

But if preppers are going to be brutally honest with ourselves, the getting ready for a pandemic of flesh-eating undead-types, although needed, should probably be the last on our list of prepper priorities. There are plenty of very real, very possible scenarios for which we should be prepping. For instance, what has been considered the most devastating human-controlled civilization killer known to man? It reigns as the undisputed king of mass-destructive weapons: the nuke.

Let’s face it; we still have arsenals loaded to the gills with these terrible devices –and other previously hostile nations don’t appear to be willing to give them up either. Not to mention, there are some foreign regimes that have threatened to deploy them against the US in very recent history (I’m looking at you, North Korea). So, why are we only focused on preparing for infected walking corpses? I haven’t the foggiest.

And so, in the spirit of 1947, let’s take the prudent steps to preparing ourselves for the worst of the worst and the sum of all fears.


Step #1: If you have nothing else, you absolutely, positively need a fallout shelter.

According to ye olde’ Department of Defense map from 1963, they believe that the initial nuclear blasts from a full-scale surprise attack would kill 62 million when the US population was around 190 million (roughly 32-percent casualties). This means, that about 1 out of 3 people may still be alive after such a catastrophic event. What will kill another 46 million (an additional 25-percent) would be the radioactive fallout for the many of us who do not have access to appropriate shelters.

The lesson we should learn from this is simple: don’t live near primary or secondary nuclear targets, and establish access to your own fallout shelter.

The guidelines for building fallout shelters are all over the web, but the important part is that you have enough of a barrier between you and the gamma radiation that would be falling from the heavens shortly after an attack. According to this FEMA report from June of 1980, you’ll need cinder-blocks, concrete, and earth to do the job:

“The shelter can be built of two rows of concrete blocks, one 12” and one 8”, filled with sand or grout, or of poured reinforced concrete. Windows have been omitted; therefore, electric lights are recommended for day to day use.”

Though an above-ground structure would probably be cheaper and easier to construct, I would still recommend a below-ground shelter. Given the state of society afterward, you may not want your shelter to be easily identified. However, either way… just make sure you have access to something that will protect you from fallout.


Step #2: Furnish your shelter for an extended stay.

There are 3 major installations that you absolutely need to have in your shelter; otherwise, you could be doing more harm than good.

  1. Ventilation – You must have the ability to filter the air in your shelter. First, so that you can ensure that no radioactive particulates have gotten inside. Second, so that you can keep the air quality clean to fight against disease inside the shelter itself.
  2. Waste Containment or Disposal– There are lots of methods and plans available for disposing of human waste, so be sure to take heed. You don’t want that to pile up with nowhere to put it. In the worst-case scenario –a couple 5-gallon trashcans should do in a pinch (pun intended).
  3. Decontamination Shower – You will need a way to wash off radioactive particulates in the event that you must leave the shelter.


Step #3: Supply your shelter in a logical way.

When prepping, it is important that you address the most likely killers first. You can go without food for 2 weeks and still survive (although it won’t be in the least bit enjoyable). However, if you go without appropriate medical supplies, tools/weapons for safety, including edc knives and guns, camping supplies, water filtration system, and radiation protection, you could be a goner within hours. If you go without water, your goose is cooked in 72 hours.

First, you should address the possibility of immediate medical needs. The initial blasts (depending on how close you were to ground-zero) could cause burns, broken bones, and cuts from shattered glass.

Second, you absolutely need an adequate supply of water, enough for the number of your shelter’s occupants for at least a month. This is not something on which you can skimp, as it is crucial for hydration and hygiene.

Third, it’s also important that you have tools and materials in your shelter for necessary repairs. Be sure to have a good multi-tool and a sturdy, full-tang survival knife on hand. Brands such as kershaw and gerber are highly recommended, but if you are concerned about budget, tac-force provides workable blades. Remember, these two accoutrement, tools and knives, can tackle countless jobs from cutting fabric to processing food. A good knife is just one of those tools you should always have on your hip, especially in these precarious scenarios. Also, considering the fact that local law enforcement will most likely be unavailable, appropriate defensive measures and weapons might just be a smart call.

Fourth, you should address the issue of radiation detection and protection. This means that you should have supplied your shelter with these items:

  • Radiation detection device(s)
  • Potassium Iodide Pills
  • Multivitamins, Omega-3, and Calcium
  • Tyvek Suits (w/ boots and gloves)
  • Duct Tape
  • Commercially-made Gas Masks

Last, it’s time to stock up on the basics, the creature comforts, and the things needed for normal life.

  • Condensed Food
  • Fuel
  • Communication Devices & AM Radio
  • Toiletries & Feminine Products
  • Sitting & Sleeping Accommodations
  • Books
  • Etc.

Note: You should also consider constructing a Faraday Cage (if this costs you more than $10 at the dollar store, then you spent far too much. Also, consider looking into military surplus supplies), which will protect your electronic gear from being wiped out by the EMP emitted by nuclear detonations.

As a prepper, Raja (contributor), believes that an individual is responsible for his/her on safety. If one solely depends on the government and other institutions to provide care during disaster, he/she is being dependent on someone else. Being a prepper, it is a persons own responsibility to adequately prepare for anything.

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