How to Survive a Nuclear War – (With Video)

A nuclear threat from a rogue nation is a real possibility in today’s day an age. Even the prospect of terrorists acquiring such deadly devices is a scary thought. We should prepare ourselves with some knowledge about how to survive a nuclear bomb. We also need to know what to do and not do after the nuclear explosion by learning how to survive the Nuclear Fallout.

The Nuclear age started way back in 1945 through the Manhattan Project as an attempt to end World War II.  The United States was the only country in possession of Nuclear Weapons;  Two of which were dropped on Japan, killing around 250000 people, ending the war.  In 1949 the Soviet Union felt it not right that the US were the only ones that harnessed this type of destructive power.  Between 1949 and 1985, there were 65000 nuclear warheads on the planet.

By 1985, 95% of the nuclear arsenal belonged to both the United States and the Soviet Union.  The years after 1985, the world started decommissioning a high number of nuclear weapons.  Today there are approximately 21000 nukes on the planet, and as you may know, some unstable countries now harbor some of those bombs.  This fact makes our world much less stable as one of those foreign power is North Korea.

One reason that has kept a nuclear war from developing is the knowledge that if a nuclear power attacks another nation with the same type of arsenal, both countries will end up destroyed.  That has kept everyone at bay, but one radar miss reading could trigger the next World War.

There are nuclear bunkers all over the United States that are free for anyone to use in case of a nuclear strike or even other types of disasters.

Click here to find out where the closest Nuclear Bunker is from your home.

Click on image to find out the closest nuclear bunker to your home.
What Is a Nuclear Blast?

A nuclear blast is an explosion with intense light and heat, a damaging pressure wave, and widespread radioactive material that can contaminate the air, water, and ground surfaces for miles around. A nuclear device can range from a weapon carried by an intercontinental missile, to a small portable atomic device transported by an individual.

All thermonuclear devices would cause deadly effects when exploded.

 What Is Radioactive Fallout?

After a nuclear bomb detonates, the residual radioactive material propelled into the atmosphere. That material, usually comprised of radioactive dust and ash forming, what you would see as a “Mushroom Cloud”; Then “falls out” of the sky, hence the name. This radioactive material can travel for hundreds of miles along natural wind patterns. Exposure to any fallout, be it debris, dust, ash, radioactive rain, or anything those materials contaminate, is extremely deadly.

What is Acute Radiation Syndrome?
In the short term, if exposed to fallout you will suffer from acute radiation syndrome. Exposure to fallout will cause you to become ill, suffering from severe radiation syndrome.  You’ll suffer rapid cellular degradation and DNA damage.  Depending on the level of dosage you receive, you may experience nausea and vomiting, adverse neurological effects, and even a swift death.
In the long term, pregnant women may miscarry or give birth to deformed children. Your risk of being diagnosed with cancer increases exponentially, and you may die a slow, painful death.

Fallout radiation does not hang around forever, though.  It decays at a rapid, exponential rate, and many contaminated areas will eventually become somewhat safe.  Your goal post-blast is to mitigate your exposure to the fallout, find a suitable place for you and your family to hide, and create a feasible escape plan.

People living close to a military base or in a highly populated urban city would be the most at risk if a nuclear war broke out. The Most Important Thing you could do it Build a DIY Fallout Core Shelter!

How Survive a Nuclear Bomb Detonation From In Your Basement?

When the nuclear fallout hits your location, it takes only seven hours for the radiation levels to drop 90% from its initial amount.  You and your family could survive by building a fallout shelter inside your basement.  This DIY fallout shelter might be uncomfortable but staying inside for as long as you can is crucial to your survival.  You most likely already have all the materials you will need in your home to build a sufficient fallout shelter.

How to Find The Best Radiation Shielding Location In Your Home?

The spot in your basement that will give you the most protection is against the outer concrete walls.  If you can position your shelter in the corner of the basement, then you will have protection on two sides.   Now that you have two sides of your radiation shelter covered let’s build the two walls that are left.  You will need rubber totes or cardboard boxes for your walls and a sturdy square or rectangular table for your ceiling.

Your next ingredient is either earth or water.  Soil works the best since it gives you better protection against radiation; however, some people might not have access to the soil during winter when the ground is frozen.  In that case, use water as your primary barrier.  The halving thickness of 2.5 inches of packed dirt could cut down your radiation exposure by half.  You would need to double the amount of water to attain that same level of protection.

DIY radiation shield with soil.
Homemade fallout core shelter.

Proceed by filling up boxes with packed dirt to give yourself sufficient radiation shielding for at least seven hours.  If you need to use water, and only have cardboard boxes, place a garbage bag inside the box and fill it full of water.  Place the boxes on top of the table and also stack them on the two unprotected sides, creating your radiation fallout shielding.

You can also purchase sandbags to make up for the lack of dirt, but most people would have no place to store them for any length of time.  For every 3.6 inches of sand between you and the radiation, you will halve your dose of exposing.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to give you and your family a fighting chance to survive. Make sure to properly discard all material used to build your radiation shelter as its now saturated with radiation.

Building a SIMPLE Nuclear Shelter – Second Option

Now, let’s say that you haven’t had the chance to build a small fallout shelter for yourself and you just realized there was a nuclear detonation near your location.  You’ll need to quickly improvise by making yourself a little alcove to protect yourself from the oncoming radiation fallout.

First, you will need to go in the room that’s the closest to the center of the house.  Place as many belongings and furniture on the outside walls of this room to thicken the walls.   If you can, bring a table inside your safe room and start building your shelter.

Take all of the items in the room and place them around and on top of the table. That will act as your walls and ceilings, the thicker, the better!  If you don’t have a big enough table then merely dislodge the room door from its hinges and place each end on dressers.  Proceed with the above instruction using the door as your roof and the two dressers as your two out of four walls.

How To Survive a Nuclear War / Pinterest Pin

How to Survive a Nuclear War

 1 –  Reinforce Your Home.

There are many cost-effective ways to reinforce your home and will stop some of the radiation from coming in.  An easy way to start is by thickening your basement ceiling.  The thicker the ceiling, the more radiation is prevented from entering the basement.  Try using a building material other than wood since you’ll need to make your ceiling noticeably thick for greater protection.  You can now buy thin sheets of pure lead to stick to your basement ceiling.

2 – What to do if You’re Not Home When a Nuclear War Begins

If you’re not home when the madness erupts, stop what you’re doing and go inside! If you’re around homes or buildings, look for a place with the thickest walls. Cement, rocks or bricks buildings will give you the most protection against the nuclear fallout radiation.

We recommend that you make your way to the very center of one of these thick-walled office buildings. An elevator would give you excellent protection due to its thick steel structure.  By doing this, you’ll have more layers between you and the outside world;  By doing this, you can decrease your radiation exposure by a factor of 200.

Try avoiding wooden structures because they will not give you the same amount of protection against the nuclear radiation fallout as cement and bricks.  Wooden walls would have to be several times thicker than other materials to compensate for the level of security.

 3 – What to do if you’re  In The Wilderness?

If you find yourself in the wilderness when a nuclear crisis happens, you will need to take cover immediately.  You still need to protect yourself even if you think you’re far enough away because there is always a powerful hurricane strength shockwave coming straight at you!

Hide behind anything substantial, like a big rock or trees, or even lying flat on the ground face down could save you. The best place to find shelter in the wilderness is trenches.  Lying flat in a ditch would give you the best protection from an oncoming shockwave.  Don’t panic and improvise.

Man in the distance witnesses a mushroom cloud.
4 – Close Your Eyes
A nuclear blast will blind you if you look at it, close your eyes.

Here’s a tip that everyone can follow in the event of a nuclear explosion, close your eyes!  Never look at the bright light because the blast will emit an intense sun-like flash that would instantly blind you by searing your retina.  There are worse things than living in a post-nuclear apocalypse wasteland, that’s living in a post-nuclear apocalypse wasteland BLIND. Good

luck protecting yourself from anarchist thugs searching for food and weapons! Does mad max come to mind?6- Clean yourself up Fast!

5 – Clean yourself up as fast as you can!

If you’ve followed these tips, and you’re lucky enough to have survived and found shelter;  Then it’s time to get naked and have a shower.   Everything you were wearing is now full of radiation;  You can get rid of as much as 90 percent of the radiation by just taking off the outer layers of clothing.

You will have to discard of your clothing to keep the radiation from spreading and wash as much radiation off your body as you can.

6 – Do NOT Use Conditioner!

One thing you should not use while in the shower is conditioner.  Chemicals in hair conditioner will bind the radiation to your hair and give you a wicked cancerous bed head when you wake up the next morning! Make sure even to blow your nose as you wash because the fallout radiation will go into every nook and cranny!

7 – Potassium Iodide Tablets

Iodine Tablets can be a lifesaver if you find yourself exposed to nuclear radiation fallout.  This explanation of what these pills actually are is directly from the CDC website.

“KI (potassium iodide) is a salt of stable (not radioactive) iodine that can help block radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland, thus protecting this gland from radiation injury.  The thyroid gland is the part of the body that is most sensitive to radioactive iodine.
People should take KI (potassium iodide) only on the advice of public health or emergency management officials. There are health risks associated with taking KI. KI (potassium iodide) does not keep radioactive iodine from entering the body and cannot reverse the health effects caused by radioactive iodine once the thyroid is damaged.

8 – Drinking Water
Water in toilet tank is safe from radioactive contamination.

If you find yourself in an unfamiliar place with no drinking water, it is advisable to not turn on the tap. It’s highly possible the water supply has been contaminated with radiation fallout. The best water to drink would be from the toilet basin (Not toilet bowl), at least its somewhat clean and free of radioactive bitterness.

You should also have some water in your emergency survival food supply. Filling up a 50-gallon barrel is cheap and something you can do right now and forget about.  It’s better to have it and never need it than need it and you have to go drink toilet water because you didn’t buy a barrel for an emergency water supply!!

9 – Never Play in Radioactive Rain!
Hazardous Radioactive rain.

If you survived the blast and found shelter and feel it’s safe to go out, make sure you’re not outside while it’s raining. The radioactive dust and particles in the air will be picked up by the rain and spread across the land. Wait until the rain stops and sufficiently dried up before venturing outside.



10 – Build an Emergency Food Stock to Last 2 Weeks

You should build yourself an emergency food stock that is filled with non perishable food that will last at least two weeks. Rule of thumb here is the longer your food stock can last you the better. (Click here for a full Emergency Food Storage Stock Tutorial)

I would first focus on stocking on these food items bellow;

  • Rice
  • Can Beans
  • Can or Dry Soup
  • Powdered Milk
  • Cereal
  • Pasta
  • Can Fruits and Vegetables
  • Honey
  • Oats
  • Instant Coffee – Because instant coffee will last much longer than any other type of coffee. I should place this as number one! I’m sure I am not the only one thinking this?

Building an emergency food stock can be expensive. Budget some money every month that will focus on emergency food and gradually build your food stock.

If you have the funds and don’t want to go the DIY route you can simply buy premade emergency food from different companies. Most of these types of dried food can last upwards of 25 years on a shelf so it really isn’t a bad investment. Click here to check out one reputable emergency food company from Amazon.

11 – Keep an Emergency long-term Water Stock

Have an emergency water stock in your home in case of a nuclear war, or any other types of disaster for that matter. You should aim for one gallon of water per person per day. It’s one thing to know how much water to have on demand in case of an emergency but you should also know how to properly store the water so it doesn’t go bad when you’re in need of that water.

A lot of people do not know how to store water for the long-term properly; luckily for you, I have an article right here that gives you all the information you will need (How to store water for the long term Properly).

Have some water purification tablets on hand in case your water goes bad prematurely. Bleach will also do, but you will need to determine the proper bleach to water ratio before consumption. Make sure the bleach is unscented.

Click here for a full article of what you should have in your nuclear shelter to help you survive a nuclear war.

Chances of Surviving a Nuclear War?

Your chances of surviving a nuclear war can be good or bad depending on where you are in the world and how many atomic blasts occurs around the globe. The chances of survival will be better if you’re far away from any nuclear activity and if there is a small number of bombs dropped.

Chances of surviving decreases significantly if a nuclear war is vast enough to trigger a global nuclear winter. A nuclear winter would devastate crops and food production in general around the world leading billions to die of starvation. Yes, I said BILLIONS.

It’s a scary thought, but it is indeed a possibility when you have some nations that are run by people that want nothing more that to see the destruction of their enemies; And also the destruction of western values and way of life as a whole.


The threat of a nuclear war somewhere in the world is becoming more of a reality. Knowing how to survive a nuclear war will certainly not assure your survival. It will however significantly increase your chances of surviving to see a possible post apocalyptic Earth.

Thank you for checking us out and please leave a comment below and let us know what you think of this article and if you have any more suggestions for how to survive a nuclear blast and fallout.

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