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When nuclear superpowers are butting heads in eastern Europe the world has a lot to be worried about. What’s most unnerving is the location that all of this is happening. History tells us that this geographical area of the world is the most popular place for World War to begin.
We saw World War I kick off in Serbia. On September 1st, 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. Now we have Russia invading Ukraine which is all in that eastern block and people are right to be worried. The big difference between WWIII and other wars is that nukes will be used.
What will it look like when a nuclear weapon goes off in this nation? My friend Dave Jones the NBC Guy, a 20+ year Army veteran who taught Nuclear, Biological and Chemical warfare, always says, “it will be PANDEMONIUM!”
Do you know what you should be doing immediately after a nuclear blast? Much of this will depend on how close you are to the blast. That said, even if you are on the other side of the country, or even the world, a nuclear blast is a game changer. You need a plan.
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Some Nukes are MORE Equal than Others
The nukes that fell on Nagasaki and Hiroshima are a world of difference compared to the nuclear weapons on the battlefield today. The yield of some of the larger nuclear weapons is almost incomprehensible.
In fact, some of the commonly equipped nuclear weapons would obliterate places like Washington DC. That is assuming we know about the latest and greatest in nuclear technology. Truth is we probably do not.
For the purposes of this article, we are using the Dong Feng 5 which is China’s current ICBM. These weapons pack a three-megaton yield. Why did I use China’s most current yield? Well, I will let you figure that out.
1. Get As Far from Ground Zero as Possible
What you do following a nuclear blast has everything to do with your distance from ground zero. I have broken these distances down into 5 distinct headings according to the amount of damage with tier 1 being the most severe.
This will also give you an idea of the various effects of a nuclear blast.
Nothing is going to survive within the radius of the nuclear fireball. The inside of this fireball is going to basically vaporize everything in its way.
Tier 1 Moderate Blast Damage
At the outer edge of this blast range, you might escape the power of the blast, the debris and so on if you are in a location that provides protection from the falling buildings and structures around you. Radiation poisoning is a very real threat at this distance and could be what kills many.
This is simply a deadly area to be in following a nuclear blast. If you survive the destructive power of the initial blast, then the best thing you can do is to get as far away from the blast area as quickly as possible.
Tier 2 Thermal Radiation
With blast damage from the shockwave and thermal heat this is still a very dangerous place to be. If you experience a nuclear blast from this far away your first course of action will likely be to seek immediate medical care if that is at all possible.
If you are mobile and can get away from ground zero and the radiation, then that will be your next best move. The radiation is going to be present, and it could continue to grow. At this distance prevailing winds could also bring fallout depending on the type of blast.
Tier 3 Light Blast Damage
Your chance of surviving gets significantly higher once you get this far out. You are still more than capable of dying at this range and the brilliant flash that forces people to look out windows and leave their homes to investigate will hit first followed by the shockwave which will still have significant force.
Should you survive the shockwave you should immediately seek shelter. High value targets are likely to receive 2 nukes rather than 1 as insurance. If you are Russia and you need to blow up D.C, then you are going to send one nuke to do the job and one right after in case the first is a dud.
2. Sheltering in Place and Shielding
Shielding is really any type of material that is dense that you can put between you and the sources of radiation. While the best shielding is lead, hopefully you don’t have a bunch of that in your home. A better solution is water. If you have cases of water or water storage that you can stack up, then it can be great shielding against radiation.
If you have nothing else, then dense home furniture like pillows and mattresses can be stacked up around a saferoom or a shelter in place location at the center of your home. This is going to be your best bet for dealing with any residual radiation from the blast or fallout.
Outside the Blast Radius Completely
If you are in Atlanta and a nuclear weapon is detonated in Los Angeles there is still plenty for you to consider. The one thing you must remember is that you will likely not know what happened with that nuclear weapon. You will not right away know the culprit and because of this you will have to prepare for more nukes.
There will be no way for you to know if that blast was a terror attack or the beginning of full-scale nuclear annihilation that we have all worried about. The best you can do is create a nuclear attack plan and be sure that you have what it takes to carry that plan out.
Once you are out of immediate harms way and sheltered in place, then you should use whatever methods you can to get intel on the situation. This could be a cellphone if you are far enough away that the EMP has not done the comms in. It could be an emergency radio that is stowed in a Faraday bag or Faraday cage.
I personally own a 5L dry bag by a company named SLNT and inside I keep some handheld HAM radios, a small truck compatible base station and an emergency radio. This little setup is designed to be safe following an EMP that could come from the sun or another source like a nuclear blast.
Some basic information you are looking for is:
- Is this an act of war or terrorism?
- If it is war from who?
- How widespread is the attack?
- What systems are affected?
- Have we retaliated?
Any local related info on emergency response is also helpful. Local news will give you a better outlook on how your community is responding to the nuclear blast whether it is far away or close by.
4. Prepare for Fallout?
Understanding the prevailing winds in your area is going to make a world of difference for your concerns about fallout. An airburst detonation is going to create very little fallout but produce mass casualties. This is the desired attack method.
A ground burst is going to create lots of fallout as the kinetic energy of the blast will shoot downward and launch radiated debris and dirt into the atmosphere. Knowing that militaries are looking to maximize casualties with an airburst can help with your fear of fallout,but the reality is when a bomb goes off you will not be able to verify whether it is a ground burst or not.
Remember that fallout is radioactive debris that is falling out of the sky. You will want some kind of mask to keep these particles out of your lungs. Fallout on the outside of the body can be washed off or the clothing can be removed and left outside of your home. Fallout inside the body is going to make you very sick or even kill you.
Immediate protection for your life should come by seeking shelter and filtering the air with a gas mask or something like a N100 to keep those particles out of your lungs. Of course, best case scenario you have a gas mask with an NBC filter. That is not always going to be the case and if you are outside with fallout coming down then even balling up a shirt over your mouth is better than nothing.
Nuclear war is on everyone’s mind now. We know that Russia is being pushed and pushed by the world at large. No one is sure if Russia will make that move or not while they are fighting in Ukraine.
Of course, the way World War works is by spilling across borders. We now have the Wagner Group in Belarus, and this has caused Poland to call up 10,000 troops to their border with Belarus.
There are tactical nukes in Belarus. There is all the potential for the situation to go nuclear should something go terribly wrong between Belarus and Poland. When troops are lining up on borders and pointing artillery in the general direction of another nation, there is nothing good coming.
What is important for you is that you know exactly what to do should that worst case scenario come to fruition. Should that day come where you are staring into your phone with your mouth agape because San Francisco has been incinerated by a nuclear blast, everything will change.
What will your life look like after? Prepare now.
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