One of the most important characteristics of survivalists, preppers, and their ilk is the ability to concede that no matter how improbable it may be for a situation to arise, it is still possible. With the current state of affairs of the world being the way they are, there is nothing in the news that can truly dissuade a prepper from this concept. That being said, what if a nuclear war occurs? No, really: what will you do, and what actions will you take when it begins?
We have covered the topic of preparedness for a nuclear war before, but we have not discussed immediate actions to take within the first hours that such a nightmare becomes a reality. First, let us mention again Cresson Kearney’s work “Nuclear War Survival Skills,” and downloadable from the internet. It is the end-all, be-all for information on preparedness for a nuclear war.
The topic for this article is immediate actions to be taken when nuclear war presents itself; however, stress and emphasis must be made on preparations beforehand. You want to garner all of the supplies possible beforehand and prepare a fallout shelter before the football game kicks off. This will cut down on the scrambling when it all comes about. There will be enough confusion in the works, and you don’t need to make any more for yourself through a lack of readiness by not having supplies you need in place. Let’s cover some basics questions you need to answer for yourself and your family.
- A Plan: you need a plan to “kick into action” immediately, depending on where you are…at home, at work, or traveling. This plan needs to take into account what you’ll do if your engine dies (from the EMP, or Electromagnetic Pulse), for example, and you’re still five miles from home.
- “Rounding Up the Tribe”: How will you gather your family together? Do they know the plan and are they both on board with it and prepared to act in accordance with it? You need an ORP (Objective Rally Point), so to speak: a place to meet together in one location, if for the purpose of consolidating and traveling back home together. This family preparedness guide for nuclear disasters is a great primer to get started.
- Assessing the Targeted Areas: this must be done beforehand, and if you are in a targeted area susceptible to attack, you better be prepared to move out of it.
- Personal Protection from Radiation: (in accordance with your assessment of how much radiation there will be) Do you have Geiger Counters (radiological survey meters), dosimeters, and a suit and mask to protect you from the radiation? If so, how will you get to them/into them when it occurs? What about supplements for radiation poisoning if you are exposed?
- [We’re using a “Shelter in the Home” Scenario]: OK, you made it home. Now, do you have backup measures in place for the loss of electricity that will occur? Do you have a shelter where you can “hole up” for at least the next three weeks to a month? Is it defensible? Can you effect such a defense while radiation is still at a dangerous level? Let’s review what needs to be in the shelter:
- Food and water supply for all members…at least six months’ worth
- Medical supplies and equipment
- Shielded electronic supplies (radio, night vision devices, etc., shielded until it is safe to expose them with no threat of EMP) in Faraday cages.
- Weapons and ammunition to defend yourselves
- Tools and materials to repair or replace components of the shelter
- Equipment to monitor radiation levels inside and outside of the shelter
- Sanitation and hygiene measures (people don’t stop going to the bathroom or needing to clean themselves regularly)
- Books and reading material: survival oriented, and also for a diversion
- After the exchange has halted: What will you and your family do then? Remain in place, or head for new ground?
- Stay alert: Keeping a watchful eye on the news and any threats on the horizon will keep you ready to react at a moment’s notice.
There won’t be a lot of time for action. Hopefully, you’ll be at home, and able to take steps from there. Such steps can include (but are not limited to): covering all of the basement windows with dirt, and if you have a basement or sub-basement shelter, securing all parts of it prior to relocating into it with your family. You’ll already (hopefully) have your supplies ready and in position, but you can also run the water and fill up as many containers as possible to take down with you. Same with food: any canned or dried goods that you can move from the upstairs into the shelter will be money in the bank for you later.
There’s never enough blankets and clothes: stock some of these down in your shelter. Pets are a big consideration that we’ve covered in a previous article. You’ll have to provide for them if you do indeed intend to save them. Special needs members of your family, such as infants and toddlers, the elderly, and any family member with a medical condition…you need to provide for those needs well in advance.
Especially for them, you want to load up on whatever supplies you need to take care of them and move any equipment or supplies that you can manage for them into that shelter. After the war commences, there won’t be any more deliveries of those necessities. Research Cresson Kearney’s work and put these measures into place…stocking up on the supplies you need and coordinating all of your initial actions with your family prior to the arrival of that fateful day. Hopefully, none of these measures will be needed, but if they are, it will give you a better chance if you determine them and implement them beforehand. Stay in that good fight! JJ out!
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Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.
Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.
Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.
This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition