Paranoid Survival: What To Do In Case of Nuclear Attack (Hint: Vaporize)

What To Do In Case of Nuclear Attack (Hint: Vaporize)

After reading that a nuclear war may begin in just a month, I decided to find tips on how to survive a nuclear attack. And don’t think “I’m safe cause my country is not a military target”, after all, it’s a World War and as long as you live in this World, you are in danger. Now, with that behind us we can get down to the facts.

Paranoid Fact #1: It will happen! Where and when, we don’t know, so keep your eyes peeled. In a World full of terrorism and war mongering it’s only matter of time.
Paranoid Fact #2: You can survive! If you follow this guide your chances of survival are thrice as good! Don’t let the atomic Boogieman scare you into doing nothing and accepting death as your fate. Human beings are designed to survive and adapt!!
Paranoid Fact #3: Be prepared! Being unprepared is like trying to stop the atomic bomb itself with your bad hand (Not that using your good hand would help). Ignorance is your enemy, fight it!.

Hit the break to double your chances of survival!

  1. Keep an eye on the news. A nuclear attack will unlikely come out of the blue from an enemy nation. Such an attack would likely be preceded by a deteriorating political situation. A war with conventional weapons between nations that both have nuclear weapons, if not ended swiftly, may escalate towards nuclear war; and even limited nuclear strikes in one region carry the likelihood to escalate towards an all-out nuclear war elsewhere.
  2. Learn about the different types of nuclear weapons:
    • Fission (A-Bombs): Fission bombs are the most basic nuclear weapon and are incorporated into the other weapon classes. This bomb’s power comes from splitting heavy nuclei (plutonium and uranium) with neutrons; as the uranium or plutonium split each atom releases great amounts of energy – and more neutrons. The daughter neutrons cause an extremely fast nuclear chain reaction.
    • Fusion (H-Bombs): Using the incredible heat of a fission bomb ‘spark plug’, compress and heat deuterium and tritium (isotopes of hydrogen) which fuse, releasing immense amounts of energy. Fusion weapons are also known as thermonuclear weapons since high temperatures are required to fuse deuterium and tritium; such weapons are usually many times more powerful than the bombs that destroyed Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
    • EMP Weapons: A nuclear weapon detonated at a very high altitude will generate an electromagnetic pulse so powerful that it can destroy electronic and electrical devices. Placing radios, flashlights in a SEALED metal container (a “Faraday cage”) may protect from EMP, providing the items being protected are not in contact with the enclosure. The metal shield must surround the protected item completely – and it helps if it is grounded.
    • Other Types: Nuclear science is kept secret for reasons of national security, so this list is not neccessarily exhaustive. Outside of science fiction, real scientists have speculated ways to create EMP weapons without nuclear blasts, create Cobalt-Salted (“Neutron”) bombs to increase immediate radiation presence, and possibly other types.
  3. Seek shelter immediately. Aside from the geopolitical warning signs, your first warnings of an imminent nuclear attack will most likely be an alarm or warning signal; if not, it will be the blast itself. The bright light from a detonation of a nuclear weapon can be seen tens of miles away from ground zero. If within the vicinity of the blast (or ground zero), your chances of survival are virtually nonexistent unless you are in a shelter that provides a very (VERY) good blast protection. If you are a few miles out, you will have about 10-15 seconds until the heat wave hits you, and maybe 20-30 seconds until the shockwave does. Under no circumstances should you look directly at the fireball. On a clear day, this can cause temporary blindness at very large distances.
  4. Remember: it’s not the initial blast that creates the high death toll; it’s radiation exposure. There are two threats of radiation:
    • Initial (prompt) radiation: This is radiation released at the moment of detonation, and it is short-lived and travels short distances. With the large yields of modern nuclear weapons, it is thought that this will kill few who would not be killed by the blast or heat at the same distance.
    • Residual radiation: Known as radiation fallout. If the detonation was a surface blast or the fireball hits the earth, large amounts of fallout occurs. The dust and debris kicked into the atmosphere rains down, bringing with it dangerous amounts of radiation. The fallout may rain down as contaminated black soot known as “black rain,” which is very fatal and may be of extreme temperature. Fallout will contaminate anything it touches.
  5. Know the types of radiation particles.
    • Alpha particles: These are the weakest and, during an attack, are virtually non-existent as a threat. Alpha particles will survive for only a couple inches in the air before they are absorbed by the atmosphere. They possess a minuscule threat from the exterior, however, they will be fatal if ingested or inhaled. Standard clothing will help protect you from Alpha particles.
    • Beta particles: These are faster than Alpha particles and can penetrate further. They will travel for up to 10 meters (10 yards) before they are absorbed into the atmosphere. Exposure to beta particles is not fatal unless exposed for prolonged periods; which may cause “Beta burns,” almost like painful sunburn. They pose a serious threat, however, to the eyes, should they be exposed for a prolonged period. Once again this is harmful if ingested or inhaled, and clothing will help prevent Beta burns.
    • Gamma Rays: Gamma Rays are the deadliest. They can travel for nearly a mile in the air and penetrate just about any kind of shielding. Therefore gamma radiation will cause severe damage to the internal organs even as an external source. Sufficient shielding will be required.
  6. Begin reinforcing your shelter from the inside by stacking dirt around the walls or anything else you can find. If in a trench, then create a roof, but only if materials are nearby; don’t expose yourself when not necessary. Canvas from a parachute or tent will help stop fallout debris from piling on you, though it will not stop Gamma rays. It is impossible, at a very fundamental physical level, to completely shield from all radiation. It can only be reduced to a tolerable level.
  7. Plan on staying in your shelter for a minimum of 200 hours (8-9 days). Under no circumstances leave the shelter in the first forty-eight hours .
  8. Ration your supplies. You will need to ration to survive, obviously; therefore you will eventually expose yourself to the radiation (unless you are in a specific shelter with food and water).
    • Processed foods are okay to eat, so long as the container has no punctures and is relatively intact.
    • Animals may be eaten but, they must be skinned carefully with the heart, liver and kidneys discarded. Try not to eat meat that is close to the bone, for bone marrow retains radiation.
    • Plants in a “hot zone” are edible; those with edible roots or undergrowth (carrots, potatoes…) are highly recommended. Use an edibility test on the plants. See How to Test if a Plant Is Edible.
    • Open water may have received fallout particles and is harmful. Water from an underground source, such as a spring or covered well, is your best bet.
  9. Wear all clothing (hats, gloves, goggles, closed sleeve shirt, etc.), especially when outside to help prevent Beta burns. Decontaminate by shaking your clothes constantly and washing, with water, any exposed skin; settled residue will eventually cause burns.
  10. Treat radiation and thermal burns.
    • Minor Burn. Also known as a Beta burn (though it may be from other particles). Immerse Beta burns in cold water until the pain subsides (usually 5 minutes).
    • Severe Burn. Known as a thermal burn, as it comes mostly from the high intensity blast heat, rather than ionizing particles, though it can be from the latter. This can be life threatening; everything becomes a factor: water loss, shock, lung damage, infection, etc.
  11. Feel free to assist people with radiation sickness, also called Radiation Syndrome. This is not contagious, and everything depends on the amount of radiation one recieved.
  12. Most likely, a nuclear attack will not be a singular event. Be prepared for another strike or strikes by enemy nations, or an invasion by the attacking party.
  13. Be prepared for another blast. Keep your shelter intact, unless the materials used are absolutely necessary for survival. Collect any excess clean water and food that is available.

Advices courtesy of, be sure to pay them a visit to read the complete, un-cut version and learn more about the dangers of radiation.

Now, as stated above, fallout can be very dangerous to all forms of life (Except Godzilla, who enjoys radiation), once the nuclear attack is over there will surely be fallout radiation and, unless you are Godzilla you must protect yourself from it, here are some tips:

  1. Identify whether or not you live in an area that could be potentially contaminated by Nuclear fallout. Do you live or work near a nuclear power generator? Do you live or work in a city or industry that might be targeted by a hostile country? More importantly, do you live down wind from such a site?
  2. The most critical step to surviving nuclear fallout is to avoid exposure to it as much as possible. The most certain way to avoid exposure is by having access to a functioning fallout shelter. Many communities may still have the government fallout shelters provided in the 1950′s and 60′s. Check with your local authorities on the availability and state of readiness of fallout shelters in your area.
  3. If there are no public fallout shelters in your area, if they have not been adequately maintained, or if you prefer to provide for your own survival, then a personal fallout shelter may be for you. A home fallout shelter must be sufficiently shielded to protect from radiation, usually buried in the back yard or built into the basement of the house. It must be sufficiently stocked with water and food to allow the occupents to survive for at least two weeks.
  4. If you do not have access to a functioning public fallout shelter or you do not have the means to install a personal shelter, there are a few things that you can do to limit you exposure to fallout and increase your chances of survival. Set aside an area in your home as far from exterior doors and windows as possible and as deeply under ground as possible. Have a supply of potassium iodide to protect your thyroid gland from dangerous radioactive iodine, a component of most fallout and reactor waste. Take it at the rate of 130 mg/day per adult (65 mg/day per child.) Make sure that you have at least a two weeks’ supply of food and water in your in-home shelter.

Tips & Warnings

  • Talk to others in you community about building or restoring a public fallout shelter.
  • Talk to your neighbors about sharing a shelter.
  • Know the method in your area for alerting local citizens to the danger of fallout.
  • BE PREPARED. Radiation poisoning is a horrible way to die.
  • Do not exit your shelter until it is all clear, or until instructed to by emergency personnel.
  • If your area has experienced fallout do not touch or handle anything; it will be contaminated.
  • Leave the contaminated area and make your way to a safe zone as soon as possible.

Well folks, that concludes the grownups version of “duck and cover”, feel free to suggest any Paranoid subject that may concern you in the comments section down below and tune in next week for the instructions on how to build your own fallout shelter, don’t miss it! Also, check the other Paranoid Survival posts to learn how to build your own Faraday cage to protect your electronics from the EMP.

Visit to read the complete, un-cut version of How to Survive a Nuclear Attack or visit to read more about How to Survive Nuclear Fallout.

In the mean time, if you need me I will be practicing Bert’s valuable lessons on survival for when the time comes. DUCK AND COVER! DUCK AND COVER!!!

UPDATE: It’s been 4 hours already, my back hurts!! I CAN’T GET UP!! Can someone help me get on my feet? Anyone? HELLO!?  8-O this sucks!  :T_T:

Photo courtesy of, edited by Armando from Redcrow Design and text by Me.

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