Many of our readers have never experienced the “duck and cover” drills of the 1950s that took place during the Cold War. Duck and cover was a public practice of hiding under something and people covering their faces so they could be protected against a nuclear attack.
This past July, New York City ditched “duck and cover” and replaced it with this PSA:
- Get inside
- Stay inside
- Stay tuned
Nuclear attacks may sound far-fetched, but part of being prepared is being prepared for the worst.
If you aren’t prepared for that worst-case scenario, then you're not prepared.
Before I continue, I want to make this very clear: I am not writing from a place of fear or in any way wanting to sensationalize the news. The reality is that the Russia/Ukraine war probably isn’t stopping anytime soon.
And with political leaders around the world beating their chests and throwing around nuclear threats, it’s worth our time to think about preparing for a nuclear attack – while hoping and praying it never ever happens.
Recent Talk of Nuclear Threats
According to the NTI (Nuclear Threat Initiative), “Regional tensions, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and materials to make them — along with terrorism and new technologies like cyber — mean the risk of a nuclear weapon or device being used is rising. At the same time, governments’ ability to manage increasingly complex global security risks is eroding.”
As of 2022, there are 13,100 nuclear weapons in the world held in 9 countries.
If even one of these nuclear weapons accidentally or purposely is used, it would cause serious devastation.
They are the most dangerous weapons on earth and haven’t been used in warfare since 1945, but political leaders are mentioning nuclear weapons more and more.
The UN recently said, “Nuclear war is back within the realm of possibility.” This statement was made after Russia made it known its nuclear forces were on alert.
This is worrisome, considering Russia’s ongoing comments about nuclear weapons.
Business Insider reports, “In 2017, Russian state media detailed how Moscow would annihilate US cities and areas after a nuclear treaty collapsed and put the Cold War rivals back in targeting mode — a shocking threat even by the Russian regime's own extreme standards.”
Considering the more recent threats from Russia, many analysts have made predictions about nuclear attacks.
For example, Swedish scientist and president of the Future of Life Institute, Max Tegmark, suggests “the probability of a nuclear war between the United States and Russia is equal to losing in Russian roulette: one in six, or 16.66%.”
But Russia isn’t the only country in possession of nuclear weapons.
Nuclear weapons expert Ankit Panda explains, “When I look at the global nuclear order, I look at the main countries that possess nuclear weapons—and I look particularly at places like the Korean Peninsula, South Asia, Eastern Europe in the transatlantic-security context, and, of course, U.S.–China competition. I do see reasons to be rather pessimistic about the next few decades of the global nuclear order. […] China has built up its own nuclear capabilities and I think we are potentially looking down the barrel of a return to Cold War-style nuclear dynamics, in the sense that the salience of nuclear weapons to our day-to-day lives is going to grow substantially.”
Then, you have politicians and figureheads expressing their opinions.
Elon Musk recently wrote on Twitter, “Nuclear war probability is rising rapidly.”
In October 2022, President Joe Biden said, “First time since the Cuban missile crisis, we have a direct threat of the use (of a) nuclear weapon if in fact things continue down the path they are going. […] I don’t think there’s any such thing as the ability to easily (use) a tactical nuclear weapon and not end up with Armageddon.”
Liz Truss, former British prime minister, also recently suggested she’d be ready to “press the button” (aka the nuclear button) even if it meant global annihilation. Her confidence in being able to do that solicited a round of applause.
All this to say – the Cold War is over, but we may need to start “duck and cover” drills again.
What Your Family Needs to Discuss
A nuclear attack is a worst-case scenario, but being prepared means preparing for the worst-case scenario.
That means you need to talk to your loved ones about a possible nuclear attack.
Here is what you need to stress to your family members:
- If there is a threat of nuclear attack, GET INSIDE. You want to get as much distance between you and the fallout particles as possible. This means heading to a fallout shelter, underground, or a basement area if possible. If you can’t “go below,” head to interiors with heavier and thicker materials, such as buildings made of concrete or bricks. Turn off any appliances that allow in the air from outside, such as air conditioners and fireplaces.
- Then, STAY INSIDE during the attack and for at least 24 hours, but it could be significantly longer. Radioactive materials grow weaker over time, so the goal is to stay inside where you are until the levels aren’t as dangerous. This means staying inside where you are and not trying to find one another. It also means leaving the kids at school or daycare until it is safe.
- While waiting it out, STAY TUNED with an emergency weather radio to know what is happening outside your home.
Preparedness Supplies You Need to Survive a Nuclear Attack
Like preparing for other types of disasters, you need a stockpile of supplies to get you through.
Having an emergency kit in your home will make it much easier to survive a nuclear attack – especially one where you are required to shelter in place.
According to the American Red Cross, “Staying inside for at least 24 hours can protect you and your family until it is safe to leave the area, but based on your location, the source of the radiation and other factors, local officials may advise to shelter in place for as long as a month.”
Do you have enough emergency supplies to shelter in place for a month? This is significantly longer than the standard 3-day rule.
Stock up on long-term emergency food. The securely packaged emergency food will be safe to eat following a nuclear attack and can be cooked using only water.
Speaking of water, it’s wise to invest in a home water filtration system. If a nuclear attack affects the municipal water supply, your family will still have safe drinking water (and water for cooking and cleaning) with the AlexaPure Home Water Filtration System.
If America suffers a nuclear attack, there will not be enough beds or doctors in hospitals. You will need to handle as much medical care as you can on your own at home. For this reason, keep a filled first aid kit.
When you are stocking your first aid kit, make sure you add these KIO3 (Potassium Iodate) Tablets & RADTriage50 Personal Radiation Dosimeter. These tablets will provide protection against radiation, and the dosimeter will allow you to quickly identify radiation exposure.
It will be extremely important to have a way to stay tuned to the outside world. Invest in a 4-in-1 solar-powered radio and charger.
How to Prepare Your Home for a Nuclear Attack
In addition to stocking up on necessary preparedness supplies, you can take steps to make your home more nuclear-safe.
Radioactive materials will settle on the outside of the exteriors. The goal is to make it harder for these materials to enter your home.
Here are some suggestions:
- Close all doors and windows. Turn off air or heat and any fans. Close fireplace flues.
- Duct tape tarps or heavy plastic over your windows to protect against exposure seeping in. Seal vents, doors, and fireplaces.
- Make sure your emergency supplies are inside your home. If you currently have them housed in a storage shed, outside cellar, or detached garage, move them to a location in the center of your home.
- Store water and plenty of liquids. Lots of them.
- Stockpile plastic bags. You won’t be able to leave your shelter for a while so you’ll need a way to collect trash.
Have a battery or solar operated radio to listen for emergency updates.
- Keep batteries, flashlights, and candles stored inside the home in case the electricity goes out.
- Have a supply of soap, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, deodorant, disinfectants, etc., near where you store your emergency food.
- Have extra eyeglasses or contact lenses and cleaning supplies.
- Keep extra clothing, socks, and blankets in your stockpile.
- In addition to your first aid kit, make sure to stay stocked up on current prescription medicines in a childproof bottle for your shelter medical kit.
- Don’t forget to store pet food, baby formula, diapers, etc. Also include cleaners to help disinfect those areas where pets relieve themselves.
- Stockpile games and books to entertain your family. You may be locked in for a while, so make sure you don’t overlook this step.
- If you are able and have the space, build a safe room inside your home. You can buy a safe room, or you can design your own. The refuge should have thick walls. The more layers of protection against the outside world, the better. You can add bookshelves stacked with books, sandbags, carpets against walls, or furniture.
One final note: If you are outside when the alert is given, get inside a stable building as soon as you can. Remove clothing, shoes, and accessories before entering your shelter area and leave them outside. This step alone may eliminate up to 90% of radioactive contamination. Immediately shower and wash your body with soap and water.
Prepare for the worst-case scenario just to be safe, friends.
Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply