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Nuclear War Survival Skills You Must Have

Nuclear War Survival Skills

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What are the nuclear war survival skills you and your family will need to survive? With current events, the possibility of a nuclear explosion looms closer and closer. Are you ready? Is your family prepared?  Continue reading to find out.

Table of Contents

What is a Nuclear Explosion?

Only a handful of countries, listed by amount, have weaponized nuclear technology to deter hostile actions from other countries: Russia, the USA, China, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, India, Israel, and North Korea.

Weaponized nuclear technology has been around since World War II. The atomic bombs have only been detonated twice, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, by the U.S. military during World War II. Still, many nuclear accidents have occurred:  Three Mile Island,  Chornobyl, and Fukushima.

A nuclear explosion is a violent, shattering, rapid release of energy from a nuclear reaction.

The severity of a nuclear explosion will depend on the type of weapon used, its size, distance, and height, weather conditions, and where it is detonated. The immediate dangers are blast, heat, and radiation.

What happens during a Nuclear Explosion?

The damage caused by the blast, heat, and radiation after a nuclear explosion will be impossible to predict. Will will need to become familiar with how this type of blast can harm humans and destroy property.

The Blast

The detonation causes the initial shock-wave. This shock-wave traveling outwards will cause buildings to collapse, uproot trees, and fill the air with flying debris, and then heat will follow.

Expect Structural Damage

• Immediately after a nuclear blast, significant structural damage may occur where the physical structure is 3 to 5 miles from the blast area.
• Roofs, ceilings, walls, floors, doors, all inner frameworks of homes and buildings will collapse or burn.
• Also, trees will be uprooted; the air will fill with flying debris.

The Heat

The thermal radiation (heat and light) generated by a nuclear blast is delayed, like the sound of thunder after a lightning strike, may take several seconds before you feel the heatwave descending on your area.
The temperatures reached will be hotter than the sun.

If you are far away from the site of a nuclear blast, more than 20 miles, take cover as soon as possible! You have about a minute seconds to 1 minute to take shelter from the heat, which can cause severe burns.

• Cover Your Eyes

If you see the site of an actual nuclear explosion, you can go temporarily blind.
Shielding your eyes is a must. Your eyes aren’t designed to handle extreme light emitted by nuclear particles. The light emitted during a nuclear explosion can last up to fifteen seconds after the initial blast.

• Shield Your Skin
Human skin is extremely fragile. Exposed skin can burn at a distance of 2 -3 miles.

• Beware of Fires
The heat from nuclear fission or nuclear fusion can set man-made structures on fire from a staggering distance of 20 miles.

Be prepared for sudden blazes in your home and the surrounding areas, should your home be 5 or 10 miles away from a blast.

If a mountain stands between the nuclear blast area and your home is more than 30 miles away, your home might suffer only slight structural damage; it may not be safe for human habitation because it is radioactive.


After the blast, heat, and accompanying light, from the nuclear explosion, radioactive fallout with radioactivity is catapulted into the air.

The radioactive fallout, or nuclear rain, falls like rain and settles to the earth as white ash or dust, from destroyed matter.

The radioactivity itself is invisible to the human senses. This radiation contains alpha and beta particles and gamma rays. A Geiger counter is required to register it. As the radioactivity increase, the sound signal or dial becomes increasingly agitated.

A Geiger Counter

Radioactive Fallout Spreads and Contaminates the Earth

• Radioactivity will be transmitted to metals, nonmetals, water, soil carried by the wind over a large area- spreading the radioactivity.

• The longer the time, the more habitable the area becomes.

After the first few days of a nuclear explosion, some radioactive particles will quickly disintegrate. Others will take years for their radiation to decay.

 Nuclear War Survival Skills to protect yourself from a nuclear blast and the radioactive fallout that follows

Being out in the open is not an option if there has been a nuclear blast. If caught out in the open, get to shelter as soon as possible. Look for natural shelters: ditches, gullies, ravine, rocky outcrops. If not, start digging, and put up anything roof, to avoid falling dust and penetrating radiation.

You can use ice, wood, or densely packed snow to protect yourself. Use anything you can find to absorb all the energy that a nuclear explosion generates.

If you are at home, create a shelter in your basement or the lowest part of your home.
Guidelines for creating a nuclear blast shelter at home

Location is Important

You need to put as much distance as you can between you and the blast.

Select a corner area in the basement far away as possible from doors and windows leading outside.


An improvised shelter can be assembled quickly with furniture and anything else you can find.

The heavier and thicker the layers of protection, the more protected you will be from shock waves, heat, and windblown radioactive fallout.

 Blockade Openings

If you have time, it will help block all windows and doors that lead directly outside.

The extra barriers will help absorb the elements of the blast and will also help reduce any direct damage to your shelter.

 Cushion Any Room Used as Shelter

If your home or apartment doesn’t have a basement, go to the room in the center of your home and cover the walls with everything you can find.

When windows and doors are covered and stay as low as possible to stay protected from the blast and heat, avoid upper rooms closest to the walls as these will most likely experience the most significant structural damage in your home.

What nuclear war survival skills must your family have to survive a nuclear-related emergency?

Your chances of survival depend on how strong your will to live is and implementing the first steps of disaster preparedness, which is to be aware.

You will need to take the following emergency actions and preparations in the event of a nuclear scenario.


If your clothes and body are exposed to radiation, they are contaminated.

Wash your body with soap and water, if available, otherwise wipe your skin with a clean cloth.

In a ground shelter, scrape earth from the shelter’s bottom and rub it over your body and clothing.
Scrape off the soil and throw it outside.

 Foodstuff and Water

Aim to stock food and clean water for thirty days.

Store water and food in durable, well-sealed containers and place deep inside the shelter.

Foodstuff is likely to absorb some radiation.

Be cautious of foods containing high salt content, dairy foods, and seafood.

The safest canned foods are soups, vegetables, and fruits.

Stock Sufficient Disaster Supplies

Here are some additional supplies and equipment that you will need if you are in a nuclear shelter or bunker in the basement:

i. Kerosene stove and kerosene
ii. Matches and lighter
iii. Battery-operated radio
iv. Battery operated lamps and flashlights
v. Two-way radio (optional but extremely useful for communication with local law enforcement and emergency personnel)
vi. Plenty of batteries for your battery-operated devices
vii. Sharp carving knife
viii. Collection of compact electrical tools
ix. Plastic bags for different uses
x. A large roll of durable string
xi. Thick rope
xii. Disposable plates, cups, and eating utensils
xiii. One or more large fire extinguisher that can handle gas, electrical and ordinary fires

 Be Prepared to Put Out Fires

The widespread destruction caused by a nuclear explosion is the result of fires starting in different locations all at once.

 Familiarize Yourself with First Aid

Due to the extreme nature of nuclear blasts, radiation affecting the blood, burns, and physical injuries are standard.

Everyone living or working in the radius of a nuclear explosion is at risk.

Knowing first aid could be essential for the survival of your loved ones if they experience burns and other injuries after a blast.

Below are some first aid skills that you should obtain in preparation for disasters and especially nuclear scenarios.

i. Care of unconscious individuals
ii. Transportation of injured individuals
iii. Basic wound care (cleaning, disinfection, and applying adequate dressing)
iv. Caring for injuries and or fractured bones
v. Caring for infants, children, and elderly
vi. Psychological and emotional counseling support for disaster victims

vii. Care for individuals that have been exposed to high levels of radiation.


Being prepared and knowing the essentials of first- aid are vital nuclear war survival skills to have when a nuclear explosion occurs.

Continue to acquire new skills and knowledge about this topic. You will find additional articles on Survival Skills and get trained in first aid. Now is the best time.


Welcome to Survival Skills Now.
After seeing and experiencing some of the effects of global warming, increased floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires, and other situations, I see the importance of prepping. It is my mission to present survival skills information so that we can prepare for any survival situation.

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