These are frightening times. Of course, every prepper knows this – which is precisely why the individual in question is a prepper in the first place. However, one of the biggest reasons for the fear is the fact that the world is a place full of uncertainty.
This is a big problem for preppers. Why? Well, what are we going to prepare for? If I’ve prepared for an EMP or solar flare, and we ended up suffering a pandemic, then what good are my preps? Preparing for a bio attack and a chemical attack are two very different procedures. Indeed, preparedness knowledge and supplies will overlap from crisis to crisis. However, where it often matters most, some disasters are unique in the ways to prepare for them.
There is, though, one exception to this rule: preparing for nuclear conflict will actually keep you and your family safe from just about any other catastrophe – by the simple fact that such a conflict is pretty much the worst-case scenario.
Advantage #1: Underground & Out of Sight
Let’s face it, if you intend on surviving a nuclear conflict, it’s important you are able to hold up in a fallout shelter. This fallout shelter needs to have certain aspects already in place, which should still protect you from just about anything else.
First, your fallout shelter will need to be underground, sealed and very difficult to breach. In order for a fallout shelter to protect against radiation, you will need to have earth, cement, sand, etc. in place to protect against the harmful gamma radiation. For a more comprehensive explanation of how fallout shelters are properly constructed and what they do, check out this guide.
In a fallout shelter, you will also have protection against biological attacks and even pandemics. Fallout shelters are supposed to be relatively airtight to keep out radioactive particulates, which is why they need a ventilation pump. With this, you would have no problem keeping out a virus or even a chemical agent. In your fallout shelter, there’s not a whole lot that can get to you.
Your shelter should not be located in a heavily populated area, and should be well-stocked with supplies, ammunition, guns, a self-contained septic system and accommodations for sleeping and eating. This shelter is crucial during just about any type of disaster or conflict.
Advantage #2: Air Protection
You might need to resurface before the fallout and radiation has dissipated to find supplies or to perform other tasks. This means you will need strategies to keep yourself from getting any radioactive particulates into your body. You should have:
- A high-quality gas mask (not military surplus, but commercial)
- An airtight body suit system (DuPont makes Tyvek suits that should do just fine)
- A decontamination shower for reentry into the fallout shelter
- Radiation meters
- Potassium Iodide
- Good ol’ duct tape for sealing any holes or gaps between the suit and gloves, boots, mask, etc.
This list is only basic, and you should certainly do more research into how to comprehensively set up a ‘scout-kit’ to resurface while the fallout is still emitting dangerous and/or lethal doses of radiation. In addition, it’s important to know how many rads you have absorbed over what period of time (so you’ll need to bring just a cheap Casio watch along). The lethality of your radiation dose depends on how much you’ve absorbed over time. The Tyvek suit doesn’t protect against radiation, but it is designed to keep out airborne chemicals and viruses, which would keep radioactive dust particles from landing on your skin, getting in your eyes, etc.
The nice part about setting your preps up with this system is that you would still maintain your protection and ability to temporarily resurface in the event of a bio or chemical attack.
Advantage #3: Same Philosophy
What happens when a nuclear attack occurs in the U.S.? Answer: the same thing that happens when most catastrophic things happen –people freak out, the power goes out, food becomes scarce and the smart ones get out of sight.
In many cases, a nuclear conflict would carry with it many different characteristics of other types of catastrophes. For instance, lots of people are worried about a solar flare or an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) wiping out the power grid. Nuclear detonations actually emit an EMP. In fact, we already know how China or Russia could devastate the country with an EMP. According to the Federation of American Scientists, they could launch a nuclear warhead over Kansas, which would wipe out the U.S. power grid. So, if all power shuts down, stations aren’t coming in on your battery-powered radio, and only a few cars on your street are still working… you’d best get into your fallout shelter.
In addition, it’s important to mentally and emotionally prepare for a nuclear attack the same way you would prepare for any other crisis. If you smoke, you may want to stop, as this will impair your ability to cope when cigarettes are nowhere to be found (and you definitely do not want to smoke in your fallout shelter). Also, if you do drugs or struggle with alcoholism, it’s best to kick the habit – it’s better to spend your time going through rehab now, than going through withdrawal while stuck in a shelter for 2 months.
Simply put, this method essentially prepares for the worst-case scenario. If you end up preparing for a nuclear attack, and only a pandemic occurred, then you win. You’d still get to use your fallout shelter, decontamination shower, gas mask, Tyvek suit and duct tape. (But of course, we can always use a roll of duct tape.)