Despite the title, this article is not about politics, per se. Nor is it any kind of product endorsement. This is an advisory, drawn on current events. As well, these are strictly my own opinions, based on my own training and experience, and are not necessarily the position of FreedomistMIA.
I have frequently stated that fifteen or twenty years ago, I would never have imagined that this aspect of CBRN (Chemical/Biological/Radiological/Nuclear) would be what I would find myself advising people about. The first three, certainly: chemical spills happen all the time, as do pandemics (COVID is only the latest, and the one that hit me, personally), and as someone who both watched the real Chernobyl on the news when it happened, and received briefings on it later, accidents at nuclear power plants and storage areas are nothing to sneeze at.
But full-scale nuclear war, between Russia and the United States? In the early 21st Century? I’d have told you that Hollywood was no longer accepting derivative scripts like that.
Now, however, that very term is being tossed around blithely by many “leaders” in the world, and very seriously by one in particular. This has generated the usual, shockingly uninformed response from the shrill and the trolls, to scare people for the “lulz.”
So — I am going to talk to you about nuclear war, in order to inform you, rather than scare you.
The picture below is a “before and after” image of the city of Nagasaki, Japan, following it’s destruction by an atomic bomb on August 9, 1945. This was the “other” atomic bomb that week. I have been to the memorial site in Hiroshima (familial connection…on the Japanese side); should you, the Reader, ever get to Japan, you need to put it on your must-see list.
Just try to avoid going in the first week of August.
This is the image most people have about nuclear war. That it is mostly wrong, is not something the wider news media is going to waste time talking to you about. The general consensus about nuclear war, as presented in such movies as The Day After, On The Beach, and Threads and reinforced by scientists of a certain political persuasion, is that after the bombs drop, those who live through that, will soon join the rest.
The reality is going to be closer to a downmarket, Road Warrior rip-off. No zombies; sorry.
While the notion of being turned into a shadow on a street by a nuclear blast is very real, the simple truth is that you have to be almost directly underneath the blast. For most Americans, that is simply not going to happen. To find out why, take a stroll through the Nuke Map website, and find the closest major city to you. This is one of the most educational sites of its kind on the internet, and a great companion to Alternate Wars’ World War 3 section.
Most people who live near a major urban area don’t actually live “in” said city, but in the surrounding suburbs. For example, I tell people that I live in “Dallas, Texas” – the reality is that I live well outside the city, itself; in fact, I don’t even live in the same county. That is a conscious choice on my part, because – in my heart of hearts – I never trusted the political leadership of the USA to not do something monumentally stupid, so I try to live outside target zones.
Nuclear weapons are expensive and complicated, so anyone deciding to fire one at an enemy long ago realized that they needed to think very carefully about targeting. Targeting enemy commands and military facilities are almost always not the first option, because – under the doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) – it was assumed that as soon as you launched your missiles, the other side would launch theirs. As a result, there was no point in targeting empty air bases and missile silo’s. Likewise, targeting command elements (i.e., the President, et al) was not a good idea, because if you succeeded, there was no one left to negotiate with. So, the target planners settled on “economic and communications nodes.”
In short – cities.
If you look at a map of almost any major city, there are almost always a confluence of major highways in or near the city centers, conveniently close to major office towers housing the headquarters of companies that control “war production industries“…meaning, essentially anything that can be useful in warfare…which is virtually everything.
But, what if you don’t live in one of these “target-rich environments“? If you live “out in the ‘burbs,” like me, at most, you will get a certain amount of damage to your home (unless you are staring directly at the blast when it goes off; that will make your life…problematic). If you live in an actual rural area, you might not notice that a nuclear event has happened, until your local emergency services suddenly turn out in force.
For those thinking that the recent “advisory” posters and videos from various governments around the country, warning you to head indoors and wait for instructions in the event of a nuclear attack, means that the government will actually tell you how they are going to save you in the aftermath…they won’t. Those poster’s job is to keep you off the roads, to lessen traffic jams caused by fleeing people.
In short, the government wants you done. Well done, that is.
So…The foregoing naturally begs the question: If you’re outside a target area, a nuclear exchange does happen, and you’re alive afterwards — what do you do?
First, you need to plan ahead. If you think that I mean that you should become a “prepper” – you would be correct. But – should you stay in place, or go somewhere else? You know your area and your neighbors better than I do. If you live in an apartment complex, I strongly recommend that you have a plan to go somewhere else.
I am in a position where I have options in several directions. Again, I did this deliberately. That said, if you think that you are in a good position to stay where you are, that’s what you need to do. Hitting the road after a nuclear attack is, obviously, a pretty dangerous undertaking, no matter how well-prepared you think you are.
In addition to the requisite stocks of food – which is cheap to start, if you start now, by simply buying a few extra cans of beans and vegetables, and bags of beans and rice with every grocery run – you need to think seriously about water. Getting a couple of 55-ish gallon drums, along with several hand-pumped water purifiers for hiking, is a good step.
Next, I have to insert a disclaimer: the following is NOT medical advice. Do NOT “experiment” with the following. Short of a nuclear attack, do NOT take these products without consulting your doctor. Neither myself, nor FreedomistMIA are responsible if you violate this warning.
You have been warned.
The only specifically anti-radiation drug available to the general public in a pre-attack environment is Potassium Iodide. This is used as a protective for the thyroid glads from certain forms of radiation. The link above is to the Mayo Clinic’s advisory page on the drug – read that THOROUGHLY before taking. Potassium Iodide can be bought either as a product called “IOSAT“, which is sold in packets of fourteen 130mg pills. These are perfectly fine to use, but I do not recommend them, because in my opinion they are too expensive, and not as useful as the alternative. The better option are sold as tablets, by the bottle, usually coming as c.140 tablets of 130mg each (the standard dosage for an adult) to each bottle. The reason for this is simple: the IOSAT box is only good for protection after a single detonation — what do you do on Day 12, post-Attack, when their is another explosion? It’s a distinct possibility. Buy the bottle.
As well – calcium supplements. These are the only reasonable measure to counter the effects of Strontium-90 exposure. While there is no cure for Strontium exposure, calcium supplements can help you maintain bone health, since Strontium competes with calcium in the body. Again, talk to your doctor.
Last – multivitamins. Should an attack happen, your stress levels and changes in diet will throw your body out of whack for some time, until you can settle into a new normal. Multivitamins can help regulate the nutrients your body needs in the short term. Again, talk to your doctor.
Next, you need to consider, right now, what your gardening potential is. Start looking up your gardening zone, to see what kinds of food crops you can put in. As well, learn sprouting, because it really will keep you alive. Likewise, check out THIS video, as well.
That last thing we’ll talk about here, is personal defense and protection.
While I am fairly certain that many of those reading this article probably possess firearms of some sort, you need to think carefully about how to organize you personal and family protection strategies. Even if you live in a hyper gun-controlled state, you still have viable firearms options, such as pump shotguns, lever- and bolt-action rifles, and revolvers. Don’t do anything to run afoul of your local governments, but arm yourself, if you haven’t already.
Lastly, don’t neglect first aid. There are several products readily available, at very low cost that will significantly increase your chances of survival. Your options in this regard are vastly better than what was available 20-odd years ago. Also, there are plenty of training videos out there, on YouTube; “Dr. Bones & Nurse Amy” is one of the best.
Finally — I am not writing this to scare you. Even though I do not know you, I want you to live, should a nuclear attack happen…because the chances are very good that you will survive the attack, itself, and likely in relatively good physical condition. I find the idea of a person who survives a nearby nuclear explosion dying because they were not prepared beforehand, out of depression and ennui induced by sources that they should be able to trust, to be offensive in the extreme. You don’t have to know every single thing that I know, but what you need to know is that, if the worst comes, you and your family can survive, if you just exert the effort now.
I hope this helps. Good luck, check your six and keep your powder dry.