Revision Supplement #35/Chapter 35 of Volume II of the Civil Defense Manual – New Edition 20220701
From Author Shane Connor…
Reprinted with permission from his copyrighted essays at KI4U.com
Shane Connor has corrected the archaic and outdated belief of hopelessness from Nuclear War…
…Nuclear Warfare is survivable!
The Good News About Nuclear Destruction
By Shane Connor and Physicians for Civil Defense
FOREWORD by Toshiharu Kano, third generation Japanese-American, Author of “Passport to Hiroshima.” He reminded us recently…
“I am the last, closest to ground zero (800 meters from hypocenter), living survivor of Hiroshima atomic bomb of August 1945. Many of the tens of thousands of victims there tragically perished from an unfamiliarity of how to protect themselves from the unique effects of a nuclear bomb’s flash, blast and radiation.”
“As a US citizen living in middle America today, I see a hauntingly similar vulnerability growing among the general public here ever since Civil Defense was discontinued after the Reagan Cold War era.”
“The “Good News About Nuclear Destruction” is that if all Americans were trained again in the Civil Defense basics of what to do and not do if nuclear weapons were ever unleashed again, we could instantly make all nukes 90% less lethal. Ideally, while I’d like to see a world free of nuclear weapons someday, in the meantime we should all embrace rejuvenating public Civil Defense to greatly minimize their lethality.”
From Shane Connor… KI4U.com
What possible ‘good news’ could there ever be about nuclear destruction coming to America, whether it is Dirty Bombs, Terrorist Nukes, or ICBM’s from afar?
In a word, they are all survivable for the vast majority of American families, IF they know what to do beforehand and have made even the most modest of preparations.
Tragically, though, most Americans today won’t give much credence to this good news, much less seek out such vital life-saving instruction, as they have been jaded by our culture’s pervasive myths of nuclear un-survivability.
Most people think that if nukes go off then everybody is going to die, or it’ll be so bad they’ll wish they had. That’s why you hear such absurd comments as; ‘If it happens, I hope I’m at ground zero and go quickly.’
This defeatist attitude was born as the disarmament movement ridiculed any competing alternatives to their ban-the-bomb agenda, like Civil Defense. The activists wanted all to think there was no surviving any nukes, disarmament was your only hope. The sound Civil Defense strategies of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s have been derided as being largely ineffective, or at worst a cruel joke. Since the supposed end of the Cold War in the 80’s, most Americans saw neither a need to prepare, nor believed that preparation would do any good.
Today, with growing prospects of nuclear terrorism, and nuclear saber rattling from rogue nations, we see emerging among the public either paralyzing fear or irrational denial. People can’t even begin to envision effective preparations for ever surviving a nuclear attack. They think it totally futile, bordering on lunacy, to even try.
Ironically, the disarmament activist’s legacy, regardless their noble intent, has rendered millions of Americans even more vulnerable to perishing from nukes in the future.
The biggest surprise for most Americans, from the first flash of a nuke being unleashed, is that they will still be here, though ill-equipped to survive for long, if they don’t know what to do, and not do, beforehand from that very first second of the initial flash onward.
For instance, many could readily survive the delayed Blast Wave via the old ‘Duck & Cover’ tactic, and that is very good news, IF they knew to do it quick as the flash appeared. Unfortunately, most don’t, and even fewer know how to later survive the coming radioactive fallout which could eventually kill many times more than the blast.
However, there is still more good news possible, as well over 90% of those potential casualties from fallout are avoidable, too, IF the public was pre-trained through an aggressive national Civil Defense educational program. Simple measures taken immediately after a nuclear detonation, by a pre-trained public, can prevent agonizing death and injury from radiation exposure.
The National Planning Scenario #1, an originally confidential internal 2004 study by the Department of Homeland Security, examined the effects of a terrorist nuke detonated in Washington, D.C.. They discovered that a 10-kiloton nuke, about 2/3rds the size of the Hiroshima bomb, detonated at ground level, would result in about 15,000 immediate deaths, and another 15,000 casualties from the blast, thermal flash and initial radiation release.
As horrific as that is, and even without ‘Duck & Cover’, the surprising revelation here is that over 99% of the residents in the DC area will have just witnessed and survived their first nuclear explosion. Clearly, the good news is most people would survive that initial blast.
However, that study also soberly determined that as many as another 250,000 people could soon be at risk from lethal doses of radiation from the fallout drifting downwind towards them after the blast. (Another study, released in August 2006 by the Rand Corporation, looked at a terrorist 10 kiloton nuke arriving in a cargo container and being exploded in the Port of Long Beach, California. Over 150,000 people were estimated to be at risk downwind from fallout, again many more than from the initial blast itself.)
The good news here, that these much larger casualty numbers from radioactive fallout are largely avoidable, too, only applies to those pre-trained beforehand by a Civil Defense program in what they need to do before it arrives.
Today, lacking any meaningful Civil Defense program, millions of American families continue to be at risk and could perish needlessly for lack of essential knowledge that used to be taught at the grade school level.
The public at large, businesses and all our children’s schools, urgently need to be instructed in Civil Defense basics again. Like how most can save themselves by immediately employing the ‘Duck & Cover’ tactic, rather than just allowing an impulsive rush to the nearest windows to see what that ‘bright flash’ was across town, just-in-time to be shredded by the glass imploding inward from that delayed Shock Wave and Blast.
Most also don’t know, even when caught in the open, just lying flat, reduces by eight-fold the chances of being hit by debris from that brief, three second, tornado strength Shock Wave and Blast that, like lightning & thunder, could be delayed arriving anywhere from a couple seconds to 2 minutes after that initial flash.
Remember the February, 2013 Chelyabinsk Russia meteor air burst? 1,500 people were injured, most from the delayed Shock Wave exploding inward the window glass they were anxiously scanning the winter sky through trying to see what/where the bright flash was earlier.
“A fourth-grade teacher in Chelyabinsk, Yulia Karbysheva, was hailed as a hero after saving 44 children from imploding window glass cuts. Despite not knowing the origin of the intense flash of light, Karbysheva thought it prudent to take precautionary measures by ordering her students to stay away from the room’s windows and to perform a duck and cover maneuver. Karbysheva, who remained standing, was seriously lacerated when the blast arrived and window glass severed a tendon in one of her arms; however, none of her students, whom she ordered to hide under their desks, suffered cuts.”
Duck & Cover
‘Duck & Cover,’ while under-appreciated by most Americans, has long been known as a simple and effective Shock Wave and Blast life-saver, even as early as Hiroshima (15 KT) and Nagasaki (22 KT).
“According to the 1946 book Hiroshima, in the days between the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings in Japan, one Hiroshima policeman went to Nagasaki to teach police about ducking after the atomic flash. As a result of this timely warning, not a single Nagasaki policeman died in the initial blast. Unfortunately, the general population was not warned of the heat/blast danger following an atomic flash because of the bomb’s unknown nature. Many people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki died while searching the skies for the source of the brilliant flash.”
Robert Trumbull-the New York Times Pacific and Asia war correspondent, 1941-79 who had been in Iwo Jima-documented more double-bombing survivors in his 1957 book Nine Who Survived Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Personal Experiences of Nine Men who Lived Through Both Atomic Bombings.
Two of their experiences and their ages on 9 August 1945:
Tsutomu Yamaguchi, 29, Mitsubishi ship designer who died in 2010, aged 93 (Trumbull pp. 28 and 109): “Suddenly there was a flash like the lighting of a huge magnesium flare,” Yamaguchi recalls. The young ship designer was so well drilled in air-raid precaution techniques that he reacted automatically. He flung his hands to his head, covering his eyes with his fingers and stopping his ears with his two thumbs.
Simultaneously he dropped to the ground, face down. … “As I prostrated myself, there came a terrific explosion” … (The left side of his face and arm facing the fireball were burned, and he returned to Nagasaki, experiencing the second nuclear explosion on the sixth-floor of the headquarters office of Mitsubishi). Spelling out the danger of flying glass, he urged them to keep windows open during an air-raid alert, and at the instant of the flash to seize at once upon any shelter available … the second A-bomb confirmed young Yamaguchi’s words, exploding in a huge ball of fire about a mile away.
Yamaguchi’s lecture (just an hour earlier!) … was not lost upon his colleagues. With the young designer’s words still fresh in their minds, they leaped for the cover of desks and tables. “As a result,” said Yamaguchi, “my section staff suffered the least in that building. In other sections there was a heavy toll of serious injuries from flying glass.”
Masao Komatsu, 40, was hit by falling beam in a Hiroshima warehouse and was on board a train in Nagasaki when the bomb fell (Trumbull, p101): ‘…the interior of the coach was bathed in a stark, white light. Komatsu immediately dived for the floor. “Get down!” he screamed at the other passengers. Some recovered sufficiently from the daze of the blinding light to react promptly to his warning. Seconds later came the deafening crack of the blast, and a Shock Wave that splintered all the windows on both sides of the train. The passengers who had not dived under the seats were slashed mercilessly from waist to head by glass flying at bullet speed.
While terrorist nukes would likely be smaller than the Hiroshima (15 KT) bomb, in a modern super power conflict today, the nukes would be larger, most in the 100 KT to 500 KT range.
The un-survivable ‘ground zero’ lethal zone of a 500 KT nuke airburst, would extend out to about 2.2 miles. The Blast Wave would arrive at that 2.2-mile marker about eight seconds after the flash and then continue on causing death or injury from there out to about 9 miles.
Putting at grave risk then an additional over 15 times more souls than were already lost within that un-survivable 2.2-mile ground zero radius. That’s IF they don’t know to ‘Duck & Cover’ in those 8 to 20+ seconds after the flash and before the Blast Wave arrived. In other words, with ‘Duck & Cover’ taught to and employed by all, there could be over 15 times fewer casualties from that Blast Wave!
Clearly, prompt ‘Duck & Cover,’ upon any bright flash suddenly appearing, is lifesaving good news everyone should be taught!
People need to know, after the blast, attempting to outrun that downwind drift of the fallout is strongly discouraged. It only works if wind direction, speed, and distance from ground zero is known and assures plenty enough time to escape exposure in the open well before the fallout would arrive along their, likely clogged, route.
They must also be taught, sheltering-in-place is usually the better option, as the radioactive fallout loses 90% of its lethal intensity in the first seven hours and 99% of it in two days. For those requiring sheltering from fallout, the majority would only need two or three days of full-time hunkering down, not weeks on end, before safely joining an evacuation, if even still necessary then.
That’s more good news as an effective expedient fallout shelter can easily be improvised at home, school or work quickly, but, again, only IF the public had been trained beforehand in how to do so, as was begun in the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s with our national Civil Defense program.
Unfortunately, our government today is doing little to promote nuclear preparedness and Civil Defense instruction among the general public. Regrettably, most of our politicians, like the public, are still captive to the same illusions that training and preparation of the public are ineffective and futile against a nuclear threat.
Bush administration Department of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, demonstrated this attitude in 2005 when he responded to the following question in USA Today;
Q: “In the last four years, the most horrific scenario-a nuclear attack-may be the least discussed. If there were to be a nuclear attack tomorrow by terrorists on an American city, how would it be handled?”
A: “In the area of a nuclear bomb, it’s prevention, prevention, prevention. If a nuclear bomb goes off, you are not going to be able to protect against it. There’s no city strong enough infrastructure-wise to withstand such a hit. No matter how you approach it, there’d be a huge loss of life.”
Mr. Chertoff failed to grasp that most of that ‘huge loss of life’ could be avoided if those in the blast zone and downwind knew what to do beforehand. He only acknowledges that the infrastructure will be severely compromised — too few first-responders responding.
Civil Defense pre-training of the public is clearly the only hope for those in the blast zone and later in the fallout path. Of course, the government should try and prevent it happening first, but the answer he should have given to that question is; “preparation, preparation, preparation” of the public via training beforehand, for when prevention by the government might fail.
The former administration also failed to grasp that the single greatest force multiplier to reducing potential casualties, and greatly enhancing the effectiveness of first-responders, is a pre-trained public so that there will be far fewer casualties to later deal with.
Spending millions to train and equip first-responders is good and necessary, but having millions fewer victims, by having also educated and trained the public beforehand, too, would be many magnitudes more effective in saving lives. Maybe the present administration will do better, but time is short.
The federal government needs to launch a national mass media, business supported, and school-based effort, superseding our most ambitious public awareness campaigns like for AIDs, drug abuse, drunk driving, anti-smoking, etc. The effort should percolate down to every level of our society. Let’s be clear-we are talking about the potential to save, or lose needlessly, many times more lives than those saved by all these other noble efforts combined!
Instead, Homeland Security continues with a focus primarily on…
#1-Interdiction-Catching nuclear materials and terrorists beforehand and…
#2-Continuity of Government (COG) and casualty response afterwards for when #1 fails
While the vital key component continues to be largely ignored…
#3-Continuity of the Public… while it’s happening-via proven mass media Civil Defense training beforehand that would make the survival difference then for the vast majority of Americans affected by a nuclear event and on their own from that first initial flash & blast and through those critical first couple days of the highest radiation threat, before government response has arrived in force.
This deadly oversight will persist until those crippling myths of nuclear un-survivability are banished by the good news that a trained and prepared public can, and ultimately has to, save themselves. More training of the public beforehand means less body bags required afterwards, it’s that simple.
The tragic After-Action Reports (AAR’s), of an American city nuked today, would glaringly reveal then that the overwhelming majority of victims had perished needlessly for lack of this basic, easy to learn & employ, life-saving knowledge.
Re-launching Civil Defense training is an issue we hope and pray will come to the forefront on the political stage, with both parties vying to outdo each other proposing national Civil Defense public educational programs. We are not asking billions for provisioned public fallout shelters for all, like what already awaits many of our politicians.
We are just asking for a comprehensive mass media, business, and school-based re-release of the proven practical strategies of Civil Defense instruction, a modernized version of what we used to have here, and that had been embraced by the Chinese, Russians, Swiss and Israeli’s.
There is no greater, nor more legitimate, primary responsibility of any government than to protect its citizens. And, no greater condemnation awaits that government that fails to, risking millions then perishing needlessly. We all need to demand renewed public Civil Defense training and the media needs to spotlight it by questioning officials and politicians, until the government corrects this easily avoidable, but fatal vulnerability.
In the meantime, though, don’t wait around for the government to instruct and prepare your own family and community. Educate yourself today and begin establishing your own family nuclear survival preparations by reading the free nuke prep primer…
“What To Do If A Nuclear Disaster Is Imminent!” at www.ki4u.com/guide.htm …then, post links to, or pass copies of, this ‘Good News’ article to friends, neighbors, relatives, fellow workers, churches and community organizations with a brief note attached saying simply: “We hope/pray we never need this, but just-in-case, keep it handy!” Few nowadays will find that approach alarmist and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how many are truly grateful.
Everyone should also forward copies to their local, state and federal elected representatives, as well as your own communities first-responders and local media, all to help spread this good news that’s liberating American families from their paralyzing and potentially fatal myths of nuclear un-survivability!
Physicians for Civil Defense
The mission of Physicians for Civil Defense is to save lives of first responders and the general public in the event of disasters, especially terrorist attacks using dirty bombs or nuclear weapons.
If you’d like to help with tax-deductible contributions to expand our “Good News About Nuclear Destruction…” billboard outreach across America, or find out how to do it in your own community as a public service contact:
Together, we could save millions of American families from needlessly perishing in a future nuclear disaster!
Your top priority right now, though, is preparing for your own immediate family survival!
What to do if a nuclear disaster is imminent!
This guide is for families preparing for imminent terrorist or strategic nuclear attacks with expected blast destruction followed by widespread radioactive fallout downwind.
If an attack is NOT imminent, then first go read ‘The Good News About Nuclear Destruction!
IF A ‘Dirty Bomb’ Attack (Not the vastly more devastating nuclear weapon blasts with fallout discussed below). You can expect localized and downwind contamination from the explosion dispersing radioactive materials. If you are near enough to see or hear any local bomb blast, assume that it includes radiological or chemical agents.
You should move away from the blast area as quickly as possible. If the wind is blowing toward you from the direction of the blast, travel in a direction that is crosswise or perpendicular to the wind as you move away from the blast area.
Cover your face with a dust mask or clothing to avoid inhaling potentially radioactive dust.
Upon reaching a safe location, discard outer clothing, then shower as soon as possible.
Refer to local news sources for additional instructions about sheltering or evacuation. The government is better prepared to direct and assist the public in isolated ‘dirty bomb’ emergencies, unlike much more serious nuclear weapon attacks below.
In a national crisis of imminent nuclear weapon attacks, read all the way through this guide first, then take effective protective action, before they strike, with confidence… Fast!
#1-Stay or go?
You must decide FIRST if you need to prepare where you are, or attempt evacuation. The nature of the threat, your prior preparations, and your confidence in your sources of information should direct your decision. If you know already you will be preparing to stay at your own home or, at least, the immediate local area, go now to #2 below.
If you are considering evacuation, your decision requires very high confidence that it is worth the risk. You do not want to get stuck between your current location and your hoped-for destination, as there will probably be no easy moving forward or getting back.
If you fail to get to your destination, you may be exposed without shelter, in a dangerous situation, perhaps among panicked hordes of refugees. Whatever supplies you have may be limited then to what you can carry on foot.
IF you are in a big city or near a military target, AND you have relatives or friends in the country or sufficient resources, AND the roads between you and them are clear, AND the authorities are not yet restricting traffic, AND you have the means and fuel, evacuation may be a viable option for a limited time.
DO NOT attempt evacuation if all of the above is not clearly known, or if the situation is deteriorating too quickly to assure the complete trip. You do not want to get stuck and/or become a refugee being herded along with panicked masses. If evacuation is truly a viable option, do not wait-GO NOW!
Do so with as many of the supplies referenced in #7 as possible.
Better to be two days too early in arriving than two hours too late and getting snagged mid-way in a stampede of people, potentially exposing your family to a worse fate than having stayed where you were.
Because of the very real danger of getting caught in an evacuation crowd that stalls, almost all families will be better off making the best of it wherever they currently are.
#2-What you need to do first
Because time is of the essence, you need to first delegate and assign to different adult family members specific tasks so they can all be accomplished at the same time. Your first priorities to assure your family survival are Shelter, Water, and Food/Supplies. While some are working on the water storage and shelter at home, others need to be acquiring, as much as possible, the food and supplies, if stores not already besieged.
Because much of the food and supplies listed at #7 of this guide may quickly become unavailable, you need to assign someone NOW to immediately go to the stores with that list!
Get cash from the bank and ATM’s first, if it can be done quickly, but try and use credit cards at the stores, if at all possible, to preserve your cash.
Every possible container needs to be filled with water RIGHT NOW! It will be very hard to have stored too much water. When the electricity/pumps go down or everybody in your community is doing the same thing, thus dropping the water pressure, what you’ve got is all you might be getting for a very long time. Empty pop bottles (1-3 liter) are ideal for water storage, also filling up the bathtub and washing machine. (Remember, later you’ll have some in your hot water tank.)
See the Chapters in this Civil Defense Manual on “Water,” “Food, cooking and storage” and “Immediate actions and supplies needed for Extraordinary Catastrophic Events.”
Use the FREE Stored Emergency Food and Water calculator at…https://civildefensemanual.com/food-water-calculator/
If you have any kiddie pools or old water beds, pull them out and fill them up, too. (Water from a water bed should be used only for bathing or cleaning, not for drinking as it may contain traces of algaecide and/or fungicides.)
Anything and everything that’ll hold water needs to be filled quickly. One of the shopping items listed at #7 is new metal garbage cans and liner bags which you’ll also use for storing water.
BE ASSURED, YOU CANNOT STORE AND HAVE TOO MUCH WATER! Do not hesitate, fill up every possible container, RIGHT NOW!
The principles of radiation protection are simple-with many options and resources families can use to prepare or improvise a very effective shelter. You must throw off any self-defeating myths of nuclear un-survivability that may needlessly paralyze and panic, and then seal the fate of, less informed families.
Radioactive fallout is the particulate matter (dust) produced by a nuclear explosion and carried high up into the air by the mushroom cloud. It drifts on the wind and most of it settles back to earth downwind of the explosion. The heaviest, most dangerous, and most noticeable fallout, typically dark grit, will ‘fall out’ first closer to ground zero. It may begin arriving minutes after an explosion. The smaller and lighter dust-like particles will typically be arriving hours later, as they drift much farther downwind, often for hundreds of miles.
Once radioactive fallout begins to arrive, whether visible or not, all that will fall will usually do so in about an hour, coating everything, just like dust does on the ground and roofs. However, rain can concentrate the fallout into localized ‘hot spots’ of much more intense radiation with no visible indication.
This radioactive fallout ‘dust’ is dangerous because it is emitting penetrating radiation energy (similar to x-ray’s). This radiation (not the fallout dust) can go right through walls, roofs, windows and clothing. Even if you manage not to inhale or ingest the dust, and keep it off your skin, hair, and clothes, and even if none gets inside your house, the radiation penetrating your home is still extremely dangerous, and can injure or kill you inside.
Radioactive fallout from a nuclear explosion, though very dangerous initially, loses its intensity quickly because it is giving off so much energy. For example, fallout emitting gamma ray radiation at an initial rate over 500 R/hr (fatal with one hour of exposure for 50%) shortly after an explosion, weakens to only 1/10th as strong 7 hours later. Two days later, it’s only 1/100th as strong, or as deadly, as it was initially.
That is really very good news, because our families can readily survive it IF we get them into a proper shelter to safely wait it out as it becomes less dangerous with every passing hour.
What reduces radiation, and thus protects your family, is simply putting distance and mass between them and the radiation source. Like police body armor stopping bullets, mass stops (absorbs) radiation. The thicker and heavier the mass, the more radiation it stops, and the more effective it is with every inch more you add to your fallout shelter.
The thickness in inches needed to cut the radiation down to only 1/10th of its initial intensity for different common materials is: Steel 3.3’, concrete 11’, earth 16’, water 24’, wood 38.’ The thickness required to stop 99% of the radiation is: 5’ of steel, 16’ of solid brick or hollow concrete blocks filled with mortar or sand, 2 feet of packed earth or 3 feet if loose, 3 feet of water. Lead is nothing special, same as anything else pound for pound.
You may not have enough steel available, but anything you do have will have mass and can be used to add to your shielding-it just takes more thickness of lighter wood or books, for example, than heavier earth, to absorb and stop the same amount of radiation. Increasing the distance between your family inside and the radiation outside also greatly reduces the radiation intensity.
The goals of your family fallout shelter are:
- To maximize the distance away from the fallout ‘dusting’ outside on the ground, roof and trees
- To maximize the mass between your family and the fallout outside to absorb the deadly radiation
- To make the shelter tolerable to stay in while the radiation subsides with every passing hour
While a fallout shelter can be built anywhere, you should see what your best options are at home or nearby. Many structures already provide significant shielding or partial shielding that can be enhanced for adequate protection.
If you do not have a basement available, you can still use the techniques shown in any above ground structure, you’ll just need more mass to achieve the same level of shielding.
You may consider using other solid structures nearby, especially those with below ground spaces, such as commercial buildings, schools, churches, below ground parking garages, large and long culverts, tunnels, etc.. Some of these may require permissions and/or the acquiring of additional materials to minimize any fallout drifting or blowing into them, if open ended.
Buildings with a half-dozen or more floors, where there is not a concern of blast damage, may provide good radiation protection in the center of the middle floors. This is because of both the distance and the shielding the multiple floors provide from the fallout on the ground and roof.
Bottom Line: choose a structure nearby with both the greatest mass and distance already in place between the outside, where the fallout would settle, and the shelter occupants inside.
If you have a basement in your home, or at a nearby relatives’ or friends’ house that you can use, your best option is probably to fortify and use it, unless you have ready access to a better structure nearby.
For an expedient last-minute basement shelter, push a heavy table that you can get under into the corner that has the soil highest on the outside. The ground level outside ideally needs to be a couple feet above the top of the table shelter inside. If no heavy table is available, you can take internal doors off their hinges and lay them on supports to create your ‘table’.
Then pile any available mass atop and around the other two open sides such as books, cord wood, bricks, sandbags, heavy appliances, full file cabinets, full water containers, your food stocks, even boxes and pillow cases full of anything heavy, like dirt.
Everything you can pile up and around it has mass that will help absorb and stop more radiation from penetrating inside-the heavier the better. However, reinforce your table and supports so you do not overload it and risk collapse.
Tables on earth and concrete protection from harmful radiation by thickness in inches are in the Civil Defense Manual Chapter Underground Shelters and Survival by Paul Seyfried of Underground Shelters USA at info@UndergroundSheltersUsa.comPaul and his co-owner (a Nuclear Engineer) are the best I’ve found with knowledge and construction of Underground Shelter Systems.
As per Paul Seyfried: The Basic Rule of Thumb… every 2.9 inches of concrete cuts the radiation dose in half. Let’s round these factors up to 3 inches of concrete and 4 inches of compacted earth to make calculations simpler.
Leave a small crawl-through entrance and more mass there that can be easily pulled in after you, but with a gap at the top to allow exhaust air out. Have another gap of 46” square low at the other end for incoming fresh air. Make bigger if crowded and/or hotter climate. A small piece of cardboard can help fan fresh air in if the natural rising warmer air convection current needs an assist moving the air along.
This incoming air won’t need to be filtered if the basement has been reasonably sealed up, however any windows or other openings will require some solid mass coverage to assure they stay sealed and to provide additional shielding protection for the basement. More details on this in the next (#6) section.
With more time, materials, and carpentry or masonry skills, you could even construct a more formal fallout shelter, such as the FEMA lean-to on the right, but you will need to assure structural integrity is achieved and adequate mass is utilized.
An effective fallout shelter constructed in a basement may reduce your radiation exposure 100-200+ fold. Thus, if the initial radiation intensity outside was 500 R/hr (fatal in one hour for 50%), the basement shelter occupants might only experience 5 R/hr or even less, which is survivable, as the radiation intensity will be decreasing with every passing hour.
Adding mass on the floor above your chosen basement corner, and outside against the walls opposite your shelter, will also increase your shielding protection. Every inch thicker adds up to more effective life-saving radiation shielding.
As cramped as that table space fallout shelter might seem, the vital shielding provided by simply moving some mass into place could be the difference between exposure to a lethal dose of radiation and the survival of your family.
The majority of people requiring any sheltering at all will be many miles downwind, and they will not need to stay sheltered for weeks on end. In fact, most people will only need to stay sheltered full-time for 2-3 days before coming out to safely join the evacuation, if even still necessary then. As miserable and cramped as it might seem now, you and your family can easily endure a couple days of that, especially compared to the alternative.
It’s really not so difficult to quickly build an effective family fallout shelter, especially if you get started planning it before needed!
If you’ve accomplished the above; securing your supplies, stored water, and built your family fallout shelter, CONGRATULATIONS! You have now succeeded in improving the odds of survival for your family 100-fold, or more! Now, you need to expand your knowledge and fine-tune the tactics that will make the most of your family survival strategy.
- If close to a target, your first indication of a nuclear detonation may be with its characteristic blinding bright flash. The first effects that may have to be dealt with before radioactive fallout arrives, depending on your proximity to it, are blast and thermal energy. Promptly employing the old ‘Duck & Cover’ strategy, immediately upon the first indication of the flash, will save many from avoidable flying debris injuries and minimize thermal burns.Those close could soon experience a brief, tornado strength, wind blast and should quickly dive behind or under any solid object, away from or below windows. Even in the open, just lying flat, reduces by eight-fold the odds of being hit by any debris. A very large 500 kiloton blast, 2.2 miles away, will arrive about 8 seconds after the detonation flash with a very strong three second wind blast. That delay is even greater farther away. That is a lot of time to duck & cover IF alert and you should stay down for 2 minutes. If not near any target ‘ground zero’ you will only, like the vast majority, have to deal with the fallout later.
- Government information and guidance is a vital resource in your response to a nuclear crisis, but for many reasons it may be late, incomplete, misleading or simply in error. While evacuation might be prudent for individuals who act quickly in response to a threat, governments will be slow to call for mass evacuations before an event because of their potential for panic and gridlock.As past government calls for duct tape and plastic led to sold-out stores, anxiety, and derision from the press, there will be great reluctance to issue similar alarms. If you want to assure that you have adequate food, water & shelter for your family you must act BEFORE the panic without first waiting for government instructions that may never come or as urgently as warranted. You alone are ultimately responsible for your family.
- Filtering the air in your basement shelter won’t be required. Air does not become radioactive, and if your basement is reasonably snug, there won’t be any wind blowing through it to carry radioactive fallout dust inside. Simply sealing any basement windows and other openings prevents significant fallout from getting inside.To improve both the radiation shielding inside the basement, and to protect the windows from being broken and letting fallout blow in later, you should cover them all with wood, and then with earth, sandbags or solid masonry blocks, etc. on the outside and even the inside too, if possible. If the basement air gets stale later on, you could re-open a door into the upper floors of the closed house, or secure a common furnace air filter over an outside air opening leading into your basement.
- Regarding fallout contamination, any food or water stored in sealed containers, that can later have any fallout dust brushed or rinsed off the outside of the container, will then be safe to use. As long as the fallout dust does not get inside the container, then whatever radiation penetrated the food/water container from the outside does not harm the contents. If you suspect that your clothes have fallout on them, remove your outer clothing before you come inside and leave them outside. A cheap plastic hooded rain poncho that can be easily rinsed off or left outside is very effective.Have water and baby shampoo near the entrance to wash and thoroughly rinse any exposed skin and hair. Exposure to fallout radiation does not make you radioactive, but you need to assure that you don’t bring any inside. If any are stricken with radiation sickness, typically nausea, it is when mild, 100% recoverable and cannot be passed on to others. Before fallout arrives, you might also try to cover up items you want to protect outside for easier rinsing off of the fallout dust later when it’s safe to come out and do so. For instance, if you have a vegetable gardening spot or cordwood for heating, you might try covering some of it with plastic or tarp.
- If without sufficient time to acquire radiological instruments of your own, like survey meters, Geiger Counters and dosimeters, you’ll need to be extra sure that your portable radios function properly from inside your shelter and that you have plenty of fresh batteries stocked for them. Without radiological instruments, listening for official guidance about the radiation threat levels in your particular area will be the only way you’ll know when it’s becoming safe to venture out. It might also be the only way you’ll know when you first need to take your initial maximum protective action.When not in use, they should not be attached to any outside antenna or even have their own antenna extended. And, they should be wrapped in any non-conducting insulation, like layers of paper or bubble wrap plastic and then stored in a metal container or wrapped in aluminum foil to minimize the potential of EMP ruining the electronics. Having back-up radios would be very prudent. With extra radios, you can have one always tuned to the closest likely target city and, if it suddenly goes off the air, that could be your first indication of an attack. Same thing if electricity suddenly went out, too.
- When fallout is first anticipated, but has not yet arrived, anyone not already sheltered should begin using their N95 particulate respirator masks and hooded rain ponchos. Everyone should begin taking Potassium Iodide (KI) or Potassium Iodate (KIO3) tablets for thyroid protection against cancer causing radioactive iodine, a major product of nuclear weapons explosions. If no tablets available, you can topically (on the skin) apply an iodine solution, like tincture of iodine or Betadine, for a similar protective effect. (WARNING: Iodine solutions are NEVER to be ingested or swallowed.)For adults, paint 8 ml of a 2 percent tincture of Iodine on the abdomen or forearm each day, ideally at least 2 hours prior to possible exposure. For children 3 to 18, but under 150 pounds, only half that amount painted on daily, or 4 ml. For children under 3 but older than a month, half again, or 2 ml. For newborns to 1 month old, half it again, or just 1 ml. (One measuring teaspoon is about 5 ml, if you don’t have a medicine dropper graduated in ml.) If your iodine is stronger than 2%, reduce the dosage accordingly.Absorption through the skin is not as reliable a dosing method as using the tablets, but tests show that it will still be very effective for most. Do not use if allergic to iodine. Ideally, inquire of your doctor NOW if there is any reason why anybody in your household should not use KI or KIO3 tablets, or iodine solutions on their skin, in a future nuclear emergency, just to be sure there are no contraindications with other medications or existing medical conditions.
- When you know that the time to take protective action is approaching, turn off all the utilities into the house, check that everything is sealed up and locked down, and head for the shelter. You should also have near your shelter fire extinguishers and additional tools, building supplies, sheet plastic, staple guns, etc. for sealing any holes from damage. Your basement should already be very well sealed against fallout drifting inside. Now, you’ll need to seal around the last door you use to enter with duct tape all around the edges, especially if it’s a direct to the outside door.
- You don’t need to risk fire, burns, and asphyxiation trying to cook anything in the cramped shelter space, if you have pre-positioned in your shelter enough canned goods, can opener, and other non-perishable foods, that are ready-to-eat without preparation. More food, along with water, can be located right outside your crawl space entrance that you can pull in quickly as needed.
- For lighting needs within the shelter have some small LED flashlights or LED head-lamps to stretch your battery life. Try not to have to use candles if at all possible. Bring in some books for yourself and games for the children. Throw in a small/thin mattress, some cushions, blankets, pillows, etc.
- Toilet use will be via a portable camp toilet or 5-gallon bucket with a pool noodle that’s been slit lengthwise to fit on it as a seat. Bag liners, preferably sized for it, should always be used and a full-size and bag lined garbage can should be positioned very close outside the shelter entrance for depositing these in quickly to minimize exposure.Hanging a sheet or blanket will help provide a little privacy as shelter occupants ‘take their turn’. The toilet needs to have its new ‘deposits’ sealed up tight with the plastic liner after each use (kitty litter or sawdust added good, too.) and hand sanitizer towelettes nearby. Use a very secure top on the bucket and position it near the wall entrance with the outgoing upper air vent.
- Pets, and what to do about them, is a tough call if you fail to make provisions for them. Releasing pets to run free is not humane, both for their potential to die a miserable death from radiation exposure outside and/or to be a danger to others, especially with dogs running in the inevitable packs of multitudes of others abandoned.Preparing for them is ideal, if truly realistic and not a drain on limited resources, while ‘putting them down’ might eventually become a painful, but necessary reality if the disruption of food supplies becomes very long-term. “When An Ill Wind Blows From Afar!” document below has more on protecting livestock, farms and gardens.
#7-List of supplies to acquire locally
At a minimum you should be looking at two weeks of provisions, but much better to be aiming for two months or more. The reality is, if/when we are attacked, it could be a very long time before anything is ever ‘normal’ again, especially at any grocery stores. Hurricane victims can attest to the prolonged misery and disruptions from such a localized disaster, even with the rest of the country still able to help out. Nobody can begin to imagine how bad the suffering could be, and for how long, if nuclear weapons have gone off… and in multiple locations!
The Bottom Line…
When the TV or radio program switches abruptly to an terse announcement saying: ‘We Interrupt This Program For This Special Bulletin!’, and your kids look up to you with questioning wide-eyes and eager for assurances, know then that you are confidently ready for them with your own Action Plan ready to go! That’s what this is all about… saving our families!
This guide was purposely designed with the sober realization that the overwhelming majority of our fellow Americans would not be compelled to read such a guide until a nuclear crisis was imminent and, unfortunately, their preparation options and time to do so then would be very limited.
www.ki4u.com and other Prepper suppliers will again be quickly sold-out, as all were after 9/11 and Fukushima. This guide will be the best/only help that we can offer then. If you are fortunate enough to be exploring your family preparation needs and options before such a future national crisis, there is much more that you can and should do now to ensure that they are even better prepared.
Get these… If still available and enough time to be overnight shipped your address: radiation detection and monitoring instruments, potassium iodide (KI) anti-radiation pills, Nuclear Survival handbooks, etc., check at… http://www.ki4u.com/products1.php
There’s much more that can be learned to better understand what you are up against and to acquire to help your family survive and to better endure all of this. While time allows, and if the Internet is still up and running, task someone with getting and printing out this additional information and watch the Civil Defense films.
- The Good News About Nuclear Destruction! http://www.ki4u.com/goodnews.htm
- When An ill Wind Blows From Afar! http://www.ki4u.com/illwind.htm
- Physicians for Civil Defense http://www.physiciansforcivildefense.org
- Nuclear Effects & Fallout Shelters FAQ http://www.radshelters4u.com
- Nuclear War Survival Skills (30mb manual) http://www.ki4u.com/nwss.pdf
- “Know What To Do” 3 minute PSA video
- Core shelter video by Cresson Kearny, NWSS Author
- Civil Defense films made during the Cold War. Old fashioned, but physics and tactics of radiation protection are timeless.
- Survival Under Atomic Attack http://www.archive.org/details/Survival1951
- Duck & Cover Training for Children http://www.archive.org/details/DuckandC1951
- All About Fallout http://www.archive.org/details/AboutFal1963
- Study of nuclear test Nevada Test Site http://www.archive.org/details/Operatio1964
Some Final Thoughts…
As mentioned above, this guide was written assuming it would not be read by the majority of its intended audience until a nuclear crisis is already fully upon us–when remaining time and resources to prepare will be extremely limited, maybe with only hours remaining before ‘the music stops’.
For that reason, the food, equipment and supplies listed above in #7 has been restricted to only the most typically available from local resources.
If you are fortunate enough to be reading this well before a nuclear threat (or other major disaster) occurs or appears imminent, there’s a great deal more that you can and should do beyond the scope of this brief guide.
Surviving the initial threats of a nuclear ‘event’ and radioactive fallout is relatively easy with the proper knowledge and even the most modest of preparations, as we’ve detailed above.
The ongoing bigger challenge, though, will be the one brought on by the extensive and much longer-lasting disruptions of services after you survive the nuclear event and emerge safely once the fallout threat has diminished.
You might go many months with little or no new food supplies, along with disruptions of water, sewer, gas, electric, and telephone services, little or no gasoline, and severely limited medical and banking services, Law Enforcement and fire protection.
For radiation meters, dosimeters, KI tablets, nuke prep guides, etc., see www.ki4u.com.
For those who already have weapons, be sure they are effective models and calibers for self-defense, and that you have stocked plenty of ammunition and high-capacity magazines, if needed. Weapons and ammo will quickly disappear, or they will become prohibitively expensive or restricted, once their essential need is suddenly more widely recognized.
Once you are well on your way to acquiring your family’s preparation tools, equipment, and supplies, consider acquiring extra items to help others and/or to use as future barter goods. You might be able to trade extra water filters, garden seeds, survival books, fuel preservatives, flashlights, batteries, antibiotics, or ammo for other needed products or services. Some people are even converting a modest percentage of their traditional paper investments into some gold or silver coins for trading purposes, as well as for prudent wealth diversification.
Having wealth in forms other than solely paper dollars, plastic credit cards, or a 401k account might make the critical difference in one day being able to buy scarce gas or get your gravely ill child to the front of a mile-long line to see the only overworked doctor or dentist or pharmacist in town. It’ll sure beat only waving around your last mutual fund or bank statement then.
To better avoid unhealthy and overwhelming angst worrying about which future crisis is more/less likely or first, keep in mind that most of your preps will serve you well regardless of what specifically causes any future disruptions.
Once you’ve started making these preparations, strive to stay balanced. Thank God that you have begun, try to awaken others, and begin to confidently relax in your new alert status. You’ll then be able to even more fully enjoy life with your family knowing that you’re firmly on the road to better being able to handle just about any event that might occur in this quickly changing world.
Getting prepared is all about banishing fear, it’s insurance against an uncertain future so that you’re sleeping sounder at night knowing your family’s basic essential needs are better covered.
“A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.” Proverbs 22:3
Shane Connor is the CEO of www.ki4u.com. Consultants and developers of Civil Defense solutions to Government, NPO’s and Individual Families.
From Jack Lawson, Author of the Civil Defense Manual…
The Big Boom
Nuclear Warfare and the Survival of Americans
After attending training on Nuclear Warfare back in the mid-1960s’ and seeing the projected devastation expected from an all-out nuclear exchange between the United States and Russia by the MAD Theory Doctrine, aka Mutual Assured Destruction… I came away with a depressed feeling that was hard to shake.
I suddenly had new found respect for the ‘barrel’ …that bright white, epoxy painted nuclear warhead about the size of a 30-gallon oil drum with rounded edges that looked like a cylinder that was beautifully done by a sculptor. A pretty package that contained a horror show.
I had to use the ‘barrel’ often as a place to sit on, while working on missile electronics and installing nuclear arming package controls on it… the ‘bomb.’ It was just far simpler sitting on the bomb, than assembling and moving the expensive scaffolding and apparatuses that cost more than a house, but just didn’t work as well, to position you over the electronics you needed to get at to work on some 6 foot off the floor of the missile shelter. Probably why I have diabetes… from the irradiation of my abdominal organs through my behind. There are studies of diabetes and connections with this.
Nuclear warfare was the end of the world I thought, as I was taught… the world would be a dismal, ashen filled gray and cloudy existence of extreme suffering for those few who would temporarily survive it… they too, soon to join the dead. That, after internal hemorrhaging, starvation, dehydration and much suffering. The movie “The Road” will give you a good idea.
That’s what we were taught in the Air Force at that time. This image of full-scale Nuclear Warfare was further promoted by disarmament activists as “If we can’t survive it… why have this type of weapon?” …so, they used this to push to get rid of nuclear weapons.
Even though we pursued a naïve path of nuclear disarmament, we have actually made America more vulnerable to Nuclear War devastation than before, as many countries went the opposite way… they ‘nuked up’ by building more and better bombs, multiple warhead and delivery systems and ‘dug in,’ building huge defensive networks for their citizens.
The fact of life in the nuclear warfare world today is… amongst the major nuclear powers, the modern nuclear warheads are about as “environmentally friendly nuclear bombs” as a nuclear bomb can get… even though that term comprises words that make the perfect example of an oxymoron.
Current Nuclear threats
I don’t know how far these two situations… that of the Ukraine and Taiwan will go… but the Ukraine is looking like armed conflict more so each day. To what degree armed conflict will go in the Ukraine is anyone’s guess. Conventional land battles and or nuclear weapons exchanges… who knows. And with the boneheads who run things, how out of control this can get is anyone’s guess. I don’t think it will go that far. But be assured, America will be involved to some degree if there is conflict and the outcome will not be pretty.
After a fraudulent election to force through socialist agendas, the failure of the Covid agenda and the fear of the next election being watched under a microscope and the leftists losing ground that they gained, count on a war being the next cover for distraction. War also conceals the economic house of cards while it is collapsing… and we have the Mother of All economic disasters looming. PsyOps distractions and… “Follow the money.”
I don’t want to see one American hurt. But we’re about to get our asses handed to us on a platter. One reason… our military has been gutted of the fighting capability that it had a couple of decades past. Women in Special Operations, males walking in high heels as gender understanding training, the directive to “Balance the Mission with Balancing Lactation” in breast feeding babies in military units!? Insanity! …maybe insanity with a purpose?
We rely heavily on the tactic of Air Superiority in conflicts to bridge the lesser combat capabilities of our military to the enemy’s units. I know the absolute game changer of Air Superiority, as I’m alive because of Air Superiority’s umbrella protection and offensive support in the conflict I was in. When just moments from being wiped out… the “Spiders” (Jet and propeller ground attack aircraft overhead in their web) would come to our rescue. Air Superiority is essential and absolutely critical… he who has it… wins.
Even with our Air Superiority we could only decimate, but couldn’t defeat most of our recent enemies, those little goat herding countries we stomped on in the name of ‘democracy.’ In a conflict in either the Ukraine or Taiwan, we’ll be up against major players who can now equally play the Air Superiority game because of their anti-aircraft and jet aircraft capabilities.
American and allied Air Superiority has an even 50-50 chance of being… in any conflict amongst the major players… maybe less. We certainly won’t be up against Banana Republics or goat herders.
Without Air Superiority, our ground pounder forces will be in serious trouble… probably being defeated as a ground force… most likely large elements of combat units being annihilated. If you’ve ever been close to the target of a modern fighter ground support aircraft… you’ll know what I mean. Frightening!! And you’re not even in the middle of that massive firepower strike… just close to it. It is an experience that never leaves you and shakes you to the marrow of your bones… literally.
Fighting for Old Glory and the freedoms it represents was done last in Vietnam against Communists… and if after reading the previous words, your mind screams “That was a corrupt and worthless war that we never should have been involved with!” read Bernard Fall’s book “Street Without Joy.” Vietnam was the last noble war. And yes, the fallacy of Vietnam was it never should have been a battleground if the powers had supported Ho Chi Minh like they should have after the Japanese were defeated there in WWII. But they left Ho Chi Minh no choice but to go for help from the Chinese and Russians. Ho Chi Minh begged the Americans to help him… and had tears in his eyes at their refusal.
I have the deepest respect for American Military members… I put them on a pedestal. But after my misdirected support of the War on Terror (in hindsight, actually more of a War on Constitutional and Nationalist Americans), I told my Son, the Sergeant of his Marine Corps Scout/Sniper Surveillance and Target Acquisition unit in the Al Kut, Iraq area… that Iraq was a corporate war. My Son and his fellow Marines were not stupid… they knew it. They jokingly called themselves the “Exxon Division.” “Follow the money.”
“We’ll bring democracy to them!” the President said… Ha! The people of these countries have no concept of it and could give a shytte about it. “Follow the money.”
Where did all the oil go from those countries we conquered? Sold to China and India by American oil companies. It didn’t come to the U.S. and it didn’t pay for the war. I care for our American Military members and why they are being put in Harm’s Way. For what purpose has and will be their sacrifice? “Follow the money.”
Any war fought in the Ukraine will be literally for the corrupt people and corporations involved in American financial interests in the Ukraine… many of these people are elected and appointed U.S. government officials. Any war in the Ukraine will have ZERO to do with freedoms or the welfare of people. “Follow the money.”
China may take advantage of the Ukraine situation and stage an invasion of Taiwan… forcing the United States into a two-front war… a losing situation to be as history shows almost always, especially with the distance our forces will have to be supported from.
A different type of nuclear attack… the HEMP/EMP strike
Understand one issue of all out Nuclear Warfare… any attack by nuclear low altitude or ground burst weapons will be proceeded by one or more High-altitude ElectroMagnetic Pulse events commonly referred to as HEMP which is also known as an ElectroMagnetic Pulse event by the acronym EMP.
These are nuclear explosions at altitudes of 150 miles or higher designed to destroy electronic devices, anything with a semi-conductor or transistor above the area of EMP damage. You won’t see it (unless you’re looking directly up in the sky), you won’t hear it, you won’t smell it, you won’t taste it, you won’t feel it… but what you will experience one second after it happens is… silence. Almost everything will stop.
There will most likely be 3 to 6 of these high-altitude explosions strategically detonated above the Continental United States, Hawaii and Alaska alone to ensure as much of our military, civilian and industrial infrastructure is destroyed as possible. The same with allied countries. But HEMP and EMP will also destroy much or all of the Electrical Grid. That would put America in the Stone Age… for a long, long time. Read the Chapter titled… “Emanuelson on preparing for an EMP attack or Solar Storm” in the Civil Defense Manual to understand why.
ElectroMagnetic Pulses will also radiate, not as strongly, from Air Bursts and Ground Burst Nuclear weapons detonations.
What happens to YOU and your surroundings during and after a nuclear air or ground burst
Most current individual intercontinental nuclear weapons will be of around the 1 megaton range. Sometimes less… sometimes more. That’s 1,000 Kilo Tons. That’s the equivalent of ONE MILLION metric tons of conventional TNT explosive… almost too difficult to imagine unless you’ve used explosives.
Size of the Nuclear Detonation
The power the nuclear weapon dropped on, above or in your vicinity will be, measured in Kilo Tons of conventional TNT (usually the 2,4,6-Tri Nitro Toluene type of TNT).
Look at the diagram of the comparative sizes of nuclear weapons. The size of each nuclear bomb the enemy attacks with is of variable yield and the size of what is dropped on your area is determined by the enemy regarding a number of items…
The defense critical importance of manufacturing in your area, military bases in your area, ocean ports, defense adaptable airports, communications hubs in your area, national military and government control centers in your area, fuel stockpiles, electrical and natural gas central controlling hubs, generation and storage areas, distribution centers in your area, etc. Just about anything that would help the attacked country to get back on its feet and counter attack or resist the attacking foe would be a target.
Civilian populations are usually not a direct target of destruction, although manufacturing of Critical Life Supplies and Services (See the definition in the Civil Defense Manual) in your area maybe a target, to diminish the capability of civilian assistance in response to an attack.
Understand the two stages of a conventional non-nuclear explosion that instantaneously follow each other and that also occurs, for different reasons, with a nuclear explosion.
Stage One…the initial explosion outwards in all directions from the center of the explosion that creates an immediate vacuum and an expanding pressure and Shock Wave of still igniting, burning (and exploding) explosive material.
Stage Two… then the resulting rush of air going the opposite way from all directions that attempts to feed the igniting (burning) explosive material and replace the vacuum to normal atmospheric pressure [That’s 14.7 pounds per square inch Mean Sea Level (MSL)].
Out and in… in nano seconds. Without getting technical… the nuclear explosion has these in and out split second similar and opposing directional force and pressure movements… and added gamma and radiation outward movement.
The Nuclear Explosion will create winds of 150 to 200 Miles Per Hour in the Blast Radius and over one hundred tons of pressure per square meter on anything in its path. In the Fireball Radius… these numbers would be FOUR times as high. But that wouldn’t be relative to us because no human would be alive in the Fireball Radius to experience it.
The detonation of Burst Nuclear Weapons
Exclusive of the High-Altitude HEMP or EMP nuclear explosion, the following three variations of nuclear detonations are:
- The close above the ground ‘Air Burst’
- The ‘Surface Burst’ (actually a thousand feet or so above the ground surface, so this is a misleading term)
- The ‘Shallow Penetrating Ground Burst’ (usually around 5 meters penetration depth before detonation).
Air Burst: Is a nuclear bomb detonated a mile to two miles over the target. The Air Burst is much more damaging than a surface burst in most respects. It is estimated to cause three times the injuries… and about twice the deaths within the first days’ time. It delivers a much higher Pounds Per Square Inch (PSI) pressure wave over the Blast Area. This blows things inward and apart and collapses buildings. Dead and destroyed.
Surface Burst: Is a nuclear bomb detonated on or very close to the ground. The Surface Burst is used to destroy facilities such as semi hardened military operations centers and facilities in buildings that need a larger Blast Wave to destroy and in geographical areas that protect the target from the Blast Wave.
Shallow Penetrating Ground Burst: Is a nuclear bomb detonated in the ground after the bomb penetrates the surface a few meters. This in ground detonation creates the ultimate in Shock Wave transfer… much like the Mother Of All Earthquakes times One Thousand. The Shallow Penetrating Ground Burst is used to destroy hardened in ground facilities such as buried concrete blast hardened military operations centers and missiles of inground silo systems by sending huge ground Shock Waves that collapse and totally destroy facilities, turning them into underground rubble.
The closer the nuclear weapon is detonated to the ground, the more residual fallout in the Blast Area and that will occur later in downwind areas.
This is simply because more material is sucked into the explosion, vaporized and is expelled as ash and debris into the Blast Area and is drawn into the mushroom cloud as ash, which later falls back to earth in areas the wind takes this material to… downwind, if you are one of the unfortunate to be in its path.
What happens with a Nuclear Explosion?
The Fireball Radius is the closest to the center of detonation and would be about a one to two-mile radius. Within this area few humans would be left alive and the area virtually destroyed to ground level. Anything that can burn will be gone… vaporized… turned into a gaseous state.
Think scorched cinders. The term ‘toast’ wouldn’t apply… toast would be vaporized. Anything that would burn or vaporize into a gaseous state would be gone. Everything remaining would be highly radioactive… for some time. Even the pure water molecule, that by itself cannot become radioactive, would have radioactive material fused to it. Radiation attaches to other suspended solids in water… See the Chapter titled “Water” in the Civil Defense Manual as to half-life safety times and treatment procedures to make radioactive water safe to consume and use.
The Blast Radius would be about a 20 mile radius… in this area the structural damage would be similar to what conventional bombs would produce. Many human injuries would occur from the blast, damage to buildings, flying debris, collapsing structures, etc. and radiation would be lethal if people stayed in this area. People not buried alive would have severe skin burns on the exposed parts of their body towards the explosion, blindness, traumatic hearing loss, they would be irradiated and most would die from that alone in days in addition to bleeding out from cuts of flying debris and injuries from being thrown about.
The Fallout Area would be the ‘fallout cloud’ of radioactive particles over a variable area… dependent on prevailing winds, wind directions as the cloud moves, precipitation that falls from it. The ‘fallout cloud’ could be hundreds of miles long and hundreds wide.
Outside Areas and nuclear bomb effects… IF YOU FOLLOW THE DUCK & COVER PROTOCOL that Shane Connor posts in the first part of this essay and DO NOT LOOK AT THE FIREBALL DETONATION, being in these areas… issues such as Shock and Blast Waves, skin burns, Xray effects, etc. would not directly affect you.
What Kills and Injures You…
Nuclear radiation refers to the particles and photons emitted during reactions like a nuclear detonation that involve the nucleus of an atom. The particles emitted by nuclear reactions are so powerful that they can remove electrons from atoms and molecules they hit. Kind of like bumper pool. Hit one and it hits others causing yet others it hits to move.
Gamma rays are particles going through you like tiny invisible bullets. These bullets cause massive damage to your body’s cells in a number of ways… First, they shoot holes in cell nuclei and cause damage to cell components by ‘excitation’ and causing internal bleeding… Second, they cause your immune system to try to clean up the mess they make which overloads your body with toxins… Third, all the while causing some cells to multiply by making abnormal cells… exactly what cancer is… the rapid growth of abnormal cells.
Instant Death: An extreme amount of radiation will kill instantly separate from the effects of the blast. For a person to die from nervous system destruction, they would drop like a sack of potatoes. End of story. No visible marks on the body. Just the effects of voluntary and involuntary nerve signals stoppage. Think heart and lungs no longer responding to the mind’s control. Think… immediate and massive heart attack and suffocation.
Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS): This is essentially massive cell death in delicate, fast-growing tissues such as the guts and organ linings, bone marrow blood production and the skin layers. Death usually occurs within two weeks of ARS.
Radiation transfers energy to your living tissue, either by electron excitation or direct collisions with nuclei in case of neutrons or with electrons in case of gamma radiation. None of this energy is beneficial to you. The effect of that energy may be burns for very high doses but the bigger problem is that this energy causes chemical reactions of which are often toxic.
Normally cells have mechanisms that can deal with the damage by removing the toxins and repairing damaged molecules but problems occur if the radiation dose is high and lots of those toxins accumulate, the systems are overloaded and stop functioning. This causes cells to malfunction or die and this is what kills you within days or weeks after getting a high radiation dose.
As for effects of lower doses failure to repair damaged DNA may lead to causing certain genes (P53) to begin abnormal growth multiplication of cells… another name for cancer.
In the Fireball Area
(About a one to two-mile radius)
- The other effects of a nuclear explosion on the living are a moot point to list here as you and everything combustible will be incinerated and vaporized within the Fireball Area. About a one to two-mile radius.
In the Blast Area injuries from…
(about a 20-mile radius)
- Flying glass and debris
- Blast pressure Shock Wave collapsing structures on people
- Blast pressure rupturing lungs
- Skin burns
- Flash blindness and or permanent damage to the retina of the eye
- Hearing loss
- Radioactive penetration of the body and resultant bleeding and toxicity overload of the body like full body sepsis from immediate radiation.
Outside the Blast Area, but in the Fallout area
(This area is variable determined by a number of factors, but primarily by prevailing winds)
- Radioactive penetration of the body and resultant bleeding and toxicity overload of the body like full body sepsis from Fallout.
How much radiation will kill you?
That is a loaded question… as it depends on a great number of issues including your health. But figure 250 Roentgen exposure for one hour… or 100 REMS exposure over a few days will kill you. That’s a lot a radiation and if you’re sheltered, even in an above ground concrete slab on the ground building… you can survive this radiation if you keep it as far away from you as possible until it weakens in strength.
In addition to Shane Connor’s expertise, knowledge and information above, Author Don Shift has posted an excellent article a few days ago on American Partisan on above ground survival of nuclear radiation fallout…
Nasty components and after effects of a nuclear detonation…
Strontium-90: One of the components from a nuclear explosion is, which fools the body into thinking that it’s calcium, when inhaled or consumed. The body sends calcium straight into the bone marrow and the teeth so when it can’t tell the difference it sends these toxic chemicals straight into the bone and teeth also… causing bone cancer amongst other problems.
Radioactive Iodine (Radioiodine): Taking KI will help protect a person’s thyroid gland from the radioactive iodine. The greatest danger from radioiodine is to the tiny thyroid glands of children. This can travel hundreds of miles on the winds. Even very small amounts of inhaled or ingested radioiodine can do grave damage as it will always concentrate, and be retained, in the small space of the thyroid gland. Eventually giving such a large radiation dose to thyroid cells there that abnormalities are likely to result, such as loss of thyroid function, nodules in the thyroid, or thyroid cancer.
While there will also be many other dangerous radioisotopes released along with radioiodine, if they are inhaled or ingested, they are normally dispersed throughout a body and pose less of a risk than if they were to be concentrated into one small specific area of the body, like radioiodine is in the thyroid gland.
‘Black Rain:’ 15 to 20 minutes after the atomic bombs detonate, a hard “Black Rain” will fall. Not the little pitter patters of raindrops falling, but heavy and thick black globs with a texture like oil.
How long do you have to stay in shelter?
After 48 hours to one week, depending on the proximity of the blast to you… most radiation will drop to a level that is 1 % of the original radiation. You need dosimeters to ensure this level has dropped.
For a book that goes into much more detail on what happens to you and your surroundings, I recommend the National Academy of Science, Engineering & Medicine, National Academy Press book Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons. An excerpt from it…
Nuclear Explosion Effects on Humans
The health effects of nuclear explosions are due primarily to air blast, thermal radiation, initial nuclear radiation, and residual nuclear radiation or fallout.
- Immediate Effect-Blast. Nuclear explosions produce air-blast effects similar to those produced by conventional explosives. The Shock Wave can directly injure humans by rupturing eardrums or lungs or by hurling people at high speed, but most casualties occur because of collapsing structures and flying debris.
- Immediate Effect-Thermal radiation. Unlike conventional explosions, a single nuclear explosion can generate an intense pulse of thermal radiation that can start fires and burn skin over large areas. In some cases, the fires ignited by the explosion can coalesce into a firestorm, preventing the escape of survivors. Though difficult to predict accurately, it is expected that thermal effects from a nuclear explosion would be the cause of significant casualties.
- Immediate Effect-Initial radiation. Nuclear detonations release large amounts of neutron and gamma radiation. Relative to other effects, initial radiation is an important cause of casualties only for low-yield explosions (less than 10 kilotons).
- Delayed Effect-Fallout. When a nuclear detonation occurs close to the ground surface, soil mixes with the highly radioactive fission products from the weapon. The debris is carried by the wind and falls back to Earth over a period of minutes to hours.
Long term exposure to Nuclear Fallout creates a danger of accumulation of radioactive material in your Thyroid Gland… especially in children. This is why you need Iodine to force your Thyroid Gland to repel deposits of radioactive material. Get KI (Potasium) from KI4U.com… it’s cheap.
SO… While time is NOT of the essence, order from KI4U.com for your CDM Neighborhood Protection Plan™ (NPP) (My NPP has boxes full of KI4U goodies): Read the full, uncut version of “The Good News About Nuclear Destruction” and order radiation detection and monitoring instruments, potassium iodide (KI) anti-radiation pills, Nuclear Survival handbooks, etc..
Geiger Counters, RAD, REM, Roentgen, Gray and Sievert
RAD, REM and Roentgen are different radiation measurement scales but are considered roughly equal to each other.
These will tell you the extent of the radioactive levels per hour in the air (Roentgen) of your area and what you and inert materials have absorbed.
KI4U.com is the number one in my book for Geiger Counters and dosimeters. Check out their selection at KI4U.
The 3 smaller radiation measurement units
- RAD (Radiation Absorbed Dose aka Absorbed Radiation Dose) measures the amount of radiation absorbed by inert material)
- REM (Roentgen Equivalent Man measures the amount of radiation absorbed by you)
- Roentgen (The ‘R’ measures the level of radiation as it travels through the air before being absorbed by material or you).
The 2 larger radiation measurement units
- 115 times the above measures: Gray (Gy) is the amount of absorbed radiation in inert material the same as the smaller unit RAD.
- One Roentgen equals about 115 Gy.
Conversion and comparison of units
- For the purpose of simplicity… APPROXIMATELY 100 TIMES one RAD, one REM or one R equals one GRAY (Gy) or equals one Sievert.
- A milliroentgen (mR) is one thousandth of a Roentgen (R).
- One RAD, one REM and one R… are approximately equal to each other.
- There are 100 REMs in 1 Sievert.
- 1 Gray equal 1 Sievert.
- A Sievert and REM measure what your body has absorbed in radiation.
- A Gray and RAD measure what inert material has absorbed in radiation.
- Roentgen (R) measures the level of radiation as it travels through the air before being absorbed by material or you.
Shane Connor informed me that most Geiger Counters are peacetime instruments that read low/safe levels of radiation, typically from normal background radiation up to maybe 1/10th of one Rad. With the low scale ‘peace time’ CDV-700 Geiger Counter for instance, top highest reading is 50 mR/hr.
He also warned that when this type of Geiger Counter is exposed to higher levels, it can become saturated and then read erroneously or even zero, which might trick user to think they are now out of danger. With only a low scale ‘peace time’ Geiger Counter, you never know if you are in 3R/hour, 30R/hour or 300R/hour, the last of which would be fatal after a two-hour exposure time.
Again… for nuclear radiation issues… radiation meters, dosimeters, KI tablets, nuclear radiation preparation guides, and a host of other equipment and supplies… visit www.ki4u.com.
SMALL POX Survival Tip: Buy a plant extract called Sarracenia Purpurea. This is an extract made from the Pitcher Plant, that grows in Quebec and devours insects like a Venus Flytrap plant does. Topically applied, it kills the Small Pox virus.Read this article: https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/rediscovered-native-american-remedy-kills-poxvirus/3003420.article
Search eBay for the Amish version: Sarracenia Purpurea the Purple Pitcher Plant Extract
Johnny Paratrooper’s Green Dragon Academy at…
I also highly recommend Joe Dolio’s books and also his blog to you… despite the brain scrambling of serving in the United States Marine Corps (I tell my former USMC Son that too) to write some of the best articles I’ve read for realistic survival… and the guy’s writing style is concise, to the point and fun to read… www.Tactical-Wisdom.com
Stay tuned, Folks!
The next essay and Civil Defense Manual Newsletter will be…
Phillips on ‘Grid Down’ Emergency Cold Weather Survival
Olson on Precious Metals… Everything you wanted to know about Gold and Silver as Precious Metals but had no one to ask…
The following is a checklist form…
Nuclear Warfare on a Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) basis Extraordinary Catastrophic Event
From Author Shane Connor…
Reprinted with permission from his copyrighted essays at KI4U.com
The half-dozen top listed items below, you’ll also use while in the shelter that 2-3 days. They are mostly ready-to-eat that requires no cooking or preparation, just a can opener at the most. (The iodine solution is included here because of its importance for its thyroid-blocking topical use detailed above, IF you do not have KI pills, but it’s NEVER to be ingested or swallowed.)
The other foods listed below there are better cost/nutrition staples for later use during the extended recovery period. Then follows general non-food supplies, tools and equipment. Better to risk being a little early when securing your families essential food and supplies, rather than a few hours too late and going home empty-handed… Buy…
- Ready-to-eat foods (granola/energy/protein bars, snack-paks, raisins, cheese, etc.)
- Some perishable foods (breads and fruits like bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, etc.)
- Canned goods (soups, chili, vegetables, fruit, tuna, meats, beans, peanut butter, etc.) Assorted drink mix flavorings (with no cold drinks, just plain water, kids will appreciate it!) Plenty of potent Multi-Vitamins, Vit C, Pepto Bismol, aspirin, Tylenol, other OTC meds, etc. Iodine solution, like Betadine (16 ounces)-NOT TO BE INGESTED OR SWALLOWED!
- The largest sacks of rice, beans, flour, potatoes, pasta, quick oats and other grains. Multiple big boxes of dried milk (Could include/use some inside shelter, too). Multiple big boxes of pancake and biscuit mix & syrup. Large bags of sugar and jars of honey. Large 2 gallons or more of cooking oil. Baking powder & soda & yeast & salt & spice assortment packs. Bottled water (especially if home supplies not secured yet).
- Paper or plastic plates/bowls/cups/utensils and paper towels Quality manual can opener, 2 if you don’t already have one at home Kitchen matches and disposable lighters New metal garbage cans and liner bags (water storage & waste storage)
- 5 or 6 gallon bucket and smaller garbage bags sized for it (toilet). Pool noodle to cut slit lengthwise to fit as seat for toilet bucket. Toilet paper and, if needed, sanitary napkins, diapers, etc.
- Baby wipes (saves water for personal hygiene use)
- Flashlights (ideally LED) and more than one portable radio Plenty more batteries, at least three sets, for each of the above
- Bleach (5.25%, without fragrance or soap additives) Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide and hand sanitizers Prescription drugs filled, and as much extra as possible
- First aid kits and Fire extinguishers
- At least a couple inexpensive N95 particulate respirator masks for each member Cheap plastic hooded rain ponchos for everyone
- Water filters and all other camping type supplies, such as portable camp toilet, cook stove and fuel, ammo, etc., if any sporting goods stocks still available.
- And, of course, rolls of plastic sheeting, duct tape, staple guns, staples, etc.
- Iodine tablets for radioactivity. These are a ‘band aid’ for certain types of radioactive poisoning. If the radioactive levels get too intense there is little you can do. Radioactivity is like thousands of tiny invisible bullets going through your body.
- High Range Geiger Counter, or radiation in Roentgens per hour measuring device.
From the Author of the Civil Defense Manual…
Again, for all Catastrophic Events, not just these, invest $500 in barter items. More if you can. Buy manual hand turn can openers, P38 and P51 military can openers, whiskey, cigarettes and cigars, butane lighters, matches, antibiotics, nail clippers, multitools, books, playing cards and board games, coffee, essential oils, soaps and hygiene supplies, needles and thread, copies of this book.
Think… Grid Down non-electric items… go to a camping store and review what non-electric handy dandy items they have. I have boxes of small well-built ‘Leatherman’ type multi-tools that cost me less than a dollar each, but will bring me way more than that in trade when the balloon goes up.
For Extraordinary Catastrophic Events add to your existing supplies of these items IMMEDIATELY before the mob empties shelves…
- For those requiring daily or periodic medicines to sustain their life, buy as much medicine as possible.
- Fill vehicles and all sealable gas compatible containers with gasoline.
- Fill all pails with diesel and put a lid on each pal.
- Buy more water barrels and fill bathtubs, sinks and all containers immediately.
- Buy more canned food, bags of rice and beans.
- Buy more batteries: AAA, AA, D, 9 Volt.
- Buy more ammunition.
- Buy more antibiotics.
- Buy more alcohol for barter.
- Buy more cigars and cigarettes for barter.
This Newsletter and Chapter are dedicated to my 1RLI Support Commando Second In Command Captain Vernon Anthony Prinsloo
04 August 1950 – 09 February 2022
Vernon was my Troop Commander in Support Commando, Rhodesian Light Infantry 1977-79… a Lieutenant then, soon to become Second in Command of Support Commando to Major Nigel H… Africa 1977-79.
In most militaries of the world the rule is “Never, ever volunteer for anything.” In my Commando it was… “I’ll go Lieutenant!” which I remember saying to him as I popped out of my tent when I heard him calling for volunteers to go with him to get two SAS guys out of Zambia who were surrounded by the Zambian Army.
Vernon said to me… “You’re getting married soon!” He was always like a mother hen watching his brood. I told him “If I don’t go, I know I’ll get it on the way home… that’s what I feel.”
He looked at me oddly, then said… “Okay, chute up!” So, I went to put my parachute on. As I was walking to the truck for my parachute, word was sent to us that the two SAS guys had escaped from their encirclement and were headed for the Zambesi River back into Rhodesia.
But me volunteering was more that Vernon always gave me a sense of invincibility when I was with him, than my bravery. When he was around, I was safe. Safer with him on a rescue mission than riding in the back of an armored truck home. I am alive because he saved my life on another occasion. If he’d hesitated from fear, I wouldn’t be typing this.
I would have followed that man anywhere… that was the stature of him and my Commando Officers… fearless. Real Leaders and fearless… they wouldn’t ask you to do anything they wouldn’t do. They always stuck their necks out first. Vernon was always the first of our Troop to lead the way… taking point. He inspired bravery in his men.
A hero with medals who acted bravely once on the spur of the moment? No.
A desk jockey giving orders to men who fought the battles? No.
He was the man who braved danger every day for years without fail or hesitation… the definition of… courageous.
Do not stand at my grave and weep… I am not there… I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow… I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain… I am the Gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the mornings hush… I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight, I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry… I am not there… I did not die.