Know how to protect yourself from a Nuclear Explosion




In light of the recent news that North Korean authorities have claimed to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, which is much more powerful (about 3 to 4 thousand times), than the nuclear weapons it has tested in the past . World leaders are also alarmed that North Korea now also has the capability to launch rockets into the United States and the plausibility that they may  load these with thermonuclear warheads. Therefore I feel it is timely to reveal that the elite units to whom I was affiliated, received training in the event of nuclear conflict and how to survive the effects of the ensuing radiation. This post is not intended to scare you but to be as informative as possible and to help you and your loved ones survive even this most unimaginable of scenarios.

A page from the Military Survivability Expectations of a nuclear conflict Manual.








The illustration on the left is a scanned page from my military manual on the effects of radiation and the Survivability expectations at various distances from the centre of the explosion. It is written in english.










The immediate hazards of a nuclear explosion are the blast, the heat and the radiation. The severity of their effects will depend upon the size and type of weapon, the distance or height of the explosion, the weather conditions and terrain. The heat and blast are like those produced by conventional explosives, but many times more powerful.


The Blast:

Thermonuclear Blast Test on Bikini Atoll in 1958


The detonation causes the initial shock-wave. Even more powerful is the compression of the Air produced by the rapid expansion of the fireball. The wave of pressure traveling upwards from the point of detonation will collapse buildings, uproot trees and fill the air with flying debris, well before the heat follows. Approximately half the total energy of the explosion is expanded in this manner. When the blast wave has passed air rushes back to fill the void causing further damage. At distances where the initial blast has only weakened structures this vacuum effect will cause complete devastation.



The Heat:

Smoke from Fire in Hiroshima on 6 August 1945


The thermal radiation (heat and light) produced by a nuclear explosion reaches temperatures hotter than the Sun and includes great intensities of ultraviolet, infrared and visible light rays. Close to the point of detonation all inflammable materials are ignited…..even vaporised! In the case of the Hiroshima bomb, exposed skin was burned at a distance of 4km (2.5 miles). In the photo to the left, more than 80,600 people were killed instantly. Today’s weapons are MANY times more powerful and their effects comparably more extensive. Even seeing the flash of the explosion is likely to cause serious eye damage and burns to the skin.



The Radioactivity:

Universal Radiation Warning Symbol



In addition to the thermal radiation, nuclear fission produces alpha and beta particles and gamma rays. Although radioactive fallout settles to earth, with the appearance of white ash or dust, this is the residue of destroyed matter not the radioactivity itself, which cannot be detected by human senses. A geiger counter is required to register its presence, indicated by a dial or a sound signal which becomes increasingly agitated as the radiation increases.






    • Alpha particles have low penetration capabilities and it is easy to shield them off. In fact they can be stopped by a sheet of thin paper.They cannot penetrate the skin but they do present serious problems if ingested or inhaled.

    • Beta particles are only slightly penetrating and heavy clothing and boots will give full protection. These particles are halted by a sheet of tin foil. On exposed skin they cause burns. If ingested they attack bone, the gastrointestinal tract, thyroid gland and other organs.

    • Gamma rays are highly penetrating. They travel much slower than alpha and beta rays, damaging all the cells of the body.

      Common symptoms of exposure to radioactivity are nausea, vomiting, general weakness. Ulcer-like sores appear on the skin, which tends to take a grey hue.

Residual radiation:

Testing for Residual Radiation at Chernobyl

The initial radiation given off during the first minute of a nuclear explosion will usually be fatal – but it lasts only a short time. Once the blast has passed, so has the initial radiation threat. However, exposure to residual radiation can be equally dangerous. The amount of residual radiation depends on how the bomb was detonated. If it was high above the ground and the fireball did not touch the earth little residual radiation is produced. Strategists call this a “clean bomb”. If exploded on or near the ground, a huge quantity of soil and debris is sucked upwards to a great height and falls back to earth as radioactive dust. Heavier particles fall in the vicinity of the explosion, but lighter ones may be carried by wind over a wide area, spreading the radioactivity. In time radiation decays. Just like Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been rebuilt and re-inhabited. However, while as much as 70% of these particles remain radioactive for only one day or less, it takes others years for their radiation to decay. Today both these cities have the same amount of radiation found anywhere in the world. The sad fact is that the particles have been dispersed by the wind… somewhere!

The radioactivity to which an unprotected person could be exposed in the first few hours will exceed that received during the rest of the week. That in the first week will exceed the amount accumulated during the rest of a lifetime spent in the same contaminated area. It is therefore important to be shielded during the initial stages.

Radiation shelters:

Rear of Concrete home Shelter in Nevada Desert




Strictly speaking, it is impossible to shield completely from all radiation but a sufficient thickness of shelter material will reduce the level of radiation to a negligible level.






Below are some materials and the thickness required to reduce radiation penetration by 50%.


MATERIAL                                     METRES/FEET

Iron and steel                                          0.21/0.7

Concrete                                                   0.66/2.2

Brick                                                          0.60/2.0

Soil                                                             1.00/3.3

Ice                                                               2.00/6.6

Wood                                                          2.60/8.8

Snow                                                           6.00/20.3

Finding shelter Inside a deep depression in the earth

In the absence of a deep bunker equipped with air, water and food supplies, in which to sit out a nuclear conflict and its aftermath, the best protection is a deep trench with a roof covered by a meter or more of earth. If the detonation is sufficiently distant not to produce total destruction, the trench and earth will protect from blast, heat and radiation. Look for terrain that has natural shelter, such as ravines, gullies, ditches and rocky outcrops. If you do not have a trench shelter prepared, start digging. And I mean, FAST! As soon as the hole is big enough, get inside it to continue digging, to minimise exposure to radiation. If you are caught-out while still digging, rig up a roof. Even if only of cloth, it will stop dust falling on you. Penetrating rays can still reach you so try to get a meter of earth above you. If caught in the open get to your shelter as quickly as possible. Once under cover, remove outer garments and bury them under a foot of soil at one end of the bottom of the shelter. Do not venture out until absolutely necessary and do not re-use your discarded garments. Under no circumstances move out of the shelter in the first 48 hours.

If desperate for water a brief venture out, lasting not more than 30 minutes, is permissible on the third day. On the seventh day a further exposure of up to half an hour, this can be extended on the eighth day up to an hour and then from two to four hours for the next four days and from the thirteenth day normal working followed by rest in the shelter.


Decontamination crew at site of former nuclear reactor


If your body, or your clothing has been exposed to radiation, it must be decontaminated. Once in the shelter scrape earth from the shelter bottom and rub it over the exposed parts of your body and your outer clothing. Brush it off and throw the soil outside. Wipe your skin with a clean cloth if possible. More effectively, if water is available, wash the body thoroughly with soap and water instead of soil.





Medical care:

Radiation Victim getting Medical Treatment




ALL” wounds must be covered to prevent alpha and beta particles to enter through them. Burns, whether caused by beta particles and gamma rays or by the firestorm heat, should be washed with clean water and covered. Urine may be used, if no uncontaminated water is available. The eyes should be covered to prevent further particles entering them and a damp cloth placed over the mouth and nose to prevent further inhalation. Radiation affects the blood and increases susceptibility to infection. Take all precautions, even against colds and respiratory infections.







The Aftermath:

Ruins of Hiroshima after nuclear detonation



Unless stored in deep shelters, or with special protection, all foodstuffs are likely to have absorbed some measure of radioactivity. Be cautious of food containing a high salt content, dairy products, such as milk and cheese and sea foods. Tests have revealed that food with salt and other additives have a higher concentration of radioactivity than foods without them. The safest canned foods are soups, vegetables and fruits. Cured and processed meats are more readily contaminated than fresh. Bones absorb the highest levels of radioactivity than lean meat, with fat absorbing the lowest.






Fast flowing river

Fast flowing river

Unless it is from a protected source, do not drink any water for at least 48 hours after detonation. Avoid water from lakes, ponds and other static surface water. Filter all water and boil it before drinking. The following sources are the least contaminated in order of least risk.

  1. Underground wells and springs
  2. Water in underground pipes/containers
  3. Snow taken from deep below the surface
  4. Fast flowing rivers


Dig a hole by a fast-flowing stream and allow water to filter down into it. Scrape off any scum that forms on the surface and scoop up water. Filter it through layers of sand and pebbles (dig deep to obtain these) in a can with holes punched in the bottom, or through a stocking. Boil in an uncontaminated vessel. Decontaminate utensils by washing thoroughly in fast flowing water or boiled water.

Animals as food:

Prairy dog coming out of burrow

Prairy dog coming out of burrow














Animals that live underground have less exposure to radiation than those that live on the surface: Rabbits, Badgers, Voles and similar animals are best but, when they venture out, they too will be contaminated. However, such food sources must be made use of. You will increase your own contamination.Yet, if you don’t use them as a food source the alternative may be to starve. To reduce contamination from meat do NOT directly handle carcases, wear gloves or use cloth to cover the hands while carefully skinning and washing. Avoid meat in direct contact with the bone. The skeleton retains 90% of radiation, so leave at least 3mm (1/8in) of the meat on the bone. Muscle and fat are the safest part of the meat. Discard ALL the internal organs. Fish and aquatic animals will have a higher contamination than land animals from the same area. Birds will be particularly heavily contaminated and should not be eaten. However, eggs are safe to eat.

Plants as food:




Root vegetables with edible tubers growing underground are safest, such as carrots, potatoes and turnips. Wash them well and peel before cooking. Smooth-skinned fruits and vegetables are the next safest. Plants with crinkly foliage are the hardest to decontaminate because of their rough texture and should be avoided.




Long-term survival:

Predictions of the log-term results on the environment of a major thermonuclear conflict differ widely. The possibility of a ‘nuclear winter’, with consequent effect on climate and plant life far beyond the strike areas, would make even subsistence agriculture difficult. In the short-term however, and in case of limited conflict the following advice is relevant……….

You do not have to be miles away from civilisation to be caught in a survival situation. Natural disaster, civil disturbance or military action could cut you off from all the usual services and food supplies. Until they can be re-established, you would be left to manage on your own resources and skills.

Without power supplies, there would be no central heating, no hot water,  lighting, air-conditioning or refrigeration. All these would cease! Battery powered radios and televisions would for a time give some news but if the situation was on a global scale all mail services and newspapers would no longer be available, Without power everything would stop, water supplies would cease to function, taps would run dry, toilets would become unusable, etc. etc. In the countryside however, there would be natural resources to draw upon. In the cities all the shops would soon be emptied of food, sold or looted. The plants in the parks and gardens would rapidly be stripped, once any private stocks had been exhausted. The population would have to make forays out into the countryside to survive, and they would probably abandon the towns. Suburban dwellers who have plots of land would grow vegetables to provide them with foodstuffs. Those living away from major centres wold be more likely to have their own food stocks because they cannot shop at will. Most families have some food in store and it should be rationed and supplemented with whatever can be found.

Food stores:

Stockpilling food in glass instead of cans is better for preservation and taste

Stockpilling food in glass instead of cans is better for preservation and taste

Storing food is a good habit to get into, especially if you live in an isolated place, which can become completely cut-off. If you have a year’s supply in store, and add to it as you use it, you will not only be able to survive the worst but will be able to live at last year’s prices.

The stock doesn’t need to be stored in one go.  Build it up gradually, taking advantage of special offers in supermarkets. Purchase an extra tin or packet and store it away. Store your food in a cool, dry, dark place and keep it off the ground where moisture and heat could cause bacteria and moulds to ruin it. If stores are left on the floor  the food will feed insects and rodents. Make sure that all containers are insect and rodent proof.


Rotate cans, so that the contents do not settle and separate. Label each can or packet with a colour-fast waterproof pen, noting the contents and date of storage. Use in sequence – the oldest first. Store methodically and if a label falls off, you should still have a good idea of the contents.


Choice of foods will depend upon individual taste but straightforward products (corned beef in preference to beef stew and dumplings) will keep better and can be used in a greater variety of ways. Wheat keeps better than flour – it is less susceptible to moisture, light, insects and changes in temperature. Wheat stored in the pyramids of Egypt was found in good condition after thousands of years. However you need to grind it to make flour, so invest in a small hand grinder.

Keep it sealed:

Screw-top jars are ideal for storage and plastic containers with tight-fitting lids can also be used. Do not over fill them so that they distort and the lid doesn’t fit properly. Use adhesive tape to seal the lids. Reseal after using some of the contents, but remember that once opened the contents will begin to deteriorate.


Foods and shelf-life:

Some foods have a limited Shelf-life

Some foods have a limited Shelf-life


The shelf life of Wheat is indefinite, when stored at 15°C (65°F).
Milk powder will last about 2 years.                                        
Honey, will last indefinitely and so will Oats.
The same is true for Salt, if stored absolutely dry.
Egg powder will last for 2 years and so will Cooking oil.                              
Canned foods will be preserved for 3 to 5 years.




Complete rations are available with various menus – either freeze-dried or dehydrated. They are lighter and less space consuming than canned foods. Freeze-dried are best for both taste and texture as they retain minerals which are lost in dehydration. Although both need water for reconstitution they can, in dire circumstances be eaten as a dry munch.


Multi-vitamin tablets are also a good investment. Your body can store up to a month’s supply of most vitamins, then health will suffer if they are not replaced. In stressful situations they are more readily used up. The B family (and minerals, calcium and zinc) are first to go. Vitamin tablets do not have unlimited shelf-life, so check the manufacturer’s instructions on the label.

Other foods:

Dried fruit and nuts are nutritious and should also be included. Foods like raisins, sultanas and currants all keep well. Nuts in their shell keep longer, if they are kept dry. And packets of dried salted nuts such as peanuts, brazils and walnuts are highly nutritious.

Potato powder is a great filler for hungry stomaches and can be prepared in several ways to make it palatable.

Brown rice has more nourishment than long grain white rice which loses all its goodness when boiled.

Store location:


The cooler the place that you will choice for your food storage area, the better the food will keep. A cellar is the ideal place, but it could pose a problem if there is dampness, so make sure to have all the stores off the ground and inspect them regularly. If there is a skylight in the cellar make sure to cover it because the stored food items are best kept in the dark.

The attic is also a handy place for storage with them being out of the way of daily activities. However it may get too warm in the summer and access to them may be difficult, especially if a ladder is the only way to gain access, which may be awkward when trying to rotate bulky stores. Keep in mind that the roof is also a very vulnerable position in most kinds of disaster scenarios. In areas where hurricanes can be expected an attic is not a wise choice to store anything of value, similarly a cellar would be equally at risk if flooding is likely. Under stairs is another area that may offer some protection even if the space is limited. Take advantage of whatever is most conveniently available to store not only food but also medical supplies, disinfectants, cleaning materials and water. You may decide to divide your stores into different areas, each with a variety of items. By doing so, you will be well prepared.



Add to your Stores:

  • Toothpaste and soap
  • Disinfectant and bleach
  • Washing powder

General medical supplies

  • Medicines for dysentery
  • for stomach upsets
  • for allergies
  • general pain-killers
  • Bandages and dressings


♦ Check on all the food in the house and ration it immediately

♦ Use the perishable foods first. Fatty foods are the first to deteriorate and canned foods last.

♦ Remember that once electric power fails, the refrigeration and freezer cease to function, though they take some time to defrost, if you open their doors as seldom and briefly as possible.

♦ Boil milk and it will last longer.

♦ Boil eggs or coat them in a layer of fat, then simply immerse them into some water containing disolved isinglass to preserve them.

♦ Cook meat, wrap it in cloth and bury it in the earth. Cook pork first (which has the highest fat content), then lamb, then beef (which is the best meat to preserve).

♦ Once meat has been cooked and allowed to cool, do NOT reheat it or you may risk food poisoning.

♦ You can only cook so much at a time, so leave the rest in the refrigerator or freezer while they are still cool places.

♦ When the fridge no longer functions (due to lack of electric power), remove the motor and cut a hole in the bottom, place it on some stones or bricks and with a fire beneath it, you can use it as a smoke house to preserve meat and other foods.


If food is in short supply, there will be none to spare for pets and you CANNOT afford to be squeamish. If the aquarium water has to be drunk don’t waste the fish. In fact they’ll most likely be the easiest to eat even if you don’t need the water. The cat is next in the pot. Believe me, once dressed and seasoned it will be hard to distinguish it from rabbit. Gerbils, hamsters, rabbits, budgerigars and parrots can all be added to the diet and, unless the dog is an exceptionally good hunter, it should go too. I know this is unpleasant to hear but I am here to tell you how to survive and if you want to live you need to do it!

Food from the garden:

The vegetables with four petals, including all the brassicas, from wallflowers to cabbages are edible. Hollyhocks, though not very tasty, are nutritious. Worms, slugs and snails are also edible. AVOID bulbs such as daffodils, tulips and aconites which are all poisonous.


Further afield:



Explore parks and open spaces for other vegetation and for hunting and trapping wildlife. Birdlife in cities, especially pigeons and starlings, will often fill the plate, especially if you bait snares and nets. Make sure that they have been caught very far from the radiation source, as they may be heavily contaminated.






In a domestic situation there is likely to be shelter, unless it has been totally destroyed or the area has become a danger zone and evacuation is imperative. Damage can be patched up to provide some protection from the elements and more permanent repairs undertaken as soon as possible.

Water supplies are always likely to be a problem, for even during a flood drinking water is scarce. Fortunately there are likely to be some immediate reserves on the premises and with warning of a crisis, these can be supplemented. Fire for warmth is less of a problem, since there will be burnable materials in the house and surroundings. Infection may prove the greatest danger and strict hygiene and sanitary practices must be enforced. For those who are determined to survive this catastrophic event, or any similar life threatening situation, I have placed a link to an external website with in depth information for you to take advantage of by clicking Here!