Survival Scenario – Can You Survive a Nuclear War?

With the North Koreans getting ready to test their latest rocket it seems like a good time to scare the hell out of everybody with a nuclear war survival scenario.  Honestly, I doubt it will amount to much (but it is Friday the 13th!); however, in the interest of a thought experiment I thought I’d use it as the basis of a survival scenario.

So here we go…

By September, 2016 the North Koreans have quietly built up an arsenal of nuclear weapons and distributed them around their country in various secret locations.  The U.S. and other NATO countries are aware of some of the activity, but badly underestimate the size and number of weapons, and the determination of the North Korean leadership.

A border flare-up with South Korea starts with conventional shelling and then quickly escalates to small tactical nukes along the border.  A few small towns and several important bridges are eradicated before the rest of the world can react.  The U.S. reacts by sending stealth bombers into North Korea to bomb Pyongyang, but North Korean leadership has long since moved into mountain bunkers with all their command and control.nuclear_explosion

The North Koreans react to the bombing of Pyongyang by dropping a 20 megaton bomb on Seoul, the capital of South Korea.  The U.S. responds with three MIRV’s, again targeting Pyongyang and several port cities as well.

China, upset at the nuclear testing by their neighbor in earlier years, had pretty much written them off as allies.  When Chinese leadership saw the war escalating they too opened fire on North Korea with nuclear weapons.

North Korea finally opens the floodgates and shoots sixty-five of their weapons at the United States, a full two-thirds of their arsenal was saved just for us.

Russia inexplicably joins with North Korea and shoots at the US and China.

The world has now been officially at war for less than four hours.

In the United States warning sirens go off across the country and people head for shelter, confused and scared, hoping that it’s just a drill.

The first missiles from North Korea come across the North Pole and hit Washington State and California.  Shortly thereafter a rain of missiles comes down across the Midwest.  Russia’s weapons target the east coast and everything from Boston to Florida is pummeled by MIRV’s and nuclear bombs ranging up to 50 MT.

It doesn’t matter where you are, the world war that lasted less than 24 hours has affected you.  Whether you were home or on vacation during the short war it does not matter, even halfway across the nation from Las Vegas hotels the devastation appears equally eerie and ravaged.  Because of likely counter attacks and attacks on our allies there is likely no heavily populated cities left untouched around the world.  In England, historical buildings and bridges lay in ruin.  In France, the Eiffel Tower and Paris hotels alike are burnt to the ground.  Fires rage out of control, nuclear fallout is in the air, EMP has destroyed a lot of the delicate electronics our world runs on, and most of the large cities have become blast zones.

You have managed to survive the initial war somehow, but now you emerge from your shelter into a world vastly changed.  Although there’s some structural damage to your home/apartment building/shelter, it appears solid enough to live in.

The government is setting up emergency shelters where they can, but are quickly overwhelmed by the number of survivors needing medical attention, shelter, food and clean water.

Look at your own situation – current level of preps, location (close to a big city or living in the hills?), number of people you have to care for, etc.

This is it folks.  TEOTWAWKI.  What do you do?  Stay in place?  Head to one of the FEMA camps for help?   Start robbing people as they go by because you haven’t prepped?  Build a wall around your place against the people pouring out of the cities?  Open your doors and start helping those who need aid?  It doesn’t look like there’s going to be much help in the foreseeable future.

-Jarhead Survivor


Update:  Yeah, the rocket fizzled and I know that they’re nowhere near to being a nuclear super power.  It’s just a thought exercise, folks!  A little something to get the thought processes going.  Have fun with it!

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53 comments… add one
  • kevin April 13, 2012, 7:51 am

    it would depend on what the area i was in if it was a hot zone hole up for a couple of days untill the radation level went down then get the hell outa dodge if it wasnt hot zone hole up and stay VERY QUITE and stay as low as possible once the hubub had gone down start building a very quite ring of traps and alarams arourd the area stuff that let me know somebody was around but WOULDNT let who was in area know they where bein tracked

  • bob April 13, 2012, 8:33 am

    Dude! First , The north koreans have MAYBE 6-10 10kt bombs, NO ICBM systems , and little if any known air force. Those cats are stuck in the early 50’s for tec. ( ak47’s sks’s t-54 and t 62’s, lots and lots of arty, s**t loads of infantry , however; if they’er gonna come to the US they’r gonna have to swim) they don’t want to nuke us, they want to blackmail us for food.

    • j.r. guerra in s. tx. April 13, 2012, 8:54 am

      I think the North Koreans would likely go ‘suitcase nuke’ on us, sneaky sneaky.

    • lee April 13, 2012, 11:08 pm

      in 1968 the north koreans seazed a u.s. naval ship the pueblo in the sea of japan. never low rate an enemey

      • ethan February 25, 2015, 2:30 pm

        its never under estimate a enemy

  • 673rem April 13, 2012, 8:50 am


    I agree with your assessment of the North Koreans. They talk loudly and carry a little stick, although that stick can be troublesome. A more likely scenario is them selling nukes to Terrorist group, or country, that then uses those nukes against Israel or US in a small scale attack . This though would be highly disruptive to our economy and plunge America into fear and recession in short order.

  • j.r. guerra in s. tx. April 13, 2012, 8:52 am

    I live in an area deemed a teritiary target for nukes. So if its a direct hit, I probably don’t have time to do anything but gather all the water I can and pray the nukes miss us. The prevailing wind in our area is from the adjacent Gulf of Mexico, so for most of the year, fallout should be greatly reduced. If the northers are blowing, I’m hoping rainfall reduces the fallout when it gets here.

    I guess if its gets bad enough, Mexico is a hop skip jump away, I’m betting more than a few ‘Americanos’ will follow suit as well. Turnabout is fair play, lol.

  • Spook45 April 13, 2012, 9:31 am

    Lots of variables here but as a geeral rule, given proximity to the blast and dstance enough away to eep from getting totally fraged; Yes. It is survivable. The next question is would you want to survive in those circumstances. Depending on your proximity to the blast you woud have to move rather quikly away from affected areas and that would difficult without specialized equipment. even if you clould build and use the old Kearn Fallout Meter, it is very sensitive and only good to use in a tatic posititon, carrying it around s problematic at best and not everyone has a geiger counter to chk rads near you. Even someone well educated on the matters would like get exposed to leathal doses of redation and woud die a horrible death. Those who are prepped well enough to wait it out would have the best chances. IF you were sheltered properly(8″of concrete or 18″of packed dirt) to protect against the rediation and had enough food and water and had good air filtraition, one could shelter in place until the radiation dropped enough to move and then the precarious jhourney to what ypu HOPE may be a better place could begin assuming everyone was in good health and ambulatory. Given my current preps and location, I dont think I could survive the long haul. I dont have the level of protection to withstand the radiation or enough stuff to wait it out. This is truly the nightmare scenario. If you want an idea, go watch the 1982 movie “The Day After” it was the most realistic depiction of a nuclear event ever produced. The nukes we have today make those nukes look like FIRECRAKERS. So one could only imagine the horrific damage that would follow such an event.

    • Spook45 April 13, 2012, 9:33 am

      PS. Please excuse my early morning typing And also, dont buy a Toshiba laptop, the keyboard is CRAP.

      • Wicker67 April 16, 2012, 8:48 am

        The Day After is a very good movie. I watched it on you tube a few months ago. Great acting and not overly sensational. Seemed to have many facts correct as well. I too would recommend it.

        Great post

        • ethan February 25, 2015, 2:43 pm

          true it was a good movie and spookies post was amazing had really good statements and facts. good job man.

    • Anonymous October 19, 2015, 10:17 pm

      1983, actually.

  • riverrider April 13, 2012, 10:13 am

    well barring a wide miss by the nukes, i would get my radiac meter out n check the rad level. it should be good to go, where i’m located.make contact w/ my neighbors. i gather the materials stowed away in my shop, build 4 foot walls around the house and fill with sand from my pile out back. crank the genny, top off the water tanks, pump out the septic. set the sprinklers on the decks in case of fire. string the barbed wire stored in my shop loft all around , leaving it coiled, stack several rows high in military fashion. i would already have these in place but the wife is a tad more fashionable than i. everything else is set to go, no worries.

  • BayPrep April 13, 2012, 10:40 am

    I doubt “Best” Korea (heh) has the capability to launch nukes, but for the sake of argument. I live less than a mile from a Coast Guard base in the San Francisco Bay. I imagine its a priority target due to it you know, patrolling the entire area. I doubt I’d survive. If I did I’d have to travel through Oakland which will likely become a Mad Max flavored Mogadishu. Likely on bicycle since the freeways are jambed even at the best of times and I’m on an island. Actually this makes me think that I should buy a small boat & learn how to sail. We’ve got a ton of marinas here & thats likely the best option for emergency egress.

  • Ben Price April 13, 2012, 1:20 pm

    Assuming your scenario were plausible, and all three super-powers were engaged, this outcome is not survivable. Knowing the contingency plans in the event of a nuclear strike on the US, this would escalate to full scale global nuclear war. The chance of survival of an event like this is virtually zero if you are anywhere in Northern hemisphere, at least, not the average citizen.

    There is no prep for that kind of event. Not without access to billions of dollars.

  • Bill April 13, 2012, 2:41 pm

    1) Shelter in place(preferably below ground) for 30 days if possible. I live in suburbs so this should be possible.

    • Bill April 13, 2012, 2:56 pm

      (inadvertently posted before I was done)

      in first 30 days drink stored water as much as possible along with stored food (preferably stored below ground). Seal doors and windows from dust/fallout infiltration as much as possible. If outdoor movement is required wear long sleeves and cover up as much as possible. wear a dust mask. Absolutely avoid rain/runoff for first 30 days.

      2) Move to bugout location after 30 days. Hopefully this will not be on foot. If so, fashion a two wheel pull cart out of bicycles to carry items needed for the trip. (use bug in time to prepare for the trip)

      3) Depending on season, plant food (grown food will tend to have less radiation than food already grown and exposed). Some food can be decontaminated to some degree. Drink water from a well if at all possible (lake, stream and runoff water will be highly contaminated from radioactive fallout)

      Bottom line is that you will not be able to avoid radiation. The best you will likely be able to do is minimize exposure. Shielding, distance and time are primary defenses.

      Radiation poisoning is possible, but can be avoided if you are far enough away and you avoid food and water contaminated by fallout (even peeling vegetables helps reduce radiation levels). The likelyhood of cancer increases, but you have to do what you can. Survival is definately possible, but is severely complicated by the long term contamination aspects of radiation.

  • trevor April 13, 2012, 2:57 pm

    Bill is 30 days the average safe time for half-lifes to be at safe levels? I wish they taught this stuff nowadays. Just a lone nuke could send this country into chaos. I know ive heard the 18of inches of concrete or 3ft of earth but what about the basement of a normal house? You got the roof n first floor to maybe slowdown things? Otherwise i assume only buildings suitable would be most municipal buildings. That im sure will be very crowded and a nightmare.

    • Legion7 April 16, 2012, 11:51 am

      2 weeks is standard for half life to safe depending on distance. 30 days would be optimal, especially if the strike is close. look on Nat geo or the military channel to watch a video on the aftermath of Hiroshima, VERY educational. Our govt. went over there and watched people rot, just to map the radiation danger. They followed people for decades, looking for cancer etc. I’m heading for an underground parking lot that is 3 stories deep. Load everything and away I go. The winds here will blow anything from Asia here, but any strikes here will blow to the midwest.

  • Waterboy April 13, 2012, 5:15 pm

    Head to a FEMA camp, come on Jarhead, you’re kidding right?

  • Jason April 13, 2012, 6:06 pm

    Jarhead, this is great! I started to laugh at midpoint when you were talking about China – I loved this entertainment value.

    If this really happened, I’d probably stay put & most likely be dead – I live a few miles from Camp Pendleton & San Onofre and 35 miles north of North Island where they train the Navy Seals. Yes, San Diego has all sorts of desirable targets.

  • Jason April 13, 2012, 6:20 pm

    Every prepper should know that we’d be in good hands with our government – this is a classic

  • sillyMe April 13, 2012, 7:13 pm

    In a real nuclear war Russia would probably lob between 2000 and 4000 nukes on us. Some of the Russian nukes are enormous and just one of these ultra large nukes could destroy all of LA County. In the first salvo probably in excess of 100 million Americans would die. Within weeks another 100 million or so from radiation poisoning. Within a year half of the remaining 100 million or so would be dead or dying, most from lingering radiation sickness but many from murder and starvation.

    Shelter!! You’re kidding. There are some shelters but they are intended for high level government and military people. Look around! Where is your shelter? They stopped building them and stocking them in the late 50’s. If you are close enough to a nuclear explosion that you can see it, even in the distance then you have about 10 minutes to get underground. Not in your basement, not in a foxhole, but 4′-10′ underground. You will need to stay there and not come out for at least 2 months maybe more if yuou are downwind from multiple bursts or close to one of the 4000 ground zeros. After two or more months you “may” be able to come out for a few hours each day without immediate fatal results. Within minutes of a nuclear blast that is close enough to see, hear and feel you will be inundated by very hot radiation. Hot enough that minutes, perhaps an hour will insure your death within days.
    You don’t live near a target you say! Well after the first couple of nukes go off electronic communication and navigation systems will not work correctly. That nuke intended for Portland Or. just might hit square in the center of Idaho.

    If you don’t already have a real fallout shelter with food and water stocks when the nukes start falling you will die. The odds of living beyond a year are slim to none and the odds of living beyond a few weeks are 2:1 against you. You better hope we don’t have a nuclear war.

  • KC April 13, 2012, 9:28 pm

    Obviously, this is a general global thermonuclear-war scenario, and the technical specifics have been grossly simplified for what is presumed brevity’s sake. However in order to frame a realistic response to the scenario at hand, then Jarhead Survivor must include information about what happened back in CONUS from 2012 to 2016 when the DPRK/Russian Federation Combined Strike happened. Yes its only three and a half years, however considering what’s current today and accurately predicting domestic and international trends three and a half years out is well neigh impossible. This being said additional technical details about the scenario aren’t exactly accurate when discussing the explosive and more importantly the radioactive yields. When discussing a global thermonuclear exchange scenario, one must be frequently reminded that 2016 is a long way from November 1983 (the month that “the Day After” premiered on American Television) or September 1984 (the month that “Threads” premiered on the BBC in Britain). In the subsequent Twenty-Nine years, nuclear weapons delivery and explosive/radiation technologies have come a very long way. For example the United States W87 warhead package which has a current estimated explosive yield of 475 KT and is mated to the Minuteman III ICBM has been continually updated throughout its time in service since it’s first deployment in 1986. In other words when this design is mated to the “Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator” One begins to speak of Fourth Generational Thermonuclear Devices with extreme penetration abilities, thus making a “Warriors of the Wasteland” vision of T.S. Elliot/Frankie Goes to Hollywood, small potatoes indeed. While there will be extreme privation, and devastation due to the general effects of global war in general, the appearance of the greater climate might be somewhat wanting to those who imagine the end of “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome”, with the shattered Sydney Harbor looking like a huge crater tens of kilometers across and still on fire after 20 something years. These are the subjects I think of when pontificating about the subject of global thermonuclear exchange. Preparations for such an event aren’t beyond the scope of even the modest of means. The main methodology behind that scenario preparation being that one it is possible to survive said event (Please See Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the Pacific Test Series for real world examples of survivors) and two; no situation is completely hopeless. If Humanity was able to survive Toba, then Humanity can survive a global thermonuclear exchange as well.

    • Jason April 14, 2012, 9:40 am

      Well, that was certainly all over the map – you start with reframing for Jarhead with some heady factual stuff, take a few rabbit trails regarding the fantasies Hollywood paints, then end with the – nothing is impossible – nonsense. You do realize that the fallout of such a wide scale event would contaminate & end the natural food & water supplies, right?

      So back on point … what is it for you – stay in place? Head to one of the FEMA camps for help? Maybe you’d gather some survivors, hold hands & sing “we are the world”?

      • KC April 15, 2012, 9:58 pm


        With respect; due to the ever evolving design of Thermonuclear Weapons currently deployed by the nine-known Nuclear Weapons Nation States, the vast majority of these weapons are of the Fourth Generation type; meaning that while the fusion package has been refined to attenuate blast and heat; the amount of lingering radiation (specifically in the creation of radioactive isotopes with long lasting half-lives e.g. strontium-90 and cesium-137) has been significantly reduced to negligible levels. Couple that with the fact that the “Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator” technologies developed by all nine nation-states members are specifically designed to destroy C4I and hardened delivery system installation (silos), then logic will dictate that Nuclear Warfighting isn’t about the wholesale destruction of the planet’s infrastructure, its about the destruction of an opponents ability to wage Nuclear War. This being said, on a personal note in regard to the scenario presented by the Jarhead Survivor, I do not agree that his scenario would result in the extinction of humanity, neither globally nor the extinction of humanity in North America, which is why I cited Toba as the ultimate in near extinction event for our species. In regard to global thermonuclear exchange, I regard myself as an optimist and know that we as a species are equipped to adapt to the new environment. In so much as actions to be performed after the exchange of weapons are concerned; if you honestly think that there will be any agency or apparatus of the U.S. Federal Government functioning beyond caretaker status, then you are very much mistaken. Please research COG operations, and look for the very obvious flaw in all plans; the lack of dependent care of those appointed to execute the plans. This is why COG will fail, because the TPTB failed to account for basic human nature; after care of self, is care of immediate family member groups. On regard to moving or staying and the rallying of fellow survivors; one where I live in the southwest cannot support sustainably the numbers of people currently living here now let alone after an event that would if countervalue targeting was executed lead to a significant reduction in the numbers of people immediately after said event. Therefore I would leave for ‘greener pastures’ preferably away from known delivery sites. Additionally would I make an honest attempt to rally survivors of all stripes in order to reconstitute civilization? I most certainly would, however the holding of hands and singing 1980’s pop-songs wouldn’t be effective in reconstitution. Reconstitution Operations by and large is a team sport where everybody on the team has to give their individual all to achieve a positive result. I can appreciate the tongue-in-cheek humor of your reply so I don’t take it personally, you and I have a different approach to the same issue so I chalk it up to ‘different strokes’ and leave it at that. I hope that living in San Diego County, California wouldn’t be that bad for anyone having to contend with a global exchange, but then you have instant access to the Pacific Ocean for a BOP option.

        • Jason April 16, 2012, 12:31 pm


          I too am very much an optimist & appreciate your response, truly.

          My father was a think tank guy who had the highest government security clearance available. It was a very long process due to his potential contributions. He/we went many interviews of work mates, friends & family. He was involved with much of what you refer to & learned that what one knows from public venues & accesses isn’t practical. If the goal was total destruction then the targets are far more devastating than the initial elimination of populations.

          Two, I do not put my faith in man to take care of me because mankind is corrupt, pure & simple. If I worried about nuclear armageddon, I wouldn’t live in a target rich area like San Diego. Further, as contradictory as this may sound, I do put my faith in man that they would not care destroy themselves in this fashion because it would not fulfill a power & greed motive that is the deepest motivation for the corruption. Besides, man is too damn scared to eliminate the world. Saber rattle sure, but go all of the way? That is a joke, remember the Cuban Missile Crisis?

          Three, you refer mostly to the US capabilities but other, more rogue thinking nations, don’t play by the rules & truth be known, neither do we. It all sounds wonderful to limit effects & play fair but who are you kidding? If you are going into a dog fight, you better be the biggest & baddest dog.

          What most people don’t seem to get is the long range goals, not the initial strikes. Hollywood plays out these dramas so poorly yet it is our biggest influence, creating time being frozen in a moment of celluloid. Take the economy for an example, we have become frozen in fear positions waiting for next moves yet the solutions have been plotted out already & more than 7 + years ago. Many run around screaming that the sky is falling but never bother to look up to see if it is true.

          Did you know that there are companies that are absolutely thriving in this market? Start-ups that are doing incredibly well? If the economy is tanking, how is that possible are we really that stupid?

          Four, my job has taken me inside of banks on a very deep level as a consultant to address the default mortgage “crisis”. My initial look & subsequent thought was – these banks are cooked. The default numbers are 3-4 times greater than anytime in history & the snowball appeared to have gotten away down the mountain with no stopping in sight.

          Working with analysts I found out what I did not know or could not create at the time because of my limited beliefs, the solution models were abundantly clear. This economy is an enormous ship & turning it takes years but it can & is being done, no question & why? Man doesn’t want to destroy themselves.

          I almost have to laugh at people whose lives rotate around the prep mentality because it is so myopic. If you prep, then get your crap together in short order then relax & enjoy life. I’ve read on blogs where people have been prepping since the 60’s – that’s FIFTY years! How much of life’s experiences have they lost worrying about the next end times predictions?

          If there is a thermonuclear war, I’m going to the beach, sit in my chair & watch the ultimate fireworks & light show from a front row seat … without sunscreen & wait to be raptured.

    • BillyB April 14, 2012, 10:32 pm

      “If Humanity was able to survive Toba, then Humanity can survive a global thermonuclear exchange as well.”

      Well-said. And (speaking of Toba) with a vastly smaller population to begin with at the time.

      The question is: are you located in one of the places where humanity can survive? I’m thinking that Manhattan, or, say, Washington, D.C. are NOT places where humanity will do too well.

      Do you think there is anywhere in the lower 48 States that is survivable in this scenario? If so, where would be the best place?

      Also, as you seem knowledgeable on the subject, what is your opinion of “Nuclear Winter”? Is it mostly hype? How long & how bad would you anticipate it to be — after a TOTAL nuclear war?

      • KC April 15, 2012, 10:25 pm

        Thank you for recognizing that Toba actually happened, sometimes it can be frustrating to convince others by showing scientifically correct evidence and them throwing up their hands in genuine bafflement.
        On Nuclear Winter; while I believe that the majority of devices employed in a general global exchange scenario, will be of the “Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator” type designed on purpose to minimize the amount of dust and debris that would envelope the atmosphere if the same weapons were either surface or airbursting types, I do believe that there will be a ‘nuclear winter’ event subsequently after said exchange. The duration of which I again believe will be somewhat lighter than the one postulated by Carl Sagan in his book: A Path Where No Man Thought: Nuclear Winter and the End of the Arms Race. In the book, Sagan using data from the landmark 1982 study with the TTAPS team; stated that a global exchange of 8k MT would result in Nuclear Winter lasting 24 to 30 months, with a significant reduction of available sunlight and temperature in the Northern Hemisphere. This would result in widespread famine and deaths from environmental exposure much like the events that happened after the so-called year without a summer in 1816 which was a result of the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora, in what is now Indonesia (remarkably near the site of the modern Lake Toba!). That being said, the results would be identical to the Tambora event in the revised scenario, so a Nuclear Winter of approximately 16-19 months would more likely happen if the scenario that I postulated took place. Could Humanity survive? Most Certainly Humanity will survive. When I was relatively young, I was introduced by a church member to the novel by Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka, called Warday. First Published in 1984, the novel, while dealing with a global thermonuclear exchange, was instrumental in inspiring in me the knowledge and love of hydroponic gardening, which in the novel took place indoors, using UV lamps to assist growing. That is how man could regrow agriculture, until the sunlight returned and the soil is decontaminated. I hope that this information helps.

        • Jason April 18, 2012, 12:54 am

          I sometimes wonder why I read this crap. Speculations, hypotheses & ridiculous extrapolations of highly unlikely future events from the marginally – at best, informed …..

          Speak of a nuclear winter as if it is just an extended season of nearly 2 years while you grow plants under UV lights which, by the way, need power. So you are able to save some uncontaminated soil amid the greatest chaos man will ever experience but uh, excuse me but what about the glow in the dark water you will be using to grow your new 56 lb tomatoes? Will humanity survive? You’ll never know unless you’re living on Bora Bora in a cave.

          What anyone knows about the aftermath of a mass thermonuclear exchange is pure theory or guesswork & with that much disruption to the environment & atmosphere will prove those theories to be baseless.

          There is no mathematical formula or variable that can be applied to such an event because the real effect of that many warheads detonated in such a globally widespread area will cause the results to become random for the simple fact that weather patterns will change …. and nobody can predict that random event.

          Hope that information helps …..

          • Jason April 18, 2012, 3:14 pm

            PS & BTW,

            The “Toba” event was nearly 200 years ago & the one prior was 73,000 years ago (according to science).

            I guess it isn’t any wonder why convincing others by showing scientifically correct evidence causes them to throw up their hands & are genuinely baffled.

            If you do the math between events, their response is appropriate, to say the least …

          • Jason April 18, 2012, 6:51 pm


            To beat a dead horse even further …. this is about the Chernobyl disaster ….

            “An area extending 19 miles in all directions from the plant is known as the “zone of alienation”. It is largely uninhabited, except for a few residents who have refused to leave. The area has largely reverted to forest.

            Even today, radiation levels are so high that the workers responsible for rebuilding the sarcophogus are only allowed to work five hours a day for one month before taking 15 days of rest.

            Ukrainian officials estimate the area will not be safe for human life again for another 20,000 years.”

            Better get some very long lasting UV grow lights ….

    • Anonymous January 15, 2016, 4:09 pm

      Actually, the Minuteman III was deployed in 1970.

  • T.R. April 13, 2012, 11:13 pm

    The question should be : Would you WANT TO survive an all out nuclear war ?

    • T.R. April 13, 2012, 11:15 pm

      BTW , friday the 13th is only unlucky if your a knights templar ….. the rest of us have nothing to be concerned about ;)

      • Jason April 14, 2012, 9:25 am

        You know that it is bad luck to be superstitious …

    • BillyB April 14, 2012, 10:15 pm

      Exactly what I was thinking.

      If it were an ALL OUT total nuclear world war, I think that my answer is “No.”

      It seems that there are damned few places on the planet where humans could hold out (and, even there, only if they’re well prepared) and I neither live in one of those places, nor have plans to go there.

      Face it, in a full blown, all-missiles-launched, “global thermonuclear war” (would you care for a nice game of chess?) every living human in the continental U.S. is TOAST.

      Fiji is sounding better and better all the time.

      Still, in keeping with the radioactive gist of the topic, I think good questions are these:

      Under what circumstances could nuke plants in your vicinity melt-down (completely or partially)? And, are you prepared to withstand any fallout, or to bug-out to a place that’s a little less “sievert-friendly”? Oh, and, are you prepared enough even to bug-out, and for how long?

      • BillyB April 14, 2012, 10:22 pm

        Also, if anyone’s interested in the nuke plant questions I posed, here’s a link to a map of all the nuclear facilities in the U.S. with “safe-distance” radii superimposed.

        ((Admin, feel free to delete this comment if it violates any of your restrictions on links — especially to other survival/prep websites …. it was the only place I could quickly find this map))

  • Lumberjok April 14, 2012, 5:19 pm

    What is not factored into the equation is that the United States would not idly stand by while we get bombed. We would launch from hundreds of hardened land sites and submarines on patrol around the world.

    Russia and China would be turned into glass parking lots…and more importantly…it would be the end of the world….period.

  • sillyMe April 15, 2012, 12:20 pm

    I think humanity will survive nuclear war. I don’t think many people in the targeted countries will survive nuclear war. If Russia lobbed 4000 nukes at us and we lob 2000 nukes at them most Russians and Americans will die. That means you and I and everuyone else reading this blog will die. Lots of people in nieghboring countries will also die. Canada, Mexico, China, Eastern Europe a lot of places will be heavily impacted by radiation. Lots of people in South America and Africa will live. If this is your idea of humanity surviving then you are correct. The only way most Americans will survive a nuclear war it to not have a nuclear war.

  • gat31 April 15, 2012, 9:47 pm

    in the scenario you give us the “we survive and house is habitable” So assuming this, then l would say Thank you for my worms and empty the dirt they have made and plant seeds inside to start fresh non contaminated food to start growing.
    try to find a central location in house to dwell in and seal everything else l can.
    Would l help neighbors? Lets see how many survive. Maybe let go of some of my medical supplies for the masses.
    How much time do we have from the release of the missles til they actually hit? If l have enough time, maybe grab kids and all the food and water l can to take to the caves about 2 miles from my house.
    You can go almost half a mile in. (assuming they don’t cave in from the blasts)

  • Winston Smith April 16, 2012, 4:57 am

    In such a scenario, I think I would be screwed. I have nowhere to run to ( I am too poor to fix my garbage disposal, let alone own rural land to bug out to!) and my preps are meager and geared more towards a protracted economic crisis or major storm’s aftermath than nuclear war. All I have that would work in a nuclear scenario is my collection of surplus Civil Defense Geiger counters, dosimeters and survey meters-none of which have been calibrated due to a lack of funds. Plus, in a nuclear exchange, my area would be obliterated and it is unlikely I would survive the day.

    However, were I to survive, I would become a nomad. I have a bicycle in the garage that would become my transportation. It is already outfitted with tools zip tied to the frame so that I can repair any eventuality with it. My guns and some ammo would come with me as would some basic tools like a knife, fire steel, dosimeters and charger, portable short wave radio and solar panel (that I keep in a Faraday cage) etc. I would also carry as many canned goods as I could but realize that my life would depend on forage more than preps. Still, within a week, I would likely be dead. With nowhere to run to life would be very bloody and very short. Then again, I have long since realized that you can’t possibly prep for everything.

    Even if I could afford a bunker, how safe would it be? I know that in an urban environment, a government study I read a few years ago concluded that many who sheltered in place in cities would be cooked to death by the fire storm that would arise a few hours after the bombs hit. The only place a bunker makes sense then is in a rural setting that I can’t realistically live in at the moment. So… in a protracted nuclear exchange I have to come to the conclusion that I will not survive.

  • sillyMe April 16, 2012, 11:03 am

    Winston; my advice would be to take the bike trip now, this summer. If you are young and healthy enough to do this do it and you will never regret the great adventure. But don’t misunderstand the reality of a nuclear war. You will die, if not from the effects of the blast then from the effects of the radiation. There is no safe place and no hiding from it. The might be pockets where radiation is lower then other places but it will be by chance and not by intent or predictable. After a nuclear war if by pure luck you are one of the living then stay put because there will probably be no better place to go and a lot worse places on the way to find a better place. No one reading this blog will survive a nuclear war.

    My advice to anyone who has had a dream to travel, become self-sufficient, build a home, learn a new trade, whatever; is to do it. Life is short and we don’t know what the future might bring. I worked for 47 years and now that I’m retired I’m enjoying it but I do regret I didn’t follow some of my dreams. Don’t wait. Almost everything you want to do is easier in your 20’s 30′ and 40’s then it will ever be in your 60’s and 70’s.

    • Winston Smith April 16, 2012, 1:58 pm

      I actually know a little more than the average person regarding nuclear war (rule of 7’s, etc.) and would shelter in place until it became too dangerous to do so. By too dangerous, I am referring to other survivors, who’s only real preps are firearms, roaming the streets of my neighborhood. I have also considered putting a second set of electronic parts for my simple, 3 cylinder car in an ammo can so that I could just change out the ECU, injector, fuel pump and a few sensors and be back on the road in a car that gets 50 mpg. The question then becomes where to go? I can’t really answer that one. I just tend to think I will not survive as a power plant 5 miles away from me is on a list of potential targets that I read a few years back, and if it is the Russians attacking then it will likely be hit.

  • Bill April 16, 2012, 1:55 pm

    I did a lot of research into this subject in the past (it was about 20 years ago, but most info is still valid).

    There are many misconceptions people have. The first is that people think a 100MT weapon is 100 times as large as a 1MT. the truth is that it is only 10 times as large (as far as blast radius is concerned). It does considerably more damage in the immediate blast zone though.

    Another misconception is about how many weapons are employed. I have seen the number of 4000 weapons from Russia mentioned, so I will use that number. The problem lies in the fact that even though they may have that number of warheads, many will not be used. During the cold war they had a deplorable reliability record. It is estimated that 10% to 20% of the missiles would not leave the silo. Another 10% to 20% would experience mid flight malfunctions or fly off course. It was estimated that anywhere from 40% to 60% of russian missiles would be eliminated due to malfunction. So lets estimate 50% of the missiles fail. That reduces the number to 2000 warheads. Still sounds like a lot to me.

    Now you have to factor in how many of the russian missiles were configured. The typical russian missles carried 10 warheads (U.S. carried 3 if I remember correctly). With the massive number of missile failures they had to really ramp up thier saturation of warhead targeting to insure strategic targets were eliminated. Doing the math, I would target each critical target with 3 or 4 warheads from different missiles. This would leave you with about 1000 viable high priority targets, but we have not taken into account individual warhead targeting and detonation failures. This will significantly increase the target redundancy needed even further. (I would look at around 600 targets)

    Now we need to look at target priority. What would be the motivation for any world power to start and supposedly finish a nuclear war? Probably invasion in order to capture and exploit resources. What does the U.S. have that would be valuable after a nuclear war? It used to be agriculture. It still is, along with energy (yes we produce a lot, we just use more than we produce to drive everywhere and keep our A/C and a comfy 72 degrees).

    In order to invade and capture resources you have to eliminate strategic tagrets. The first target would be multiple high altitude air bursts to eliminate the grid and severly disrupt communication. The main ground targets are command and control centers (military), naval bases and shipyards, military airfields, and large active military installations. They would seek to eliminate or reduce our capability to resist invasion. Most likely population centers would be collateral damage. If they were targeted it would be with an air burst. Infrastructure would be important for exploitation (they don’t want to rebuild road and rail systems needed to transport energy and agriculture).

    Before I go on, yes I know it would be contaminated. The thing is, first of all it would not be immediately lethal, especially in the two years it would take them to secure the area and replant crops. Even being contaminated would not staop them from feeding it to thier people. I am sure the higher level officials would be eating grain and beef from Brazil or Argentina. Why would they care about the peasants who are worried about starving?

    OK, now you take all of this information and map out the ports, shipyards, military installations in your area and look at the threat level. You can eliminate missile silos if you are in the plains, they will probably be empty and the are hardened (why waste a warhead on a field with an empty hole in it?)

    A lot of people will die in this scenario. The devastation will be immense. The grid will be down for years most likely. The truth of the matter is, that if you are prepared (have a below ground tornado shelter) and have some knowledge about what the real dangers are, you can survive. If you can operate in the modern little house on the prairie, you will make it. You may get cancer in 10 years, or maybe 20. Birth defects will rise, but the strong will survive. It may be crappy compared to our Iphone Latte society of today, but it is doable.

    As a final not, I think this scenario is extremely improbable. The simple fact is, that there is no profit in it. If you want to look at man made disasters, there will always be profit behind the motive/consequence of action.

    • Jason April 16, 2012, 9:02 pm

      “The simple fact is, that there is no profit in it. If you want to look at man made disasters, there will always be profit behind the motive/consequence of action.”

      Finally, someone gets it.

  • kurioryu1013 April 20, 2012, 6:01 pm

    Surviving full scale nuclear war is, by no means, impossible. Like most things in this life, it just comes with a price.

    After surviving the initial blast and two weeks of high radioactivity (remember the 10/7 rule) depending upon the fallout in your area, and this would require a survey meter, your first concern would be a sustaining food supply. Your enemy is strontium 90, with a half-life of over 20 years, which is taken up by plants who identify it as calcium, and then the plant eaters concentrate it in their bodies, and the carnivors concentrate it even further. The body thinks of it as calcium too, because of its nature, and store it in the bones, resulting in that beta source damaging the marrow (leukemia increase very likely)

    The long and short of this is you had better have a lot of stocked up food, or live in an area with little fallout.

    Most of the gamma producers burn out fairly quickly. Positive point 1.

    A full scale nuclear war will likely reduce the population, especially in big cities, to the point that within two weeks, the anticipated influx of refugees will be minimal. Sad, but positive point 2.

    The world will forever be changed, there will be millions of deaths in this country alone, future decendents will have higher rates of cancer and leukemia, EMPs will destroy the grid, but it is not unsurvivable. That is why Russia is building bunkers at a brake neck rate. You see, they don’t believe in mutually assured distruction. We are pretty much the only nuclear power that believes in MAD.

    Bottom line. Nothing worth doing is cheap, free, or easy. You have to have the will power to deal with it if that is what presents itself.

    • Jason April 21, 2012, 10:34 pm

      One thing to add to the mayhem is the rotting corpses & the disease that would spread, the exploding rat & insect population spreading the diseases and more. Weather & wind pattern changes etc, etc, etc – all in all, if you survived, you’ll wish you hadn’t.

  • Joe April 24, 2012, 11:57 pm

    Not to scare anyone, but this scenario or something very close to it, is exactly what the bible predicts in the end days, the tribulation. And the whore of Babylon or Babylon the Great, describes the United States to the T.
    I hate to say this, but I think something very close to this, is exactly what is going to happen in the very near future. Quite possibly before the end of the year. I don’t think it’s going to start with N. Korea though. I think Russia &/or China is going to start the exchange & I think it’s going to be over our involvement in the middle east, most likely Iran. I think Obama will provoke it somehow in an attempt to boost his ratings before elections or so he can suspend elections, being in a “War time”. I hope to God I’m wrong!

  • Joe April 25, 2012, 12:16 am

    Furthermore, I think there are people behind the scenes, pulling the strings, to make this type of situation happen, for 2 reasons. 1. depopulation & 2. to make the NWO a reality.
    I know your thinking I’m one of those conspiracy theory, nut jobs. & frankly, I hope that’s what I am. Because if what I’m thinking is real, then most likely, we are all going to be dead!

  • Ryu October 20, 2015, 1:53 am

    As emotional as they might seem, North Korea is unlikely to engage in any conventional response to a US action against them.. Assets must first be in place. Agents carrying biological weapons must be in-country. Cyber-warfare assets must be given a few hours of notification to destroy as much infrastructure and especially military communications as possible. Blind siding us by causing mass confusion will limit our capability to respond in a timely manner. When, not if, WWIII comes to our shores, it will be a well executed action, for which the foundations will have been put in place for years in advance, and which has been executed numerous times.

  • Marc July 14, 2016, 4:23 pm

    Nato is the biggest threat leading to a nuclear war put a load of missiles around a bear and poke it with a stick.


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