What Would Happen in Nuclear War? & How to Prepare for Your Safety?

Russia’s attack on Ukraine and its use of banned weapons in civilian areas has triggered new fears since the Cold War. Currently there are over 12,000 nuclear warheads among the nine countries that officially have nuclear weapons. Over 2,700 of them are deployed between Russia and USA alone.

Nuclear War

Although the Treat of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the International Humanitarian Law (IHC) attempt to keep the world’s nuclear powers in check, it is good to know what one would do in the very rare event of a nuclear attack or a nuclear accident.

Survival Tips for Nuclear War / Accident

It is possible to survive a nuclear attack. This is how.

Staying out of Blast Radius

If you are planning for nuclear attack safety well beforehand and will probably never need it, plan for the largest bomb there is, Russia’s 100 megaton Tsar Bomba (3000 times more powerful than the Little Boy). You will need to be at least 620 miles away from ground zero to be naturally clear.

Given that nuclear weapons would be set to target the most populated areas, if there is a chance of nuclear war, you need to be about 620 miles or 1000 kilometers away from any crowded city in your country.

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Not possible? No problem. That is not the only way. You can avoid most of the blast by being within thick concrete walls, preferably without any windows. It is about time the governments should start making such bunkers for emergencies again. But since most of us are on our own, here’s what to do:

  • If there is a bomb warning don’t speculate whether it is a drill. Take action immediately. That is what you are supposed to in case of a drill anyway.
  • Taking action would entail going to the nearest building with the thickest walls and finding a place for yourself away from the walls.
  • Wait there for at least 30 minutes no matter how injured you are from any debris. The air is highly radioactive for at least 30 minutes from the blast.
  • If you or someone is badly injured and needs immediate medical care, cover as much of the skin as possible with whatever cloth you find and go look for help. This is not recommended if the injury is not serious enough to kill a person within 3 days. If you have a broken leg, try on-spot first aid to make the bleeding stop and hold the bones in place. If you have a shard through your heart, you will need to go out and take your chances.
  • If you can stay indoors and well-covered for at least 3 days, increasing your chances of survival start.
  • If you manage to avoid the air for 7 days your chances of survival are high. If you manage 14 days, you have won (well, most probably, there are other logistics to consider).
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So, how will you make sure you survive holed up for 14 days?

The Ultimate Survival Kit

If you can do all of the following you WILL live to tell that you survived a nuclear attack. Here is what you need:

  • Canned food, cold cuts, biscuits, chocolates, and other foods that don’t need cooking and won’t go bad for months. Even when you leave the shelter there might not be food available. Everything could be irradiated.
  • A minimum of 1.5 gallons or 7 liters of water per person. This is how much water one person needs to drink in 14 days. Ration the water consumption. If you can carry more water, do so because you will come across irradiated water when you come out.
  • A measuring cup to avoid fights or confusion over water consumption.
  • A first-aid kit with all the medication and first-aid the people you are planning to protect could need over the two weeks.
  • PPE kits and gas masks for everybody.
  • Battery-operated radio to keep track of the situation.
  • Battery-operated torches.
  • One battery-operated walkie-talkie for each member. Mobile phones will be useless in the event of a nuclear attack.
  • Extra batteries of all types for all the devices.
  • Blankets and warm clothes since the temperature could drop because of reduced ambient light.
  • Toilet paper, sanitary products, all-purpose soap (which you will use when absolutely necessary because water is the most difficult to get by) and underwear.
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Keep 3 sets of the ultimate survival kit ready. One in your house, one in your office, and one in your car. Keep the walkie-talkies with every member so that you can contact each other if there is a sudden attack.


These are tips for people who have a real theoretical possibility of being under nuclear attack. Hoarding essential items when not in need will not help you and will only add to the chaos and inflation. Start preparing early and stack up the products slowly so that there is enough for all.

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