What to Do Before, During & After a Nuclear Attack

We have all heard about the devastation that occurred at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. If you research the atomic bomb droppings on these cities, you will find find dark pictures of destroyed buildings, injured victims, and death itself.

With political tensions rising, the possibility of a nuclear attack is becoming more likely. The chilling truth is that there are countries that currently have hundreds of modern thermonuclear weapons, and these are thousands of times more powerful than the bombs that devastated Japan in World War II.

But if you hear that a nuclear attack is coming, don’t panic. Below are some vital tips on how to survive before, during, and after a nuclear attack.


laptop with news story on bombing

Before a Nuclear Attack

Here’s what you should do NOW to prepare for a nuclear attack before it happens.

Stock up on food storage

When a nuclear attack occurs, you will be bunkered in a shelter for a couple of days. Make sure you have an ample supply of non-perishable food. Store foods like rice, wheat, beans, sugar, honey, oats, pasta, powdered milk, dried fruits, and veggies along with any other foods that have high-calorie carbohydrates.

Store water

Water is also essential for survival. When a nuclear bomb explodes, radiation chemicals can spread to your water pipes. Store enough water so that each person can have at least 1 gallon of water per day. Additionally, keep household bleach and potassium iodide within proximity so you can purify water in case your water supply runs out.   

Watch the news

The best way to prepare for a nuclear attack is to watch the news. When political tensions get out of hand, you’ll have a pretty good idea if there is a real threat of a nuclear attack. Also, you can learn if your country has a rating system that rates the likelihood of danger. The United States and Canada use the DEFCON (Defense Condition) rating.

Avoid areas that are likely to be attacked

Learn which areas could potentially be prime targets for a nuclear attack. The largest targets are airfields and naval bases that store nuclear bombers, ballistic missile submarines, and ICBM silos. Other places that could potentially be attacked are commercial ports and government centers.

If you live in an industrial city or a city with a large population, you might also be a potential target for enemies. Right now, the cities most commonly mentioned as possible targets of a nuclear attack from North Korea are Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle.


fallout shelter sign on brick building

During a Nuclear Attack

Here’s what you should do during a nuclear attack to stay safe.

Take shelter indoors

Evacuate to a building that is heat resistant and constructed with brick or concrete. If there is an underground basement, seek shelter there. If you can’t get below ground, go to the center of the building. Put as much wall, concrete, brick, and soil between you and outside. Stay away from windows and anything that could break during the blast.  

If you don’t have access to a building, get down

You might not be able to get into a building when a nuclear attack happens. Find a receded area, and lay face down. Try to expose as little skin as you possibly can. If the area is flat, dig a hole as fast as you can. Even if you are 20 miles away from the detonated nuclear bomb, the heat can still burn off the skin from your body.

Leave your kids at school or daycare

Leaving your kids at school or daycare can be an incredibly hard thing to do for parents. However, your kids will be at more risk if you expose them to the harmful radioactive atmosphere. It’s also likely that you won’t have enough time to pick them up before the bombs goes off. Trust that they are in good hands, and reunite with them when it is safe to do so.


bomb detonating in the ocean

After a Nuclear Attack

If you have survived the nuclear attack, here are some steps you should take.

Wash yourself immediately

Wash yourself as soon as you can, especially if you were outside during the blast. Remove your clothing to keep the radioactive residue from spreading to your body. Just removing your outer layer of clothing will remove 90% of radiation. You can place your clothing in a bag and seal it. Then, if possible, take a shower with soap and water. Do not use conditioner in your hair because it will bind harmful material to your hair.

Don’t go outside for at least 48 hours

DO NOT go outside for at least 48 hours to avoid radioactive material or “fission products.” Exposing your body to this material can cause serious health issues. Limit your outside exposure for the next couple weeks. It can take up to 90 days for material to decay in the atmosphere.

Find water from a underground source

If you run out of water, do not use tap water. Radioactive chemicals are likely to get in your plumbing. Also, stream water and lakewater are highly dangerous to drink from even after being boiled. After 48 hours, you can go outside to collect water from an underground source such as a well or spring.

Wear all your clothing to prevent burns

Wear your hats, gloves, goggles, and long sleeve shirts to expose as little skin as possible. The more layers of clothing the better. Wear all your clothing when you go outside so you don’t receive any radiation burns. You should still wash any exposed skin with water to remove radiation residue when you come back inside. You can also decontaminate your clothes by shaking them.

And that’s how you can be prepared for a nuclear attack. For more survival tips, check out Prepper’s Base.