Rethinking Federal Government Preparedness Resources, by J.P.

The government can’t always keep you safe, but they can always get you killed. For a long time I’ve held that notion near and dear to my heart only to have it revalidated whenever and wherever calamity strikes our nation. I’m sure there are some bureaucrats that would agree with my opinion. Furthermore, it appears that some people within our government have fought the good fight for the preparedness community when they made available a number of free resources to add to any preparedness library. It just so happens I keep electronic copies of these publications on my smart phone and on a thumb drive, and I have most of them in hard copy as well.

Written for Layperson and Understandable

Each resource provided below is completely open source, unclassified, and generally speaking was written for the layperson. People without specialized technical expertise should find the resources written for professionals understandable and comprehensive in their respective subject. Also, I would encourage people to take these resources at face value and realize that the government wrote them for a specific purpose that may or may not have been entirely for preparedness. Additionally, these resources were picked because they have an acceptable amount of subject matter overlap, without bogging people down with the same information simply reprinted in different sources.

Resources for Preparedness

So, I present the following resources for your preparedness edification.

Are You Ready

This is FEMA’s Are You Ready?. What is it? It’s a comprehensive introduction to all hazards preparedness.

You want it because:

  • It legitimizes preparedness from the perspective that the government is essentially admitting that:
    • Bad things beyond the control of the government will happen.
    • They will not be able to help you for several days.
    • People need to be self reliant and self-sustaining after a disaster.
  • It empowers people to learn how to help themselves.
  • The manual is a good conversation starter with the people in your life who are not yet preparedness minded.
  • It gives you a well rounded set of generalized instructions that you can give to people you care about who may not be as excited about preparedness as you are.

Community Emergency Response Team Basic Training Participant Manual

FEMA’s Community Emergency Response Team Basic Training Participant Manual is the standardized training manual for local members who are organized into FEMA’s Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). CERT is offered through local fire and law enforcement agencies around the country. Volunteers in CERT self-initiate after a disaster to perform light search and rescue work along with mass casualty triage and basic first aid. Simply stated, the program exists to help people help themselves. They also help their neighbors and community by doing the most good for the most people.

You want it because:

  • It is a good reference for CERT members.
  • Non-CERT members can educate themselves on what all these people wearing green vests and hard hats are doing in their community after a disaster strikes.
  • The book is also a good read for anyone who is going to take the CERT training or planning on joining their local CERT organization.
  • It has simple and easy to follow instructions and illustrations of disaster mitigation tasks.

Community Emergency Response Team Field Operations Guide

FEMA’s Community Emergency Response Team Field Operations Guide is the bread and butter of the CERT program, written into a field guide.

You want it because:

  • There are only 14 pages in this guide.
  • It is jam packed with easy to follow pictures and charts to use during the initial moments of an emergency.
  • It’s print ready to leave with emergency kits.
  • The information is applicable anywhere CERT operates in the United States.

In Time of Emergency, A Citizen’s Handbook on…Nuclear Attack…Natural Disasters

The US Department of Defense Office of Civil Defense’s In Time of Emergency A Citizen’s Handbook on…Nuclear Attack…Natural Disasters is more than just a cold war relic. Although it was written in 1968, it includes valuable information regarding what preparedness measures were made back in the cold war to protect communities from nuclear attack. Unfortunately, it appears our nation is once again under a renewed nuclear threat. We all should consider preparations accordingly.

You want it because it:

  • Lists the contents of a fallout shelter, should you want to compile the supplies yourself to keep on hand. Also, this list is useful if you want to replenish the now over 50 year old equipment and supplies that are probably not in any of the rare remaining public fallout shelter locations in your community.
  • Justifies 14 days worth of food and water, and therefore could be used in your own defense if anyone ever asks you why you are stockpiling for so many days.
  • Coherently explains radioactive fallout decay.
  • Has illustrations and plans for DIY fallout shelter plans.

Emergency Response Guidebook 2016

The US Department of Transportation’s Emergency Response Guidebook 2016 (ERG) is the key resource to understanding hazards and decoding the various hazardous materials markers seen on commercial vehicles and buildings.

You want it because it:

  • Is updated every two years.
  • Is easy to use and cross-reference.
  • Can help determine safe evacuation distances for bystanders prior to containment of an emergency by first responders.
  • Encompasses all chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) hazards and initial first aid, health, firefighting, and public safety guidance.
  • Is also compatible with the FEMA Emergency Response to Terrorism Job Aid 2.0.

Emergency Response to Terrorism Job Aid 2.0

FEMA’s Emergency Response to Terrorism Job Aid 2.0 is an expedient and user-friendly guidebook intended for public safety professionals to respond to CBRNE emergencies.

You want it because it:

  • Addresses initial response to any CBRNE incident.
  • Is organized as a checklist of things to do and issues to consider.
  • Provides guidance on recognizing what type of CBRNE incident has occurred and appropriate first aid.
  • Also references the respective sections of the US Department of Transportation ERG to ensure hazard specific considerations are combined with the response guidance.

Multi-Service Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Survival, Evasion, and Recovery

MULTI-SERVICE TACTICS, TECHNIQUES, AND PROCEDURES FOR SURVIVAL, EVASION, AND RECOVERY is a field manual that covers relevant and recent survival and evasion techniques.

You want it because it:

  • Is comprehensive for any environment in the world.
  • Has field expedient and improvised solutions to a myriad of problems.
  • Is concise and can be printed and carried with you relatively easy.
  • Provides spiritual and psychological benefits to those having this field manual because it has several reminders of patriotism and faith that have positive benefits in emergencies and survival including an entire section on the will to survive.
  • Is possible to commit most of the concepts in this field manual to memory.

Thunderstorms Tornadoes Lightening…Nature’s Most Dangerous Storms

The National Weather Service’s Thunderstorms Tornadoes Lightening…Natures Most Dangerous Storms is an introductory safety guide for mitigating thunderstorms, tornadoes, and lightening. It includes technical explanations of how these weather systems form and how to identify them.

You want it because it:

  • Is concise and has several illustrations and easy to follow charts regarding how violent weather occurs and what to look out for.
  • Answers a lot of questions someone who lives in a region not prone to regular thunderstorms and tornadoes might have.
  • Supports preparedness, including specific information to prepare for weather emergencies.
  • Also has information for how to obtain the best up to the minute weather information from the National Weather Service.

Interoperability Field Operations Guide (NIFOG)

The US Department of Homeland Security’s Interoperability Field Operations Guide (NIFOG) is a comprehensive source for disaster communications.

You want it because it:

  • Includes explanations on the various radio frequencies (aircraft, marine, land, amateur, et cetera).
  • Has guidance for programming radios.
  • Has points of contact for government and commercial communication centers.
  • Provides practical information regarding how to place calls to satellite phones or erect a temporary radio antennae.

Field Operations Guide For Disaster Assessment and Response

The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Field Operations Guide For Disaster Assessment and Response is a field operations guide for USAID relief workers who deploy to under developed nations and disaster zones without readily available resupply or medical services.

You want it because it:

  • Includes detailed packing lists for self-sustainment when living in a post disaster scenario.
  • Provides specific equations for calculating various life necessities.
  • Is useful if there was ever major societal collapse; information in this field guide could be used to help reestablish order and basic public health and utilities.
  • Also tends to focus on community building, which is a key to long-term survival and recovery from societal collapse.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Emergency Management Institute Independent Study Program

The US Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Independent Study Program includes online courses offered by FEMA. These online courses cover several topics related to preparedness and emergency management.

You want it because:

  • The courses are free, self-paced, and comprehensive.
  • The government is trying to empower people to get involved in preparedness, and several of these courses directly empower people to be better prepared for disasters and emergencies.
  • FEMA has also established a student identification system that records completed courses and generates printable certificates upon course completion.
  • These online courses may lead to attending resident courses offered by FEMA to either enhance your level of preparedness or pursue professional opportunities in the field of Emergency Management.

Preparedness-Minded Americans

In conclusion, I hope these resources are considered by my fellow preparedness-minded Americans. The reality of what I mentioned previously– how the government can’t always keep you safe, but they can always get you killed– is so true. However, I would challenge you to rethink whether or not you are helping the government to help you and your fellow Americans prepare. We can’t always expect the government to help us, but maybe we should always take their help whenever the offer it.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been another entry for Round 75 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of (a $180 value), and
  8. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by,
  7. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
  6. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from (a $240 value).

Round 75 ends on March 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.


  1. There’s a few other reasons to take those EMI training courses, not just read them. (The tests are free, and online.) First, It’s required for any of the “self initiated” preparedness modules, such as CERT and AUXCOMM.

    Second, being prepared is not about what we want, it’s about what we can do. Huh?

    I want to be prepared to walk into a FEMA camp. I do everything I can to keep me out of one, but if I ever need to, I want my preps to have prepared me for that. Being prepared to walk into a FEMA camp comes down to one basic thing, being useful. Being able to tell them that I’ve taken and am certified through IS-700, that I’ve got through CERT training, or AUXCOMM, makes me useful and keeps me off the super dome floor.

  2. I would add FEMAs internet site with plans to build a wood gasifier. Simply put , in an emergency wood chips can be used to run cars , generators , tractors etc. the North Korean army is reported to use this ancient technology for trucks.

    Following FEMA plans I built a gassifier and it actually worked!

  3. I met a few old timers in the 1980s that were at one time involved in the US Civil Defense program. They admitted to me that the fallout shelters described in the script, In Time of Emergency, were never actually built and tested. Also know that the people who wrote the chapters in US Army field manuals on this topic were clueless, and their suggestions, silly. I keep such a field manual on my shelf to show folks how incompetent they were. For example: The infantryman is told that when his dosimeter (if they were even available for issue) reaches the 600 Roentgen reading, it is time to re-charge it. It does not inform him that he has been exposed to a 100% lethal dose and has days to live. The protective measures drawn in the manuals are completely inadequate. So the author if THIS article is 100% correct….your government CAN always kill you. The best “government” manual available is Nuclear War Survival Skills, by Cresson Kearney. He developed this book while working for the Federal Office of Civil Defense, but wasn’t published until long after he had left government service.
    The only FEMA document I’ve found that is useful is their Attack Environment Manual. It contains “just the facts” about weapons effects (which btw, weren’t all that bad in the above booklet).
    In Time of Emergency was published in 1968, when the program was in its last days. Today, there are NO “civil defense workers” and only a handful of office staff in your state. I assure you, “they” will NOT be driving and walking through burning debris to “check on you” to make sure you are getting food, water, and medical attention in the aftermath of an attack. The ITOE manual’s suggestion of 14 days of food made us all LOL. We have dismantled the US strategic grain reserve long ago, and have gone to a just-in-time inventory control system. Russia retains a 5 year grain reserve. I have no figure on the Chinese in this regard. The main issue with food will be DISTRIBUTION, and this will cease to function much at all. You can’t have too much food or water.
    While we have some cool methods of bursting information to cell phones now days the opening act by any near-peer nuclear enemy will be the laydown of EMP all over the United States, before any missiles leave their silos or submarines. The EMP in itself should serve as a warning that missiles could well be leaving their launch sites. If the attack commences while the nation sleeps, little or no warning can be expected. We built loud power failure alarms from 120 volt AC relays (plugs into your wall outlet) and a motorcycle horn driven by a motorcycle battery. A trickle charger will keep it ready. Those in outlying areas will readily hear what’s going on and have plenty of time to get to shelter (if you have one).
    Government fallout shelters? Hmm. The Carter Administration cleaned all of the supplies out of the shelters designated in the basements of large buildings. The signs that are still posted are meaningless. The government standard for a fallout shelter had a protection factor of 40. Ugh! Let’s try for a minimum of 500. You might still get sick if you are in a heavy fallout zone, but you’ll live. I prefer something over 100,000PF.
    Some friends have located the web site containing the Attack Environment Manual, and I can post this if anyone wants it. I have hard copies and a printing master, so I haven’t looked it up. Alpha Graphics charges me $60.00 for a single copy, $45.00 for more or more. Nice binding and covers.
    In the end, you will really be on your own, along with your friends and neighbors. INVOLVE THEM. Each other is all we’ll have.

    1. Good points, Paul. By the way, after Hurricane Wilma hit South Florida a friend rode her bicycle to the FEMA distribution center for water. They refused to give her any because she wasn’t in a car! Her’s was blocked by debris in her driveway. Several days later she went back to volunteer, and they refused her help. Just another example of government assistance.

  4. Outstanding. Thank you for all your work.

    I’ve skimmed the Citizens Handbook on Nuclear Attack. Although they are overly optimistic on food being available to the public after an attack and public shelters are essentially no longer, they do an okay job on making your own shelter with one glaring exception. While we are sealing ourselves up for 2-3 days or perhaps a week, we will need fresh air and the subject was essentially ignored.

    The best information for this is still Nuclear War Survival Skills: Updated and Expanded 1987 Edition by Cresson H. Kearny (Author) and Dr. Edward Teller (Foreword). He shows you how to make a manual air pump for your outside dug fallout shelter.

    I’ve discovered an even better book which spends more time on just the air issue and it titled Emergency Air For Shelter-in-place Preppers and Home-Built Bunkers by F. J. Bohan (2013). The back cover reads,

    “It won’t matter how well you plan or how much food, water, and other supplies you have stored and waiting for your neighborhood to become a nuclear fallout zone. Without breathable air, you will die!…F. J. Bohan details how to safely ventilate an underground bunker or shelter-in-place room…so you can escape the airborne particulate threats of anthrax, nuclear fallout, dirty bombs, biological and pandemic agents, or other airborne threats”.

    Again, thanks again to the author for a great article.

  5. Just discovered there is a newer book (Kindle Edition) by F. J. Bohan on subject on Amazon. However, Kindle Edition shows 47 pages and book mentioned in my previous comments reached 122 pages.

  6. Awesome article!
    I just joined my county CERT last week and was wondering what would the best way to get spun up. This guide will save me some time versus aimlessly clicking around for a few days.
    Mucho kudos to JP for penning this article. And the comments got some info too!

  7. A friend who lives in Hawaii recently told me that the Hawaiian government has begun cleaning up and restocking existing shelters. Most where closed/abandoned, some where trashed or had a few inches of water everywhere, and none had food or potable water. A positive result of the recent fiasco. Of course there aren’t enough shelters there and virtually non in CONUS except for the POTUS and congress.
    Switzerland has shelters and a shelter plan for it’s people; we have none. Russia and China have shelters and extensive underground facilities for critical manufacturing and military equipment; we do not. Since the 50’s when the realization that an atomic attack was not only possible but inevitable our ability to survive it has decreased from very little national preparation to zero civilian preparation for a nuclear attack. Essentially our government does not intend to survive a nuclear war.

  8. 1) There is also the US ARmy’s “Improvised Munitions Handbook”. heh heh

    Developed for the training of our terroris.. er freedom fighters.

    2) Globalsecurity has lots of Army manuals covering fire and maneuver, cover and concealment, defensive fortification, basic infantry formations , movement, tactics and immediate action drills.

    3) Re nuclear effects, FM 3-11.3 (now in joint 2004) version covers how to develop fallout wind vectors for various warhead yields, using meterological data. Unfortunately, it no longer tells how to develop the weighting factors you need for non-Army (e.g, National Weather Service) data. (THe 1975 version did)

    The National Weather Service no longer puts out fallout vectors for US locations but does put out Winds Aloft for airplane pilots, from which the wind vectors can be plotted. The Army manual also explains how to use the fallout wind vectors to plot Zone I –the area of immediate danger(4 hours dangerous dose) — as well as Zone II (lesser danger — dangerous dose within 24 hours.)

    To predict the fallout areas, you need to know the location and yield of the nuclear explosions. Location of ground zero is determinated from the compass azimuth of the nudet plus the time it takes for the blast wave to arrive (seconds divided by 4.5)

    The FM explains how to compute the yield of sighted nudets using several methods (illumination time, width of mushroom cloud 5 minutes after explosion, etc.)

  9. PS The value of computing fallout wind vectors is that it really shows:
    a) How winds at higher elevations are not only faster but also flow in directions that may be 180 deg from the surface wind. Surface wind is of little value.
    b) Depending on the year, targets that may affect you (i.e directions from which fallout may come) can range from east to south to northwest. The dropping of the jet stream to the south in winter can really increase the distance fallout will travel.

  10. To add to what Don Williams wrote, I study the wind in Salt Lake City and see that it shifts to all points of the compass, often in a a single day. There is NO WAY to predict where fallout will, or will not go. Even the early maps that projected one, two, three day patterns, eventually covered the entire country. Also not covered is RAINOUT, in which hot fallout that should come down over a 1,000 mile track over several days, ALL COMES DOWN ON YOU, because of local rain. Fallout is essentially like cloud seeding. The moisture condenses on the fallout particles and comes down in the rain. So instead of say, 200 rads/hour, you might get 12,000 rads/hour. If your shelter has a protection factor of only 300, you’ll absorb 40 rads/hour. Any dose over 130 or so in a 7 day period, you’re going to get sick. So in a few hours, you’re going to get several hundred rads. If the conflict lasts longer than anticipated, you can expect more than one wave of fallout over time. 600 rads total dose in a week is 100% fatal unless you get heroic medical intervention, and even that is probably not going to end well.
    The US military sees nuclear war as a short-term exchange, over in a few hours. The Russians prepare for intense offensive combat operations for up to 90 days. [Source: Soviet Military Power, annual, published by the DoD during the Reagan years]
    The best shelter air handlers are manufactured in Switzerland. Randomly selected units are first exposed to 16 Gs of shock on a test fixture, in all six directions, THEN sent to a government chemical weapons lab where they are insulted with live battlefield agents. Underwriters Laboratory, a private sector outfit, is not authorized, nor inclined to try to obtain anthrax, VX, VEE, Tabun, Lewisite, phosgene, plague, etc. But the Swiss testing lab is run by the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Defense, and they DO have testing procedures involving these agents. Bioweapons aerosols such as smallpox are simulated with a test agent with a matching molecular weight. They operate by electricity or by hand crank. They also feature certified explosion protection valves on the intake and exhaust ports of the shelter. We use ONLY Swiss air handlers in our shelters, but also offer just the air handlers for those wishing to retro-fit their own shelter. The brand name is Andair AG, which bought out LUWA.
    I’ve been to their factory and observed their clean facilities and completed their design course. While in Switzerland, we toured over a dozen shelters in hospitals, schools (in session), homes, grocery stores, factories, churches, parks, banks, watch shops. ALL of them were unlocked, and all featured the same Andair AG VA-150 air handlers, with the exception of the larger shelters, which had Andair units designed for many more occupants. ALL had manual crank shafts in place in case the generator failed. Some required up to 12 volunteers to operate, but these units could ventilate 2000 people each. One shelter we toured had TWO of these units. So that’s a rated capacity of 4,000 occupants.
    When US airspace was closed during the 9/11 attacks, several thousand American tourists had no place to stay after their aircraft returned to Switzerland. No problem! The civil defense authorities opened several public shelters and they all had clean bunks, showers, mess halls, flush toilets, rec rooms. For many Americans, it was their first exposure to a real civil defense program.
    The screw-up in Hawaii should have caused Americans to ask why they had no shelters, instead of why the alert was incompetently sent. I surely hope some good comes from it.
    And, btw, the gas filter on the Andiar ventilators also captures Iodine 131 and other airborne isotopes, so shelter occupants need not endure thyroid block agents to protect their thyroids.
    On Friday, I entertained a TV reporter from Finland. The Finns know more than they ever wanted to know about the Russians. So we wasted no time getting into the nitty gritty about shelters.

    1. 1) While I agree that there is no way to predict exactly where fallout would go in the event of an attack occurring sometime in the undefined future — or even 3 days out — I think the Army method is reasonable to determine where it would go if the attack occurred TODAY — assuming you have retrieved the National Weather Service info.

      There are over 130 radiosondes released twice a day and carried up to 100,000 feet. They provide wind direction and speed at about every 500 feet or so as they ascend.

      The Army knows how far up the mushroom cloud will ascend — and its diameter — for each class of nuclear yield and the path the particles will follow as they fall to earth. Not exactly of course — but most likely within the ZOne I and II they define and not elsewhere. For multiple nudets, one has to map overlapping fields, of course.

      None of this replaces a good shelter, of course. FEMA’s 1990 Nuclear Attack Planning Base showed most of the country could possibly get at least 3000 R of radiation — but it is less risky to be in a place with a limited risk of 3000 R vs a place likely to get 15,000 R. It is also useful to do the vectors and realize that the target you thought was well downwind from you could in fact become upwind of you in some months of the year.

      Plus you have to come out of the hole eventually. At which point, you need to know which areas are most likely low dose areas and which are likely dangerous. You need to know that even more if you need to forage for food or to evacuate. Which is why the ARmy bothered to develop the process.

      1. I would note also that in the event of a surprise attack, it may be better to run in some cases than to rush to the nearest shelter. The fallout can take an hour or two to fall further out — and the thermal pulse from a nudet can ignite fires out beyond the area damaged by the blast wave.
        If those fires burn and consolidate their smoke/exhaust can smother people within shelters –even if the fires do not become a firestorm.

        Plus once fallout descends, you may be trapped in the expedient shelter for two weeks or so . A problem if you don’t have food or water.

        Conversely, you may assume you can flee because the nudet appears downwind from you if you just check the surface wind. But stronger winds aloft blowing in a different direction can surprise you if you don’t know about them.

        Many places in the USA, of course, have grossly inadequate shelter for the population density.

        1. “Many places in the USA, of course, have grossly inadequate shelter for the population density.”

          I know of no adequate fallout shelters for citizens within the CONUS. Care to share with me which places have adequate shelters? My impression is that there are zero active fallout shelters in this country.

          1. Define “adequate”. Define “active”

            1) There are many secret to secretish government bunkers that are quite adequate. AT&T , which handled much of the Cold War COG communications, has had bunkers around for 60 years, many of them unknown because they are on mountain tops outside Washington DC, Charlottesville Va, Chatnam NC. Walls 4 feet thick of reinforced concrete and with 10 feet of dirt overhead.

            2) The Pentagon’s Raven Rock and Cheyenne Mountain could probably take a direct hit and survive. Under several hundred feet of granite.

            3) Of course, the US Congress had that huge bunker under the 5 star Greenbriar resort in West Virginia — until someone responded to the massive defense budget cuts of the Clinton administration by snitching to the Washington Post to expose the bunker –rendering it useless. heh heh

            Leaving the Congress to wander around the National Mall like headless chickens when Al Qaeda struck years later.

            4) The government says radiation exposure should be kept As Low As Reasonably Achieveable (ALARA) –to less than 5 cGys (old unit –rads) for a year. Army’s 3-11.3 says that’s a nice goal but that the commander can order troops into conditions up to 125 rads without the troops dying –albeit with some increase in their long term chances of getting cancer.

            5) In the rural countryside, with fallout being 3000 cGys or less, a basement corner with pf 40 would cut exposure to 75 cGys. Not great but survivable.

            6) In a suburban area with a hundred people huddled in an office building’s basement, the exposure would probably be greater–often long term lethal.

            Which is why you want to get in the center of the room — so that the bodies of the people on the outside would shield you.

            If you are an old fart, old age would probably kill you before the cancer hits — it is the young who will suffer.

            7) If the nearby targets were hit with the more effective air bursts, then there may be no fallout.

            8) Besides, most people will be drafted into the FEMA labor battalions and sent to the bombed out cities under martial law to do decontamination and rubble removal. The cities are where the economic treasure is and the government will want to get things up and running. So the FEMA labor battalions will probably be exposed to well in excess of 125 cGys. With FEMA officers doing fake radiation surveys to lie to the workers about the safety of the environment and with “reassignment” of workers to distant, sealed off camps when they start to show signs of illness. The “retirement to Tahiti” provided by a grateful nation. Ask veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who’ve spent time in VA hospitals about how that works out when the next administration decides to reduce the deficit.

            9) and yes, there are plenty of problems with temperature control, ventilation/air supply,etc.

          2. 1) A cynical person might note that the Rich are buying very adequate shelters:


            2) That same cynical person might also note some evolving problems for the Rich. One , of course, is the $50 Trillion in unfunded Social Security/Welfare promises to the Rabble.

            3) Plus advances in AI will lead to most work being done by docile, intelligent robots in the future — which will leave around 125 million displaced workers. On top of the tens of millions already out there and drawing expensive welfare, food stamps,etc.

            4) So a nice brisk nuclear war –to seize the massive natural resources of Russia — could have its silver lining: Population control.

            5) Fallout has its positives — 10,000 rads dumped on the Midwest will kill off rats and any low income workers who might try to raid those huge grain silos when the grocery stores run dry. After the radiation declines, of course, a few military units can secure the silos. Control the food supply and you control the residual labor force you need to keep around for skilled labor.

            Call it “Project Highland Clearances”


          3. It was clear that I was talking about shelters provided by our government for civilians. I know there are shelters for the elite and I know some people buy or build there own. But there are no shelters for civilians unless there might be a couple of old shelters from the 50’s full of water with no supplies nut I don’t even know of any of these. There are no shelters for civilians.

    2. I would note that Radiation from a single local nuke declines fairly rapidly — by a factor of 10 over a 7 fold increase in time. If the rate inside the shelter is 40 R/hr at time H+1 (one hour after nudet) and then starts declining (i.e, no fallout from distant targets also starts arriving) then my calculator says the dose received over an entire week will only be around 130 R. At H+7 hours, the rate will have dropped to 4 R/hour.

      1. Your calculation is correct but the source, type and climatic conditions will distort that. It is possible (especially with very low radiation numbers like 40 R/hr) for the radiation to actually increase. The reason is simply that near ground zero the radiation could be 1000 R/hr and a reading some distance away of 40 R/hr may be more ‘incidental’ than typical and a shift in the wind could bring in higher radiation over time.

        The optimum time in a shelter is 49 days. You may get away with less and if you are a gambler you can go out foraging after a few days but remember it is the cumulative radiation that will get you.

  11. Sir,

    With all due respect your information is useful if we are in a “Slow Slide”, scenario.

    The evidence is that we are enroute to a “Quick Slide”.

    That is the real truth of where we are at, right now.

    Sheepdog out.

  12. Great article. I am in the process of procurement of the above described guides. In order to hurry the process along I called my local Emergency Services and Disaster Agency office today to request a copy of the FEMA, Are You Ready? Have you ever tried to call your local (ESDA)? Well A very sweet elderly lady answered the phone and her connection was so filled with interference and the conversation was so garbled it was very difficult to understand her and she said , ” we always have trouble with this phone”. I asked her if they had copies of the FEMA guide Are You Ready? She had never heard of it and would have to have someone call me back. I’m still waiting? I feel so much safer now knowing how prepared they are at my local ESDA. Read an article today about the Trump Administration and the Pentagon requesting money to upgrade the nuclear arsenal. In addition, for the development of new “low-yield” nuclear armaments. Hmm, that’s interesting.

  13. About shelters: when I was younger all public schools, and buildings had a shelter sign on them. I’m not sure if it was part of a national building code. After reading one of Miles Bauldwin’s books I started looking for them locally- libraries, schools, even city hall. Couldn’t find a single one near me.

  14. I’ve been looking for materials like this for a long time – Thank You!
    Britain’s “Nanny State” mentality would prefer you to die rather than having to admit they won’t have the resources to help you…

    1. CeeJay0714:
      If I understand your post your from and/or in Great Britain? If yes I pray for you and your fellow countrymen. First the British government steals your firearms and your way of defending yourselves and now there is the real possibility that the same government, (along with ours), cannot help you in time’s of massive disaster, what ever type of disaster it might be. STAY POSITIVE!!!! Do not hesitate to prep and/or become a prepper, get organised and get ready for what happens next. Do not give the government Scroogs that still continuasly screw over you and your fellow countrymen the satisfaction! No matter what stay strong, stay educated, stay prepped, stay frosty! God Bless.

      1. Thank you for your support!
        Yes – I live in a small, overcrowded country (which means that finding a bug-out location is TOUGH). On top of that, the government has it’s head so far up itself that the survival needs of mere voters is repeatedly ignored or even ridiculed.
        In one way this actually helps, in that preppers are indulged, rather than regarded as kooks.
        As we both know, bugging-in is a form of suicide, so finding a bug-out location was a matter of life or death!
        So I made a deal with a farmer in an out-of-the -way part of the country, to build a barn/office as a small business.
        He does not know how large the “cellar” is…
        God bless you too!

        1. CeeJay 0714:
          Your welcome sir. It sounds like to me that have more ‘Pros’ than ‘Cons’ going in your favor, that is good news, I like good news we get so little these days. It also sounds like you are able to take a little advantage of the whole situation without the ‘kook thing’ dragging you down, that is outstanding
          And God knows I like a LARGE CELLER, lots of room to hold and store preps.
          Stay Frosty, Semper Fi!
          God Bless.

        2. 1) My understanding –which may be out of date — is that private ownership of firearms is still allowed in Northern Ireland due to the troubles.
          2) Scotland has a fairly low population density and the Duke of Atholl still has hiw own private army. Plus I saw a fair number of castles and Scotch distilleries when I visited.
          3) For the backdoor exit, there is a chain of large airports connecting Scotland to Iceland, Greenland and Canada. Constructed in WWII to supply Britain from the States.

          Some idiots have even flown it in Cessna 170s. Alternatively, you could round up a few lads and build a Viking long boat. Bit nippy in the winter, of course.

          1. Don, your information is not exactly “Wrong”, but the the government has set up a “Catch 22” to prevent firearms ownership.
            They have said that possible mental illness should be a bar to ownership (ring any bells with YOUR officials?). Then they said that WANTING a firearms Certificate means your mental health is to be questioned!
            How can an honest man get a break!

  15. CeeJay 0714:
    Aw, come on CeeJay 0714, don’t you know the powers that be want us as mindless, sheeple, cattle, automatons, with absolutely no control over our own lives, so if you want a break, make the break yourself, you can do it. Do not wait for the corrupticians (politicians) to give it to you. Make it, then take it! Enjoy!

  16. J.P.
    Your article is excellent – Definitely materials needed by those who are trying to survive.
    Perhaps you could follow up with a listing of the FEMA and Military pdf’s accessible to the public. and perhaps a site where the “best of the rest” can be found…
    Keep up the good work!

  17. All excellent resources for a foundation. We all must continue to build on various foundation. Just like our moneys we must diversify our knowledge base. Gaining Real World knowledge for radiation is difficult because of the math involved. Even though our first blush to understand radiation is based on R/Rad/Rem. For useful purposes they are all on 1:1 basis. Calculating dose rate is like a cars odometer. How fast is the radiation coming @ me when I am standing in one place. Standing in one place for a hour I get the full dose. This is where ALARA and Time/Distance and Shielding come into play. LD50/30(50% of those exposed die within 30 days) for ionizing radiation ranges from 400-500R. Typical human cellular changes occur @ 50R dose. The mystery of fallout must be cleared up. Fallout will be Gamma, Beta and Alpha radiation. The fallout contamination is measure in CPS(counts per second) because much of the fallout have rapid half lives. Even these contaminated area must be approached with ALARA/DTS and N95 mask to protect from Alpha inhalation. Those killed by a nuclear device are typically within a 10mile radius and die within 3 days. Death from trauma, burns and infections will out pace radiation deaths. Compounding this catastrophic event will be those unprepared for a all hazards survival event. IMHO we will survive a Nuclear detonation better than we will a EMP.

    1. Ebec
      There is no doubt you are right about survival rates if it is a one-off terrorist Nuclear attack, but in a full out war, I suspect that a Prepper would have a better chance of surviving an EMP attack.

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