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The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:


From reader G.P. we learn of this article describing why you should never get in a car [1] if dealing with a nearby nuclear explosion. It’s not something that we want to think about, but if you have survived a surprise nuclear explosion, sheltering in place is probably the best thing you can do. A car offers miserable protections from the fallout, not to mention dealing with the crowded road conditions of others fleeing the scene. The article offers some information about using basements and office/school buildings as protection. However, it does make the assumption that the blast is in the typical 10-20Kiloton yield with the dangerous fallout zone lasting approximately 48 hours. The hot zone will last considerably longer but allow you to travel quickly through it.

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From the New York Times Magazine comes this article on How to Build a Fallout Shelter [2]. It’s a pretty basic description with a number of subjects untouched (such as waste disposal), but it fits in with the last article on sheltering in place. It’s not difficult to create a safe space to get through the worst and most dangerous fallout after a bomb. Thanks to G.G. for the link.

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Why the concern over fallout shelters? North Korea obviously has the intention of reaching the mainland United States with an ICBM, and their illustrious leader (Kim Duck Soup, or something like that) is just insane enough to use it. The U.S. is planing its first test of an ICBM intercept [3]. The American interceptor has a spotty record, at best, on less-than-intercontinental range tests, yet the military is keen to up the ante and start testing the full blown system.

You might want to read Protection from Radioactive Fallout by Tennessean [4] on SurvivalBlog as well.


Reader T.J. sent in this article on the health risks associated with public pools. Apparently, illnesses contracted from the public pools [5] are on the rise. Three illnesses stand out, too. Those are lice, swimmers ear (bacterial infection that takes hold in your ear), and, the most disgusting– Cryptosporidium (Crypto). This parasitic infection comes from ingesting the fecal matter from individuals who are infected themselves. Think about that statement for a moment. Perhaps swallowing that mouthful of pool water is not as benign as you thought. Along with that article comes another article that tells you how much pee in in your public swimming pool [6]. A study of 31 pools showed an average of 75 liters of human pee.


Reader T.J. also sent in this article on nine ways to store meat without refrigeration [7]. It covers traditional methods, such as smoking, curing, brining, canning, and dehydrating as well as a couple of modern methods like freeze drying. Just because you don’t have electricity doesn’t mean you can’t have meat in your diet. Along with that comes this older article from Mother Earth News on making a solar food dehydrator [8].


In the oppressive state of Kalifornia, a farmer is now facing 2.8 million dollars in fines [9] because he plowed his farmland without obtaining a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. This issue stems from the government’s power grab through the Clean Water Act. Note that the farmer’s land is not in the wetlands, just nearby. Thanks to DSV for the link.


The U.S. government has lost track of 1.3 billion dollars worth of weapons [10] and equipment sent to Kuwait and Iraq. This was revealed through a Freedom of Information request on a 2016 US government audit. The fear is that these missing weapons are making their way into the hands of ISIS. Link from reader A.S.

Seismic Activity

The west coast of the U.S. has had two Alaskan Volcanoes erupt with earthquake swarms occurring at Mount St. Helens [11]. In the last 30 days, 55 seismic events have occurred in the vicinity with over 100 events so far recorded. Mount St. Helens is still classified as an active volcano so this activity isn’t too out of the ordinary, but it underscores the idea that we still need to keep watch. Mount Rainier is also seeing increased activity as well.

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#1 Comment By scott On May 27, 2017 @ 7:04 am

Web page of a Swiss news organization for a detailed look at the way the Swiss have prepared for sheltering their population from fallout.


#2 Comment By Hugh Farnham On May 27, 2017 @ 1:20 pm

Regarding the article on not jumping into a car after a nuclear explosion, I would disagree. Look at the fallout map – getting out of the fallout zone is a matter of driving 20 or 30 miles. The fallout for a majority of that area won’t arrive for an hour.

If your car still works, I would immediately head out of the downwind area. Of course this depends if you are in the heart of a city, where an instant traffic jam may hamper your escape. If in a suburban area, getting out should be fairly easy if you have already run your bugout routes.

Yes, you should have a redoubt in a rural area and head to that. Hunkering down in a fallout zone has its own extreme hazards as well, like the two-legged kind.

#3 Comment By Don Williams On May 27, 2017 @ 1:48 pm

The advice “never get in a car “[in response to a nearby nuclear explosion is superficial and may kill as many people as it saves.

It reflects the government’s attitude that people are morons and the purpose of FEMA is to just to save part of the herd and accept the idea that much of the herd will be culled. Which leaves more food supplies for our masters.

The article contradicts itself — one moment talking about a very small 10 kt nuclear detonation and then talking about 100 mph winds.
Fallout in CONUS will likely encounter 100 mph winds only if it is a very powerful (e.g, 1 megaton) explosion that throws fallout miles into the atmosphere.

It is true that fallout is most intense in the first few hours after an explosion — the 7-10 rule. Declines by a factor of 10 for every 7 fold increase in time. If 1000 rads at hour 1 then 100 rads at hour 7 and 10 rads at hour 49 (7×7). And being out in the open is definitely bad in the first day.

But shelter is likely to be inadequate and you are stuck once you take shelter. Whereas moving crosswise to the effective wind could take you out of the path of the intense fallout into an area of less intense fallout where low levels of shielding will still be adequate. If you are upwind, moving farther upwind before much of the fallout descends could take you out of the danger zone altogether. Having an emp-protected Geiger counter like the Nukalert would be helpful in warning you if it is time to stop running and find a bolthole.

The article is true that winds at higher altitudes may blow in a different direction than surface winds — but it is unlikely they are blowing in the completely opposite direction — more likely sideways left or right — giving an overall spiral effect. And it takes time for the fallout to descend. However, local rainfall or snow is bad news since it can pull fallout out of the sky and create intense hotspots, especially in drainage channels.

The Army field manual 3-11 , joint with the other services, explains how one evaluates information to determine the danger zones and what course of action to take depending on one’s location.


While we don’t get military messages with effective wind vectors, similar info is available on the internet for pilots. A habit of checking each morning will give a reasonable wind vector for the day.

Plus one can look at the wind rose for a CONUS area for different times of the year, identify local targets and have a pretty good idea of where fallout will go if the area is hit. Although discarding the wind rose and computing actual wind vectors several times a month will give an even better idea. On the east coast, for example, the prevailing winds from the northwest are replaced in the summer by winds from the south and even east as storm fronts pass.

On the east coast, by the strangest coincidence, fallout is most likely to hit low income areas in the southeast zones of our major cities and spare the high income areas in the northwest areas.
In Washington DC, for example, low income Prince Georges county is likely to be screwed whereas high income Fairfax County ( and the CIA’s intel complex/contractors) is likely to receive much less. The even wealthier horse country of Facquier County will get off even more lightly unless the Russians try to dig out the Mount Weather bunker.

Similarly, in Philadelphia , low income Camden NJ is likely to take it in the shorts whereas the wealthy Main Line –and even wealthier horse country in the Newtown Square area — are likely to receive less.

But that general pattern can change on some days when a storm front is passing. So the odds are strongly rigged in favor of the rich but it not an entirely sure thing. To paraphrase Bob Dylan, our enemies’ targeteers don’t need a Weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.

Finally, it should be noted that little to no fallout is generated in air bursts –which the Russians and Chinese are likely to use against some urban areas because the blast radius can be up to twice the distance of a surface burst and the thermal pulse can ignite fires much farther out.

#4 Comment By North Woods On May 27, 2017 @ 1:55 pm

Ignorance and sloth are going to be the biggest problem. A group near our location is defacating in five gal pails and allowing them to collect rather than erecting an outhouse or renting a port-a-potti. No water or sanitation will kill as quick as radiation. This condition is from lazy ness, one of the group members supposedly belongs to Mensa. Topically this group is part of the gimme more crowd and expect the town to accept them.

#5 Comment By Don Williams On May 27, 2017 @ 2:03 pm

HEre is the Winds Aloft info for pilots:

(surface to 39000)

(45000 and 53000 feet)

Note that you choose a major airport from your part of the country to get data for surrounding airports.

Note the Plot button — use that and you can quickly make a round estimate of the overall effective wind vector from the winds at different altitudes. The Army FM 3-11 describes how to sum the vectors to get a more effective vector. Note that high kiloton nukes throw fallout up far higher in the atmosphere than do low kiloton nukes and so a different effective wind vector is calculated for each explosive range of interest –e.g, one for 100 kiloton nudets and another for 1 megaton nudets.

#6 Comment By tz On May 28, 2017 @ 12:15 am

I can’t find if the pee-in-the-pool researchers considered if ACE goes out via sweat (not everyone showers), not just urine. Did they check birth control pill hormones which women emit, and in some places are turning male fish female because sewage treatment doesn’t affect them.

#7 Comment By Anonymous On May 28, 2017 @ 2:22 am

Civil Defense Community Fallout Shelter Supplies

Civil Defense Community Fallout Shelter Water Drums

Civil Defense Fallout Shelter Food Rations

Civil Defense Fallout Shelter Sanitation Kits

Civil Defense Fallout Shelter Medical Kits

Civil Defense Fallout Shelter Radiation Kits and Instruments

Package Ventilation Kits

#8 Comment By Spotlight On May 28, 2017 @ 2:22 am

Don-great info, very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

#9 Comment By Greg On May 28, 2017 @ 1:12 pm

Excellent article. I would like to see some data on the effects of radiation from our nuclear power plants. In a cascading grid down scenario, if we have a melt down. What types of radiation could we expect and what kind of half life for each. Is it reasonable to assume we could not shelter in place for such an occurrence?