How to survive a nuclear bomb

March 23, 2018

There are benefits to preparing for the worst-case scenario, no matter how unlikely that scenario may be.


So while the threat of a nuclear attack in 2018 may or may not be high, depending on whom you ask, there are ways to stay informed and preparations to make.



Find a nearby place to shelter

The last thing you want is to be Googling “nuclear shelters near me” when you’ve got mere minutes to seek out protection. Have a plan ready now.


Choose the most durable shelter possible. One with a thick, dense roof and walls is ideal, as is something underground and surrounded by hard material.


Places you should not seek shelter: A car, a fridge or at the top of a multistory building.

Natacha Pisarenko/AP


Prepare your nuclear attack survival kit

Among the things you’ll need: Water, nonperishable food, battery-powered radio, flashlight, first-aid kit and a cell phone with backup battery.

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

One item that's seen a surge in demand since the threat of nuclear attack is potassium iodide, which helps protect against certain types of radiation poisoning.



Learn the rules for survival

You'll need to protect yourself even after you've survived nuclear attack. Once sheltered, you'll want to close off the space to reduce risk of contamination.

David Silverman/Getty Images

You'll also want to shed the outermost layer of clothing, which can remove up to 90% of radioactive material. Store these clothes in a sealed bag or container.


You'll want to gently wash off with soap and shampoo — but not conditioner, as this can bind radioactive materials to your hair.



Finally, take a deep breath. As frightening as this all is, the best thing you can do is avoid fatalism and focus on your chances of survival.