Planning and Preparing for the Worst
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As you can see, coming
through a nuclear emergency unscathed is unlikely to be accomplished by
simple chance. You stand a much better chance of protecting yourself and
your family if you are prepared and have a plan before hand. One thing
you should plan for is shortages. You can avoid problems with shortages
by preparing ahead of time and keeping some basics on hand.
Stock up on
Food. If panic breaks out, you can expect shortages similar to
those before a blizzard strikes an area or during a hurricane warning.
That means many staple items Ė such as milk, bread, bottled water,
flashlights, batteries, gasoline and ammunition -- will be purchased
by people who are concerned that there may be shortages in a few days.
Their panicked buying will, of course, cause prices to rise and create
the very shortages they fear.
We suggest having plenty of these items stored at home prior to
the emergency, as well as foods that can be safely stored without
refrigeration for some time such as rice, dried beans, pasta, breakfast
cereals, oatmeal, peanut butter, crackers, canned goods, powdered
milk, pancake mix, flour, sugar, dried soups, powdered milk, powdered
drink mixes, hard candy, etc. In addition to store bought foods, MREs
are good to have on hand, as are special foods designed to store 10,
12 or even 15 years, such as the Ready
Reserve Foods we sell. These items are available in special units
designed to feed a person, a couple or a family of four for three
months, six months, a year, or longer.
Worse than the immediate panic are possible long-term effects
of radiation on crop and even animal proteins. Will you still want
to eat vegetables grown in the San Fernando Valley if a nuclear weapon
went off in Asia? What about corn that was exposed to fallout when
it was in the field. Is it safe to eat bread made from flour that
came from wheat that was planted on ground that had fallout on it?
Can you eat a steak from a cow that ate cantaminated corn or grass?
What about eggs from a chicken fed corn or other grain that was exposed?
And if the government tells you that it is safe, what happens if 10
or 20 years down the road, they decide they made a mistake?
These are difficult questions to answer. But having a large supply
of food that you know is radiation-free can make you feel better and
may well protect you and your family in the long term.
The ultimate survival food is grain, which you can buy and store
yourself, or buy pre-packed for long term storage. Rice is a staple
in the diets of billions of people and a 5-gallon plastic pail can
hold close to 50 pounds. The plastic pail will keep fallout out of
your food, an protect it from rodents. Wheat is one of the best food
storage products. It can be ground for flour, sprouted for greens,
cracked or broken to make wheat pilaf, or boiled and eaten as porridge.
A 50-pound bag of rice at the warehouse club or a bushel of grain
can feed your family for weeks. Wheat is not as easily available as
rice, but you can buy it from feed stores and farmers. Just make sure
your wheat is dry and is not treated with pesticides or other chemicals.
Stock up on
Essentials. If you or your family rely on medications, try to
have at least a monthís supply on hand. To be safe, get your key prescription(s)
filled as soon as things calm down or in the lull between the news
of an attack and the arrival of the fallout. If you have young children,
stock diapers and formula. If you have pets, make sure you have ample
What you consider essential may be different than what I consider
essential. People with addictions, for example, should have coffee,
cigarettes or whatever they are addicted to available so they can
weather tough times more easily.
Stock up on
Items from the Far East and South Asia. What if our government
bans imports from the Far East for six months or a year after bombs
explode there? Not only will imports have to be screened to prevent
radiation from entering the country, but also sanctions against any
country that uses nuclear weapons will immediately go into effect.
So anything from India or Korea or wherever will suddenly be in short
supply. There could be massive disruption of commerce. So while these
are not critical items, you might be well served to buy videotapes,
computer memory, spices and consumer electronics before such shortages
Stock up on
Cash and Pay down Debt. Nuclear war will play havoc with not only
our economy, but with the global economy. Expect the stock market
to crash, imports and exports to be disrupted and to experience unpredictable
swings in currency values. Consumer confidence will probably plunge
and we could be sent into a recession or depression. Will your job
survive? Will you be able to pay your rent or mortgage? The best way
to survive financially is to avoid debt and stash some extra cash
for a rainy day. Outside of long-term storage food, we believe gold,
silver and real estate are the best investments in such a scenario.
believe the world as we know will come to an end stock up on everything
from beans and bullion to Bibles and bullets. They store extra laundry
detergent, nails, chains for the chainsaw, automotive fluids and spare
parts, extra boots and just about anything else they can think of. In
the event of a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan or Iraq and
Israel, you probably wonít need all that because while our world will
be changed, no one expects the electrical power grid to be disrupted
in the U.S. (although the flow of oil to our tanks could be disrupted.)
But there will be changes, and anything you can do to prepare for the
change is worth while. So stock up on anything you think you might need.
What you decide
to store should work hand in hand with your plan, so letís take a look
to Go Under What Circumstances and How to Get There. You should
make a plan with your immediate family members on where to go in the
event of a nuclear war, and it should include alternate locations
and transportation modes.
So if you decide you will meet at home (a logical choice unless you
have reason to believe you could be at ground zero) then you should
have several plans on how everyone will get there. And if you cannot
meet at home for some unknown reason, then there should be alternate
Resources You Have on Hand and Identify What You Need. Inventory
what survival needs are already filled. For example, you might have
camping gear that includes a water filter. Or perhaps your larder
is well stocked because you grow and can your own vegetables. Maybe
you always buy on sale and have 20 rolls of toilet paper in the linen
closet. All of these items should go on your list.
You should also look at what you have and do not have under these
Food: Enough to
feed your family for a minimum of three weeks and preferably three
months or, ideally, a year.
Water: A way to
store it and filter or purify it, plus a list of local natural water
Potassium Iodate or Iodide, gas masks and a basement in which to shelter.
Make a list of ways you could improve your basement's ability to block
Traditionally firearms, but could include keeping a low profile and
gear: cell phones, portable AM/FM and short wave radios to monitor
world news, spare batteries, lists of people to call.
such as toiletries and cleaning supplies.
Again, perhaps you can use items you already own to fill in some blanks
on your list. For example, maybe your hunting rifle or target pistol
will be sufficient for self defense, but you should add some extra ammo,
just to be safe, because it will be difficult to find afterwards. (When
9/11 hit, stores like K-Mart stopped selling guns and ammo. Of course,
K-Mart later went bankrupt Ė Hmm, I wonder if there is a connection?
In any case, flags and ammunition were two of the biggest sellers.)
Preparing for the
unknown of a nuclear exchange isnít an easy topic that can quickly be
covered. Entire books
have been written on it. Many of the general topics on this
site can help, and we also encourage you to read Nuclear
War Survival Skills.
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