The Top 5 – And Staying Alive


It is believed that a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear or Explosive will be a factor in the end of humanity as we know it.  How do we survive that? Read on, fellow survivor, read on…


With the CBRNE(s) possibility I feel we should address the elephant in the room.

(N) The Basics on Surviving a Nuclear Blast

  1. Go In

  2. Go Under Ground

  3. Go Under Cover

  4. Stay!

Immediately!  And stay there for at least 24 hours.  They say that if everyone does this then large spread death and illness can be avoided.

While little can be done for the immediate blast victims, response is key.  Get in anything, a car is better than the open air, houses are better than a car, and if you can’t get underground then go to the middle of any building, essentially you want to put as much material between you and the fallout.

In 2010 the Los Angeles area conducted a now famous nuclear-threat exercise called Operation Golden Phoenix.  Not surprisingly with that name, this took place near Universal Studios Hollywood. The findings, by health physicist Buddemeier, showed that 285,000 could die or get radiation sickness.  But the vast majority of those, about 240,000 could be spared if they found their way to a basement or other substantial shelter and remained there for at least 24 hours.

The catch is that you’re meant to leave loved ones to do the same wherever they are.  That means leaving your significant other or your kids.  Yikes!  I don’t know that I trust the dedication of their teacher to do the same.  We are talking SHTF here.  But the fact is that if there isn’t a plan in place to act in this way then I will definitely not feel secure leaving my little one at daycare.  Planning is prudent, people.

According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the largest nuclear blasts would create a fireball a mile in diameter and temperatures as hot as the surface of the sun, followed quickly by winds greater than the force of a hurricane.  Radioactive fallout would be carried for miles by jet stream and surface winds.  Awesome.

 (B& C) Biological & Chemical Attack

  1. Go Upwind

  2. Go High

Protection of breathing airways is the number one goal here.

Many toxic agents are heavier than air and therefore tend to stay close to the ground so an “upward safehaven strategy” should be used.  Also, always move upwind from any source of contamination, it probably seems obvious now that you’ve read it, but sometimes it’s just nice to know which way to run.

Decontamination is roughly the same should you come into contact with any toxins.  Scrub with warm soapy water or 10:1 water to bleach to help prevent absorption of the agent through your skin.  If you have no water, baby powder or flour are your go tos.  Sprinkle liberally, wait 30 seconds, and then brush off thoroughly, preferably using gloves into something that can be contained for disposal.

Life Post attack:

  • Wash your freaking hands. Then purell like mad.  Better yet just wear gloves.
  • Avoid birds and don’t eat poultry.
  • Don’t spread it – yes you should stay at home if you are sick
  • Wear a mask– Surgical masks really only assist the wearer from spreading the disease, while a Respirator prevents you from inhaling toxins. Only buy one with “NIOSH certified,” “N95,” “N99,” or “N100,” as these help protect against inhalation of very small particles.
  • Wear Goggles.

In the meantime:

  • Get Vaxed – vaccinations are the best way to stay protected in the event of a B or C attack. Specifically the pneumonia shot as many victims succumb to secondary pneumonia infection.  The last thing you want is to survive the hardest parts only to die from pneumonia.  I always hate reading stories where any character dies of the flu, or any kind of wound infection, it feels like a such a bs way to go.
  • Exercise Social Distancing – verbatim advice and kind of depressing.  At least you’ll have time to work on your noose knot while you are at it.


 (E) Explosions 

  1. Distance

  2. Take Cover

  3. Lie Low

What to do if you become aware of an impending explosion:

Run as far away as possible.  Lie down with your head as far from the site as possible, curled up and your arms tucked by your sides to protect your organs.  After the actual explosion and burn damage, shrapnel will be your next worst enemy, so you’ll want to take cover behind something solid that will ideally block debris (concrete is best).

First Aid after an explosion (from WEBMD):

  1. Stop Burning Immediately
  • Put out fire or stop the person’s contact with hot liquid, steam, or other material.
  • Help the person “stop, drop, and roll” to smother flames.
  • Remove smoldering material from the person.
  • Remove hot or burned clothing. If clothing sticks to skin, cut or tear around it.
  • Remove Constrictive Clothing Immediately
  • Take off jewelry, belts, and tight clothing. Burns can swell quickly.

Then take the following steps:

  1. Cool Burn
  • Hold burned skin under cool (not cold) running water or immerse in cool water until pain subsides.
  • Use compresses if running water isn’t available.
  1. Protect Burn
  • After cooling the injured area for up to 20 minutes, apply a sterile dressing. 
  • Use a non-adherent dressing or a piece of clean plastic kitchen wrap.
  • Do not apply butter or ointments, which can cause infection
  1. Treat Pain

(R) Radiological

  1. Shielding

  2. Distance

  3. Time

A lead coverall would be nice to have, but shielding yourself anyway you can is paramount and getting as far away as possible from the source is therefore lessening the length of your exposure.  Also, use a Respirator or Face Mask if You are exposed to airborne sources.

This one isn’t much fun.  Remediation is both costly and takes a LOOOOOOOONG freaking time.  The good thing is that Radioactive materials are heavily monitored under a regulatory body called the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  Most incidents to date have been due to human error, but there are some cases called Orphaned Source, where a radioactive agent is accidentally or intentionally removed and handled by parties unknown or more disturbingly known to not have a viable disposal plan.


International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) was introduced in 1990.






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