Could you survive a nuclear strike?

Assume North Korea or some other nation lost touch with reality and initiated a nuclear strike. This isn’t about preppers who insist one is coming and have built and stocked bunkers for such a day. This is to see how many dopers actually understand what a nuclear bomb would do and whether they have the skill-set necessary to survive a strike.

Obviously if you’re in ground zero, you’re history, but those living 20 or so kilometers from the blast, you could survive if you did the right things at the right time. How many have any idea what to do and when to do it?

Nope. I’m pretty useless at survival type stuff. Luckily, I live in a place that wouldn’t likely be hit.

I think it would depend on how many bombs were dropped. If the country is carpet bombed, or even if there are a lot of large cities and military bases attacked, nobody is going to survive. If there are only a few bombs, it would probably be best to just stay in place.

I live about 40 miles from a B-1 base, if it’s attacked, there will probably be fallout, but I’m not really likely to die just from that.

Yep. I’ve lived my entire life next to large targets. If the Russians start tossing around nukes it’s different, but the Norks? Nah. They’d have to park it in my garage for me to worry any about it.

I had NBC training in the Corps so I’m fairly confident that I could survive the aftermath. Unfortunately, living in SoCal, I’m just as confident that a number of warheads have our name on them.

My house has a basement. Seems to me that would shield us from the blast wave and any thermal radiation, as well as a good deal of the initial radiation from the detonation. We have a good bit of food and some fresh water in the basement, too. With a little bit of warning, I have some empty jugs and tupperware bins in the basement that I could probably fill up with tap water just in case the municipal water supply somehow gets compromised.

So I’m confident we could survive the initial blast. Whether we could survive the aftermath depends on whether we still have a working car (and clear roads) in which to flee the area, and/or on how soon organized relief efforts arrive.

As for me…
I looked into this once and found out that it depended on how far away the bomb was, whether it was an air burst or a ground burst, what type of bomb of nuclear weapon it was, and several other things that I’d never correctly identify. i’m basically screwed if they drop one near me.

At t=0, look away from the blast or risk blindness. Within several minutes the shockwave will arrive. Lay down in an open area, hands covering your groin, facing the blast, feet dug into the ground. Especially avoid glass windows. Next you need to survive the fallout, which will arrive within a few hours and dissipate substantially within 36 hours. The ideal place to survive this is the middle of a tall building, but for most of us this will be a basement. Cover all windows and doors with thick, heavy objects like lead or concrete to the extent possible and then wait. Any water poured before the explosion is safe to drink but water poured after is not. Take potassium iodide tablets if you have them.

Name your price and I will buy your timepiece that counts down to an impending nuclear explosion in my area.

I live a few miles away from the Pentagon. There’s no chance I’d survive a nuclear exchange.

In my case, realistically, I’d see a bright flash and think “oh well, it was nice having grocery stores”, and then drink myself to death.

I live near San Francisco City Hall, so I’m toast.

I live in Hawaii, so I’d be fine. Other than Pearl Harbor, Hickam Air Force Base, Kaneohe Marine base, Ft. Shafter, and Schofield Barracks, we’re not that much of a target. Being the closest state to North Korea also makes thing less complicated.

I probably wouldn’t even have time to wonder “What’s that bright-”

Unless the North Koreans have a strategy based on nuking post-industrial brownfields, I have little to worry about WRT direct blast or flash damage. As for the fallout carried by prevailing winds if any strikes were made in the midwest, I can deal with that.

Luckily, I still have my civil defence poster for patrons on premises that gives the following instructions:

  1. stay clear of all windows
  2. keep hands free of all glasses, bottles, cigarettes, and etc.
  3. stand away from bars, tables, orchestra equipment, and furniture
  4. loosen necktie, unbutton coat, and any other restrictive clothing
  5. remove glasses, empty pockets of all sharp objects, such as pens, pencils, etc.
  6. immediately upon seeing the brilliant flash of nuclear explosion, bend over and place your head firmly between your legs.
  7. then kiss your ass goodbye.

So, yeah, I’m as good now as I was in the sixties.

I know what to do, I’m not prepared to do it, and you had better be very well prepared to survive 20 km downwind from ground zero.

Ontario Canada

Would depend on the fireplan, and if anyone else decided that it would be a good time to send multi megaton party favors our way.


Aberdeen’s made of granite. That’s a pretty good shelter in itself. Stone buildings are pretty good at withstanding nukes anyway so a nuclear - but not thermo-nuclear - ground burst near here should be easily survivable for those outside the immediate area. I’m close enough to the harbour that I’d be well fried if that were targeted. And the first good rain (of which there is lots here) should wash away much of the radioactivity.

I suppose Balmoral is the nearest target at about 50 miles away. If Balmoral were to get ground-nuked, I’m not sure we’d even see it. There’s plenty of terrain in the way. It is, however, upriver, so we’d have to be careful with the water for a while.

Other than that, there’s Trump’s golf course. :slight_smile:

As for surviving past the initial effects, yes, I could do that.

If my comic book knowledge doesn’t fail me, not only would I survive, but would also develop superpowers!

But realistically, would you want to survive?

And, to answer the OP, I live in the sticks, so should be far enough away to not have to change my lifestyle that much.

Aberdeen has quite a lot of economic activity and (I think) an oil terminal. Not to mention a large airport and railway hub. Sorry, it’s fucking screwed, unless you can get independence in the interim.

Lets see. Islamabad. My house is near a political target and my office next to a military one.:frowning: