Homestead Preparations in a Nuclear Emergency

“And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.” -Revelation 8:10-11 (NIV)

So what does Revelation 8:10-11 have to do with preparing for a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) emergency? Good question! Apart from prophetic implications for Christian believers, many people find little or no meaning. However, let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet. We do know several ancient cultures from the time period the Book of Revelation was written possessed knowledge of biological and chemical warfare. Necessity is the mother of invention and when you are conducting siege warfare on a fortified enemy, the imagination sparks. From simple poisoning techniques against an adversary’s water and food supplies to use of poison gas against enemy troops, there was plenty of inspiration out there. We can glean plenty of information from ancient texts in terms of understanding the factors that drive an event that poisons the water, land, air, and food supply we rely on.

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Like we mentioned in our previous article on cyber and nuclear warfare, the risk of miscalculation is the primary driver of the evolving threats laid out here – it is a reality we must face. The capacity of both human achievement and stupidity bleed off the pages of history. We don’t have to look too hard to tease out the subtle drivers leading to hapless human-sponsored disasters showing up in places like the Bible. A case in point is the recent news where researchers programmed Artificial Intelligence to generate over 40,000 new and potentially devastating chemical weapons -bad actors around the world now have a new tool to exploit. In other examples, humans trained artificial intelligence systems on data from the Internet with all of its most vile content that we humans generate! Combine that with actions like training artificial intelligence on datasets to more effectively kill humans with chemical weapons and we have a ticking time bomb. We aren’t saying that “judgment day is inevitable’ as the Terminator coldly states but when we factor in the human capacity for stupidity and violence, it is difficult not entertain the thought.

Why prepare? Just read the news. As we predicted in our previous article, Russia is threatening to park nuclear weapons in the Baltics in response to Finland and Sweden planning to join NATO. We see that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is increasing the nuclear warfare threat between nations while serious questions remain regarding current deterrence measures. We see Russian forces haphazardly disregarding several nuclear reactor sites in Ukraine to include the infamous 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear disaster site. In case you weren’t tracking, the Chernobyl site is still very much a threat to Europe and the world. Did you know large amounts of radioactive material went missing in Ukraine? More than enough to manufacture radioactive dirty bombs.

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The fear and concern are justified. We are seeing increased demand for bomb shelters around the world. If you have serious cash flow and capital to spare, you can ride out any long duration emergency in style with one of these aristocratic bomb shelters! Yes, while the bombs fall overhead, you can work on your backstroke in your very own underground swimming pool for a cool $10 million. Don’t forget to invite family, friends, and us if you decide to drop several million bucks on these insane bomb shelters like these by Atlas.

Basic Steps to Prepare:

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  1. Understand the threat to your locale – educate yourself and ask questions
    • This resource gives a visualization of a nuclear blast for your locale.
    • This resource can help you understand the nuclear fallout potential at your location. Take for example Dallas, Texas. The prevailing winds are from the south and the calculation assumes a ground detonation of a 100-kiloton nuclear warhead on a population center (Dallas). I recommend using a planning factor of 20-100 kiloton yield based on this FEMA resource. Note that the radioactive fallout from a ground detonation is significant and follows the prevailing winds well into Oklahoma. Another point of significance is that Russian strategy prefers ground detonations in the target country’s breadbasket regions to make the soil unusable for crop production through substantial radioactive fallout.
    • Read this FEMA resource for better understanding of the planning factors in response to a nuclear detonation. Many apply to your homestead especially if the threat is radioactive contamination from a dirty bomb detonation.
    • Basic rule of thumb from the FEMA resource:
      • If possible, move perpendicular to the fallout zone – based on the prevailing winds for your locale – within 10-20 minutes after initial detonation. If movement is not possible, then shelter in place.
  2. Shelter in place considerations. (Depending upon the duration of nuclear attack and other factors, you could be sheltering in place for 9 days or more until the radiation falls to safe levels.)
    • Have a primary, secondary, and tertiary method for power generation in your homestead. (Battery generators from Goal Zero are highly recommended.)
    • Have potassium iodide tablets readily available (carefully read instructions from the CDC before consuming). If you already have a stock of these, check expiration dates periodically and resupply when needed.
    • Immediately begin filling bathtubs with water.
    • If you find yourself in a fallout zone, then you must get as much material as possible between you and the outside wall of your home for radiation shielding. Deep basements or interior rooms are best.
    • Turn off air conditioning units and close windows.
    • Have an emergency radio on hand for further instructions from local, state, and federal authorities. (Check out this one for another option.)
    • Buy and store at least one month of food for your family (take into consideration calorie needs per person). We recommend My Patriot Supply for freeze-dried food that lasts up to 25 years! Until April 30th, 2022 they are offering $50 off a 4-week emergency food supply. You can also stockpile canned and bulk dry foods. Or have both, like we do on our homestead!
    • Purchase a water purification device to filter water in your water heater. (Plan on city water being unavailable or contaminated.) Berkey is our day-to-day water purifier of choice – it sits on our counter and requires no electricity. We also recommend keeping a portable water purifier in each person’s emergency bag. These are very affordable.
    • Stockpile respirators, protective clothing, tarps, essential medication, medical supplies, and duct tape. (These will be needed to create a “clean room” for decontamination.) My Patriot Supply carries survival gear in addition to emergency food. Lehman’s is also another good resource for emergency supplies (and other wonderful homestead products!).
    • Anyone or anything that you bring inside your homestead during the fallout period will probably have radioactive contaminates on the body, hair and clothing. Thorough washing is required with regular soap and water. Remove and discard clothing. Pro-tip: Do NOT wear hairspray or hair gel in order to avoid radioactive particles from sticking to your scalp and making you ill.
    • Purchase a Geiger counter and monitor levels. Also consider having a dosimeter that can be carried in your purse or wallet.
    • Have a trash removal plan that accounts for you not leaving the interior of your home.
    • Have a plan for chemical toilet (e.g., kitty litter, plastic bags, and a couple buckets).
  3. EMP considerations (see here)
    • Rule of thumb: EMP damage to electrical equipment will extend several miles from the blast center and is dependent on several factors.
    • I recommend keeping your back up radios, and other important electrical devices in this faraday bag or something similar.
  4. Communication and aftermath
    • Understand the signs and symptoms of acute radiation sickness. (Many of your neighbors will not be so fortunate and may not fully appreciate the threat – fallout may only appear as fine dust and fool many into going outside too soon.)
    • If able, maintain a neighborhood communication network using HAM radio, satellite phones, or cell phones (if still working) to share news and information. Like a well-functioning neighborhood watch, it is smart to meet with your neighbors before an emergency like this to go over details and PRACTICE.

It is good to hope for the best, but the smart homesteader prepares for the worst. Like when we see an approaching storm with the potential for damage (tornadoes, high winds, etc.) we make preparations as best we can in the moment. For more serious scenarios like nuclear war, we can and should start now with our preparations because we see warning signs on the horizon.

If you are still reading, I’ll leave you with this eerie tidbit of information that ties back to the Bible discussion at the beginning of the article: Chernobyl means wormwood in the Ukrainian tongue. Pleasant dreams.

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