Nuclear Survival Kit: Top 15 Essential Items You Need

As grim as a topic as it is, the threat of a nuclear blast occurring in this day and age is a real thing. It’s wise not to be ignorant to this fact and consider what your emergency plan should entail god forbid a nuclear survival scenario arises. Surviving a nuclear blast and the nuclear fallout that immediately follows is no easy task, but with the right preparation and know-how, you and your family can stay both safe and healthy.

Think about things like your immediate surroundings, community, local climate, and potential evacuation routes when reading through this list. Really consider what you will need in order to endure a few weeks of fallout and the potential evacuation following – preparation is hands down the best way to increase your safety.

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Nuclear Fallout

Whether you are in a major city or somewhere more rural, the after-effects of a nuclear weapon detonation can be far-ranging and not always predictable.

Nuclear "fallout" is a term used for the mixture of radioisotopes that result from splitting atoms when a nuke is detonated. Radioisotopes get mixed in with debris that is blown into the atmosphere from the initial explosion. Heavier particles will rain down close to the blast, but lighter debris can linger in the atmosphere and be carried far from the blast zone by winds.

Without getting too complicated, the radioisotopes "decay" very rapidly and in doing so emit gamma radiation. Gamma radiation is a form of light that is invisible to us, and also highly deadly to our biology. Being exposed to this sort of radiation can do serious damage to your body's cells and also hinder your body's capacity to heal itself -- otherwise known as acute radiation sickness.

Shielding yourself from the initial assault of radiation is absolutely key to remaining healthy in the short and long term.

Nuclear Disaster Preparation

Shelter is the single most important thing following a nuclear blast. Materials with high density like lead are the best for blocking radiation. Having a shelter surrounded with lots of soil is also a good option for staying as radiation-free as possible.

If you don't have a legitimate nuclear fallout shelter or know of one close by, holding up in a basement is probably your next best option because of the dirt and sand between you and the radiated surface.

For more information on what to do in the event of a nuclear blast and the fallout that follows, here's a link to the page highlighting the important factors on how to be informed and prepared for a nuclear strike.

There are two phases of a nuclear survival scenario to consider: The immediate aftermath of the blast in which nuclear fallout is at its most deadly, and the following period of disarray and widespread crisis that is bound to ensue.

If you and your family want to be truly prepared for the worst, then you'll have to think big picture about what survival items you will need. Of course items like radiation pills and food rations are a must-have - but what about staying healthy and safe weeks or months after a nuclear fallout scenario with no aid?

Maintaining good health, securing reliable communication to the outside world and being prepared to venture out into the nuclear wasteland when the worst of the fallout has passed are all crucial for persisting through a nuclear disaster.

Emergency Food & Water Supplies

Food and water are of course essential for survival, so remember no matter how many fancy survival gadgets and tools you might be prepared with - you gotta eat and drink!

Be sure to check out our list of the Best Emergency Food Supplies for Emergency Prep, as well as our list of the Best Emergency Food Storage Containers for some assistance putting together an effective survival pantry.

Our list of the Best Portable Water Filters will furthermore aid you in ensuring you have longer-term, safe access to clean water.

Emergency Radios & Communication Devices

Communication is a key factor while persisting through any widespread emergency scenario. Maintaining a line of contact to your trusted friends and family, and even more importantly, to search and rescue operating in the area could be the difference between life and death.

There are two types of valuable communication devices to consider, 2-way radios, or walkie talkies, and standard emergency radios.

Some of the best devices for long-range, two-way communication include:

Some trusted, top-rated emergency radios for tuning into crisis-updates, weather reports and alerts include:

Don't forget to check out our top list of solar-powered and hand-crank radios, there are some versatile and well-thought-out models there worth checking out!

Survival Tools & Gadgets

Definitely do not overlook the value and relevance of owning some survival tools and gadgets for making your life easier both in your shelter, and while on the move.

Multitools are typically a great choice when it comes to survival gear due to the fact that you get an array of functions/applications in one, typically compact tool. A few of our favorites include:

Other tools and survival gadgets worth owning might include a fire starting kit, compass or navigation device, signal flares, or high-powered flashlight, to name just a few. 

Survival Backpacks

Moving from A to B in the aftermath of a nuclear event or disaster scenario in general calls for a particularly capable, high-capacity backpack that's rock solid and equipped with long treks and awkward gear loads in mind.

Some of our top picks for survival backpacks include:

Our list of the best hunting backpacks also has some stellar options for moving fast with lots of gear, so make sure to check it out if your survival gear locker is lacking a reliable backpack.

Bivvy Bags & Emergency Sleeping Bags

A reliable sleep system for staying effectively insulated in the event of power outages or widespread grid-failure is pivotal in colder climates.

Bivvy bags offer unparalleled portability and warmth for on-the-go survival situations, and of course, can be used in the home as well. Here are a few top reliable picks:

Those seeking a more comfortable sleep system for use within their shelter as well as in the field should check out our post of the best sleeping bags for backpacking.

Survival Clothing

Performance apparel is wildly underrated amongst prepper forums and circles.

In a disaster scenario, you'll only have the clothes on your back, and those in your wardrobe, so make sure you've got some suitable apparel (including footwear) for cold temps, foul weather, and rough, unpleasant conditions in general. 

We've highlighted some awesome apparel practical for survival scenarios within our lists of the best down jackets, down pants, most packable rain jackets, and waterproof hunting pants, so start there!

Emergency Medical Supplies

Perhaps most important of all in a disaster scenario is your assortment of medical supplies. While Iodide Tablets are the single most important tool in the aftermath of a nuclear event, don't overlook other essential supplies like trauma kits and respirator masks.

You can't count on anyone to treat you but yourself in the event of an emergency medical situation - so have some tools, books, and medications on hand to ensure you're at least somewhat prepared to tend to yourself and others in the event of illness or injury.

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