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Nuclear Survival Kit: Top 33 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 to be conscious of this fact and consider what your emergency plan should entail god forbid a nuclear survival scenario becomes reality. 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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33 Listed Items

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 Ready.gov 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 on 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.

Self Defense and Safety 

Hopefully, you live within the type of community that is likely to come together and support each other in the event of a disaster. Unfortunately, the reality of the matter is that in a lot of places if a nuclear threat was to strike, the likelihood of looting and aggression is quite possible.

Folks who are unprepared for a nuclear crisis may resort to taking others' supplies and preparedness tools by force in order to survive, so while this is a dreadful thought to consider, it's better to be prepared than at risk.

Our list of the best non-lethal home defense tools offers some guidance on how to best protect your home from potential intruders, so if you haven't considered the threat of other people while building your survival kit, that's a good place to start. 

A few important aspects to consider within this topic:

Surveillance and alarm systems: It is wise to protect your home with some sort of alarm system to alert you to any potential threats that might approach or try and enter your home. Keep in mind that power outages are quite likely, so your alarm system should not rely on the grid.

Solar-powered motion sensor lights are a good deterrent for intruders, while battery-powered window/door alarms can immediately notify you of an active intruder.

Door Barricades and devices that deter climbing: You can further reinforce your home beyond relying on your standard gate and door locks by owning some easy-to-use, deployable barricade devices. 

A few top rated options for halting or slowing unwanted entry include:

Innovative tools such as the KIMANN Critter Deterrent and Anti-Climbing Defender Repellent Spiral Spikes are an effective approach to preventing intruders from climbing over fences onto your property, or alternatively, onto your roof.

Devices for engaging an active threat: In the event you encounter an assailant on your home while waiting for radiation levels to dissipate, or are threatened while fleeing to safety, you'll want to be able to defend yourself.

If you own a firearm for home defense and emergency situations, be sure you have it safely secured within a safe, own an extensive gun cleaning kit in order to safely and properly maintain your weapon, and consider utilizing a reliable holster system for keeping it at the ready and on your person while on the move.

Some effective (and more easily available) non-lethal tools for defending yourself at home or on the move include tasers, paintball guns, and pepper spray devices. Consider owning some kind of deterrent god forbid you need to protect yourself of your family - and know how to use it.