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NWSS Contents
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Edition Notes
Table of Contents
About the Author
NWSS Chapters
Ch. 1: The Dangers from Nuclear Weapons: Myths and Facts
Ch. 2: Warnings and Communications
Ch. 3: Psychological Preparations
Ch. 4: Evacuation
Ch. 5: Shelter, the Greatest Need
Ch. 6: Ventilation and Cooling of Shelters
Ch. 7: Protection Against Fires and Carbon Monoxide
Ch. 8: Water
Ch. 9: Food
Ch. 10: Fallout Radiation Meters
Ch. 11: Light
Ch. 12: Shelter Sanitation and Preventive Medicine
Ch. 13: Surviving Without Doctors
Ch. 14: Expedient Shelter Furnishings
Ch. 15: Improvised Clothing and Protective Items
Ch. 16: Minimum Pre-Crisis Preparations 
Ch. 17: Permanent Family Fallout Shelters for Dual Use
Ch. 18: Trans-Pacific Fallout
NWSS Appendices
App. A: Instructions for Six Expedient Fallout Shelters
App. A.1: Door-Covered Trench Shelter
App. A.2: Pole-Covered Trench Shelter
App. A.3: Small-Pole Shelter
App. A.4: Aboveground, Door-Covered Shelter
App. A.5: Aboveground, Ridgepole Shelter
App. A.6: Aboveground, Crib-Walled Shelter
App. B: How to Make and Use a Homemade Shelter-Ventilating Pump
App. C: A Homemade Fallout Meter, the KFM
App. D: Expedient Blast Shelters
App. E: How to Make a Homemade Piston Pump
App. F: Providing Improved Ventalation and Light
Selected References
Selected Index
Related CD Sites
Nuclear War Survival Skills
Homeland Civil Defense
Civil Defense Perspectives
Doctors for Disaster Preparedness
Fighting Chance Archive
Civil Defense DVD Set

Nuclear War Survival Skills
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Ch. 16: Minimum Pre-Crisis Preparations

Your chances of surviving a nuclear attack will be improved if you make the following low-cost preparations before a serious crisis arises. Once many Americans become convinced that a nuclear attack is a near certainty, they will rush to stores and buy all available survival supplies. If you wait to prepare until a crisis does arise, you are likely to be among the majority who will have to make-do with inadequate supplies of water containers, food, and materials. Furthermore, even if you have the necessary materials and instructions to make the most needed survival items, you and your family are not likely to have time to make all of them during a few days of tense crisis.

The following recommendations are intended primarily for the majority who live in areas likely to be subjected to blast, fire, or extremely heavy fallout. These people should plan to evacuate to a safer area. (Many citizens living outside high-risk areas, especially homeowners with yards, can and should make better pre-crisis preparations. These would include building high-protection-factor permanent shelters covered with earth.)


Keep on hand the tools and materials your family or group will need to build or improve a high- protection-factor expedient shelter: One or more shovels, a pick (if in a hard-soil area), a bow-saw with an extra blade, a hammer, and 4-mil polyethylene film for rainproofing your planned shelter. Also store the necessary nails, wire, etc. needed for the kind of shelter you plan to build.

Keep instructions for shelter-building and other survival essentials in a safe and convenient place.


Make a homemade shelter-ventilating pump, a KAP, of the size required for the shelter you plan to build or use.


Keep on hand water containers (including at least four 30-gallon untreated polyethylene trash bags and two sacks or pillowcases for each person), a pliable garden hose or other tube for siphoning, and a plastic bottle of sodium hypochlorite bleach (such as Clorox) for disinfecting water and utensils.


Make one or two KFMs and learn how to use this simple instrument.


Store at least a 2-week supply of compact, nonperishable food. The balanced ration of basic dry foods described in Chapter 9, Food, satisfies requirements for adults and larger children at minimum cost. If your family includes babies or small children, be sure to store more milk powder, vegetable oil, and sugar.

Continuing to breast-feed babies born during an impending crisis would greatly simplify their care should the crisis develop and worsen

For preparing and cooking basic foods:

° Make a 3-Pipe Grain Mill like the one described in Chapter 9, Food, or buy a small hand-cranked grain mill, which grinds more efficiently than other expedient devices.

Book Page: 133

° Make a Bucket-Stove as described in Chapter 9. During evacuation, the stove can be used as a container. Store some kitchen-type wooden matches in a waterproof container.

° Keep essential containers and utensils on hand for storing and transporting food and for cooking and serving in a shelter.


A hose-vented 5-gallon can, with heavy plastic bags for liners, for use as a toilet. Includesome smaller plastic bags and toilet paper with these supplies. Tampons.

Insect screen or mosquito netting, and fly bait. See Chapter 12.


° Any special medications needed by family members.

° Potassium iodide, a 2-oz bottle, and a medicine- dropper, for prophylactic protection of the thyroid gland against radioactive iodines. (Described in the last section of Chapter 13, Survival Without Doctors.)

° A first-aid kit and a tube of antibiotic ointment.


° Long-burning candles (with small wicks) sufficient for at least 14 nights.


° An expedient lamp, with extra cotton-string, wicks, and cooking oil as described in Chapter 11.

° A flashlight and extra batteries.


A transistor radio with extra batteries and a metal box in which to protect it.


Review the EVACUATION CHECKLIST (developed primarily for persons who make no preparations before a crisis) and add items that are special requirements of your family.

Book Page: 134

Copyright 2004 Nuclear War Survival Skills - Authorized by Cresson Kearny - Digitized by Arnold Jagt