- How To
- Bug Out Bag
Your gas mask and protective fallout gear is something you need now and for good reason, you might need to use it quite soon in the event of a nuclear attack, chemical, or biological attack.
We are closer than ever to a nuclear strike with tensions growing in the world between countries capable of nuclear or chemical attacks, this is not to mention the rest of the struggles in the world with both urban and overseas-inspired terrorism. And if you’re one of the lucky ones who has snapped up a commercial bunker or has set up a home fallout shelter, well done. If not, you need to prepare yourself and your family.
Spending tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars on a bunker for something that might not happen seems a bit of a risk right? Perhaps you still want to prepare yourself for a nuclear attack but you’re not willing to fork out thousands for yourself and your family just to be sure. No problem, you can still easily survive.
In the case of a nuclear attack, your ideal safest place is somewhere that is not contaminated and is underground. It is no surprise that the best place to hide after a nuclear fallout is in the basement of a building that is constructed of thick brick or concrete. But what if you don’t have that? If your shelter is poor and you have nearby shelter, you can make your way there but only if it is under 10 minutes away. But before you start moving, and as soon as that bomb hits, you are going to need some protective gear against the radiation, chemical or biological hazard the weapon has caused.
This is where preparedness comes into play. For many emergency services, authorities, and people living in ‘likely attack’ areas, nuclear preparedness is a very important strategical issue. It does not only affect local governments and emergency agencies, but also in the family home where there should be an understanding of both the knowledge of what to do in the event of a nuclear attack and having the right equipment to survive a nuclear attack. Although this post is aimed at the preparedness around a nuclear attack, it is also important to note that much of this is also in relation to chemical and biological attacks, as all methods of safety are to ensure you have a safe air supply, protective gear, and can get to a decontaminated area.
Once a nuclear bomb has hit, a nuclear reactor has failed, there’s going to be widespread radiation, or in the chance of a chemical or biological attack, something else. According to the US Govt, a nuclear attack “would have devastating results” and there would be limited time to take critical protection steps. For a lot of people that limited time is spent in chaos and havoc, as we saw in Hawaii recently when an alert was sent that there was an incoming nuclear attack.
So how do you prepare for a nuclear attack or another NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) event? And what are you going to need, should something like that actually happen? A basic level of readiness is a good idea for anyone, whether you live in the country on your own farm, or in the middle of New York as areas surrounding strike zones can be affected by a weapon’s characteristics and various other factors. The strength of an attack will be determined by how close you are to the blast, weather factors such as wind and precipitation, the size of a bomb and height at which it was detonated. To deal with the fallout, here is what you would need in a basic decontamination kit to wear to either reach an area that is safe and decontaminated, or until authorities provide further advice.
There are three important types of equipment you need after a nuclear attack, chemical attack, or any other event where you might experience an environment contaminated with dangerous particulates. They are body protection, which consists of a protective suit, boots, gloves and a way to seal them together, medical protection, and a way to detect radiation. I have not included things such as an emergency supply you might need in a disaster as these three items directly deal with how to survive a nuclear attack.
As radiation can be soaked into the skin, a gas mask should be worn with an NBC protection suit to keep your skin protected and to avoid contamination with your clothing so that you don’t contaminate your shelter or bunker. Contrary to what some may think, a gas mask alone will not keep you safe, instead, you would need to create a space of decontamination between your skin, and the outside. A specialized chemical suit does just this (and they’re cheap too). Any suit that is made of tyvek or a heavy PVC and is completely sealed is what you need. This will give the body a lot less exposure to radiation or anything else from a chemically-designed weapon.
If you are making a nuclear attack kit I cannot recommend more that you add a roll of duct tape to it. Duct (gaffer) tape has a lot of uses such as sealing up windows with plastic and covering door gaps to create a sealed, decontaminated space. Primarily, in this case, it is a band-aid for your radiation suit. You want to be avoiding any leaks or cuts in your suit at all cost.
Ideally, in those situations where you are concerned about radiation, or biological or chemical particles in the air, full-body protection can be achieved when in contaminated areas by using:
You should be stocking up on iOSAT tablets as they are an FDA approved treatment to prevent absorption of radioactive material. The active chemical in iOSAT pills is potassium iodide (KI). It is is used by health officials worldwide to prevent thyroid cancer in people who are exposed to radioactive iodides. Those radioactive iodides are caused by nuclear reactor accidents and nuclear bombs.
Potassium iodide pills are not a treatment, they are a preventative and provide protection against radioactive iodine by preventing its absorption by the thyroid gland. The pills have been used in all cases where radiation poisoning has been an issue for areas surrounding an event. For instance, these were administered to nearby residents of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster in 1986, Fukushima nuclear plant leak in 2011, Germany in 2017 and more recently in 2018 to residents in Belgium over nuclear power plant failure concerns.
There are also radiation towelettes that you can use to wipe away any contaminated areas after a chemical attack, radiation leak or nuclear attack, however, a thorough cleansing shower would suffice in that manner. Remember when having a shower to wash and scrub thoroughly, but do not use conditioner as it will bond particles to your hair.
The thing about radiation that scares a lot of first responders and emergency professionals is that radiation cannot be seen, smelt or felt. For all you know you could be walking through a highly contaminated area and will only feel the effects once it is too late. A radiation detector is the only way to detect radiation in an environment.
One of the most affordable options for radiation detection is the RADTriage FIT and is a device that has been used by the US Military. It is a device that fits into your wallet and can detect low levels of radiation. While this is an effective option on a budget, it does have a one time use and is not capable of giving detailed radiation readings, therefore its reliability is limited. A permanent and more viable option is the RADEX RD1503 radiation detector (pictured right) which gives highly accurate readings and was provided by governments to civilians in areas nearby high radiation exposures such as Fukushima and Chernobyl. This specific device is widely used and provides an easy-to-use interface detecting radiation counts as a consistent meter.
Now let’s move on the best gas mask for a nuclear fallout, chemical bomb, or biological event.
When I first started looking at gas masks, I thought they were all the same, just a method to filter air that comes into the lungs. That is not the case at all as there are a lot of different gas masks and respirators out there that all provide filtration for different circumstances. The gas mask you need for nuclear fallout, radiation, chemical or biological hazards is what is referred to as a CBRN gas mask (formerly known as NBC).
There are some important points to know when buying a gas mask, such as:
To tell if your gas mask is for a nuclear fallout and not for spray painting, you need to make sure it has an NBC or CBRN rating. The ideal gas mask for an event that involves radiation, chemical or biological hazards is a CBRN gas mask. CBRN provides that the gas mask is able to provide safe, clean, decontaminated air in the event of a nuclear bomb, a dirty bomb (radioactive material dispersed with explosives), or a chemical or biological weapon. It stands for:
CBRN gas masks have the highest protection in the case of a nuclear fallout and are tested by regulatory bodies to ensure that they are able to meet those criteria.
In a nuclear attack, there is a lot of panic, and rightly so as it is a chaotic, destructive, unimaginable event. However, if you are preparing for the worst, and there is an attack, you are going to be doing a lot of moving around and need something that is functional for that purpose. For gas masks, historically, a military-grade gas mask was something that could barely be seen out of and was so thick that it would cause the wearer to start sweating within minutes of putting it on. Thankfully masks have come a long way since then.
We should be looking for something that has a good visibility, a comfortable fit and that has widely available filters. For the filter type, I have found that the NATO 40mm is the easiest to come by and there is a wide supply of them. These NBC/CBRN filters are what provide the filtration against radioactive, chemical or biological particles. There are some military-designed gas masks that use their own filters, however more often than not, a gas mask will use NATO 40mm filters.
As far as protection goes,SGE 400/3 BB mask offers a high quality decontaminated area for your face, as well as:
The fit for this CBRN gas mask is pretty good. I take a large because of my big head whereas my partner would easily fit a medium. If you’ve got kids, the small size is suitable for teenagers just because of the fit to the face. Any younger and you’d be wanting to look at an NBC gas mask or suit for kids.
This mask is the CBRN version, which would definitely keep yourself and your family or friends safe in an attack as it has a butyl rubber lining around the mask making it an effective chemical and radiation mask complying with international CBRN regulations.
Another great option is the standard issue US military CBRN gas mask, the Avon M50. It is by far the best face mask for a nuclear fallout and the best type of nuclear gas mask. The M50 is the newest addition to the US Military and is the general purpose mask for all professions. A lot of these have been running dry of stock recently just because of the rise in concerns over a nuclear attack.
The M50 service mask is also sold to the public at a reasonable price, which is a little steeper than the SGE. This would be due to the mask’s highly-functional design, make, comfort and operability. It should be noted that the M50 gas mask uses its own high-quality filters. These filters have a five-year shelf life and, unlike NATO 40mm filters, sit with a low profile on the mask and are very lightweight.
The wearable protection in this article is a backup if a nuclear, chemical or biological strike happens. However, because these masks and suit are NBC protective they are also very reliable to use in the event of a viral outbreak or disease. If you live in an urban area then this kit might be the right option for you.
The table below shows the highest quality NBC and Chemical, Biological, Radiation and Nuclear gas masks that you should be considering to fill a priority gap in your emergency supply.
|IMAGE||NAME||OUR RANK||FILTER||OUR REVIEW|
|Avon M50||M50 |
|Drager 4500||40mm |
|SGE 400/3 BB||40mm |
Get to safety. This is the first thing to do in a nuclear attack, or any other event such as a chemical attack, biological attack or leak. If a nuclear attack is imminent, you should know what the right type of shelter is that will keep you safe from the initial blast.
There are different shelters where residing from a nuclear fallout is safe. For a nuclear attack, ideally, your shelter should be in the basement of a brick or concrete building. In an emergency where a nuclear, biological or chemical attack has been made you should seal the room in order to ensure the health of yourself and that of anyone with you. Sealing the room creates a decontaminated space which will be a safe area to stay until authorities or emergency services notify otherwise.
To seal a room off from contamination the US Government advises that you should:
First, it is obvious that you should be listening to emergency services and authorities, this is a primary point that a lot of preppers fail to adhere to and it is the primary way your safe evacuation can occur.
When a nuclear attack happens you might be without power due to an EMP pulse or damage to nearby power provision structures, so to stay tuned into emergency services you should get yourself a reliable hand crank radio. The American Red Cross Hand Crank Radio is a reliable option that has been used in a number of disasters and emergency events around the world and is the ideal option for your circumstance.
When you are planning your kit with the above-mentioned gear for protection against a nuclear attack, it is a good idea to keep an excess amount of thick plastic sheets and duct tape as it will become your toolkit when you are preparing against such circumstances.
If you are living in an area that could be affected by a nuclear attack you should start prepping buy stockpiling an emergency supply of food, water and other things you need after the sh-t hits the fan, as well as have a plan to evacuate or leave your area.