US Nuclear Target Map: Potential Targets and Safe Zones

US Nuclear Target Map: Potential Targets and Safe Zones

With the nuclear threat ever-growing in our world full of politics and turmoil, you might wonder about the U.S. nuclear target map and where you are the safest. We might hope that the threat of a nuclear strike is minimal with appropriate relationships between nations, but taking steps to negate our dangers is a smart tactic.

A year ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin let the world know about his country’s nuclear strength, and everyone is well aware that North Korea has its own stash of nuclear weapons. What countries have nuclear warheads? Here is a general estimation:Russia: 6,850

  • United States: 6,550
  • France: 300
  • China: 280
  • United Kingdom: 215
  • Pakistan: 145
  • India: 135
  • Israel: 80
  • North Korea: 15

Don’t forget; the number of nuclear warheads doesn’t matter as much as a proper strike. A nuclear warhead dropped strategically in the United States can do more than 10 dropped haphazardly. Never underestimate a nation with nuclear weapons.

All of this has me wondering about the possible US nuclear targets, and I wanted to compare maps. Does everyone have the same idea about where a terrorist might target? If so, can we agree on some safe areas in the US? Let’s take a look

What are the Primary Targets on the US Nuclear Target Map?

Of course, the targets are speculation, but we can make some reasonable guesses as to possible strikes. We assume that a terrorist nation would want to cause the most deaths possible. More deaths equal more terror, and that’s their end goal.

Everyone already knows that The White House, federal buildings, air-force bases, and military bases are targets. Modern Survival Blog made a popular nuclear targets map that many preppers have used to pick safe spots.

US Target Map

Photo Credit: Modern Survival Blog

Large Cities  and Areas That Might Be a Target

First, let’s look at cities and metro areas that have at least 50 million people. Then, we look at areas that terrorists could easily enter due to their proximity to the border.

  • New York City, NY
  • Washington D.C.
  • Dallas-Fort Worth
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Miami, FL
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Houston, TX
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Honolulu, HI

In 1990, FEMA created a map with potential nuclear targets. It is a bit dated since its 30 years old, but it’s a good resource to have to see the risks. This map shows us that the east coast, particular from Maryland up towards Connecticut is full of potential targets. That’s not an area I would want to be. Neither is the coastline of California and most of the midwest state like Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and southern Michigan.

Nuclear Targets in the United States

Active nuclear power plants are large targets as well. There are nine just on the east coast and more spread out over the continental United States. Right now, there are around 90 active nuclear plants in the United States, and more are on the books to be built.

Here are a few:

  • Southern Jersey Coast
  • Beaver Valley, PA
  • Braidwood, IL
  • Palo Verde, AZ
  • Sequoyah, TN
  • Browns Ferry, AL
  • Calvert Cliffs, MD
  • Byron, IL
  • Joseph M. Farley, AL

Bases That Could Be Targets

Something else to consider is that military bases can be targets as well. Stephen Schwartz offers a map of potential targets that are based on their military importance. These targets are spread widely around the country, but they include air force bases, ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile land-based bases), and nuclear storage locations. Hitting command centers is a smart idea if you’re a terrorist.

Safe Areas in the United States

You might think places like Montana would be safe, but there is a large nuclear plant in the center of the state. Most states have at least one or two possible targets.

Right now, Maine is considered fairly safe. There are no nuclear plants nearby nor does Maine have any significantly sized cities. A majority of Oregon and northern California are also regions with a better chance to survive a nuclear war. Also, the middle of Idaho should be a safe place to reside.

Another interesting map shows us the earthquake zones with nuclear reactor locations. That’s something to consider because a nuclear strike could potentially trigger an earthquake, so picking areas with lower possibilities of earthquakes are wise. This map recommends:

  • Eastern Montana
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • Michigan
  • Parts of Nebraska and Kansas

If we go back to the FEMA map, we see that Idaho and Oregon still shows a lot of safe zones. FEMA didn’t include many dangers in Wyoming or Nevada. South Dakota is still safe, but this map shows a large target in North Dakota that might make it not an ideal pick. Maine is still empty of dangers.

How to Prepare for a Possible Nuclear Strike

The best tip is to not live in a major city. Sure, living in New York City might be exciting, but it’s an obvious nuclear target. It’s also wise to avoid living in the blast areas. If you live in the blast radius, you might experience several things, such as:

  • Rampant, uncontrollable fires
  • Nuclear fallout falling from the skies
  • Panicked and desperate people

Ultimately, we have no control over whether or not a nuclear strike happens, and that’s a scary feeling. We like to control our futures to the best of our ability, and this is one future in which we have no control.

Aside from picking a smart area to live, there are a few things that you can do to prepare for a nuclear strike.

Know Your Exit Routes

If you have to escape to a safer location, you need more than one exit route. Include several routes to get out of your home, including north, east, south, and west. If you do live in a metro area, you need several routes ready to go to escape if necessary.

Find The Closest Nuclear Bunker

Figure out ahead of time where your closest nuclear bunker is so you know exactly where to escape when the time comes.

Get Potassium Iodide Tablets

Most people don’t die from the first blast, but rather they die from the fallout and lasting problems in the months and years ahead. Potassium iodide tablets are a must-have and they’ll provide you with protection from the nuclear fallout.

Have a Plan to Bug In

Escaping isn’t always a possibility. You always need a plan to bug in and how to protect your home, windows, and doors from the fallout and radiation.

Understand Wind Movement

The wind will determine which way the fallout will spread more rapidly. Understanding the wind pattern lets you figure out how fast you need to escape and if you have additional time.

Get Your Bug Out Bag Ready

Nuclear strikes don’t always have warnings, which is scary. We want a warning so we have time to get home and prepare as the danger strikes. That’s not always how it works, so having your bug out bag ready to go is smart. Have a bag for each family member prepared and ready to go.

How Do I Know a Nuclear Threat is Serious?

So, how do you know that the threat is serious or that a strike happened? Here are a few ways to know that its time to evacuate the nuclear target areas.

Electronics Stop Working

Most experts believe a nuclear war will start with an EMP, so if all of your electronics stop working, the danger is coming. All they’d have to do is detonate a nuclear weapon about 300 miles above the United States, and it’ll darken all of the US, Canada, and Mexico.

An EMP will cut off our communication and our ability to retaliate. If we cannot communicate with our bases all of the country, we won’t be able to properly handle our troops

The News Announces A Nuclear Bomb Was Detonated

It doesn’t matter if the bomb was detonated in the next state or in a country around the world. As soon as a nuclear war begins, all of humanity is at risk. If one of the nations is an ally to the United States, we may have to follow in defense. Usually, one bomb is followed by more, so head for the hills or get ready.

Explodes Miles Away But Didn’t Harm You

If you didn’t die, the fallout can cause you to have a lifetime of cancer and radiation ahead of you. The longer you’re exposed to radiation, the lower your chance of survival. So, once you know for sure that a nuclear bomb exploded within a close range of you, it’s time to bug out as fast as you can. Remember that the fallout is just as dangerous as the bomb. Wear masks.

If We Declare War on Another Nuclear Power

We would hope that our leaders wouldn’t put our nation in harm’s way by declaring war on a nuclear warhead holder, but anything is possible. If we declare war, it’s time to head to the hills into your bug-out cabin, or its time to start preparing for the worse.

The possibility of a nuclear war is a scary reality that we might face as a nation. Our world is constantly in turmoil. Use these US nuclear target map to help you figure out what are the safest (and most dangerous) areas for you to be in if you’re worried about a nuclear strike.

1 Comment

  1. Philip Rayfield


    The bottom line to all of this:
    “We’re soooooh screwed!”

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