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Week 49 of 52: Nuclear and EMP Preparedness

Get Prepped is Ready Nutrition’s weekly newsletter focusing on getting you prepared for life’s unexpected disasters. In our 49th week of this preparedness series, I will discuss in length the signs and effects of radiation on the skin and provide you with some tips and suggested preps to add to your preparedness supplies to be ready for this type of disaster. Further, we will discuss also discuss EMPs and ways to prepare for off-grid survival.

Some believe that the subject of nuclear and EMP preparedness is all hype. However, those who have observed history know this threat is real and should be addressed. Since the dawn of nuclear weapons, we have always been wary of a trigger happy world leader hastily pushing a nuke detonator. However, according to history the two worst nuclear events that occurred were accidental. Chernobyl, being the first event, had a fire and explosion that released large quantities of radioactive contamination into the atmosphere, and spread over much of the Western USSR and Europe. The second largest nuclear event is the infamous Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster that occurred in 2011.

And what about EMP’s occurring? If you look back into history around 1859, you will read about a solar flare that was so intense that the explosion itself was visible to the human eye. Even more disconcerting, telegraph systems worldwide went haywire. Spark discharges shocked operators and set the telegraph paper on fire. Even when telegraphers disconnected the batteries powering the lines, aurora-induced electric currents in the wires still allowed messages to be transmitted. This ferocious geomagnetic storm was dubbed the Carrington Event. So you make the decision, are these types of disasters all hype or merely sensationalism?

Nuclear Disasters

Each day we are exposed to nuclear radiation, some naturally and some through un-natural means. Those of us who live close to nuclear power plants are exposed more than others. Those that live near nuclear power plants should be especially concerned with nuclear disaster preparedness; especially individuals who live in areas where natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes) could damage the nuclear facilities.

If radiation leaks occur, they will affect us one way or another. If you think that the Fukushima emergency is over and done with, think again. We are still dealing with the aftereffects of this one. For instance, the Fukushima nuclear disaster has already affected our food supplies, water sources, and even our health have become affected from the radiation dispersed into the water and atmosphere. Radiation tests conducted since the nuclear disaster in Japan have detected radioactive iodine and cesium in milk, beef and vegetables produced in California (Source).  This video is a great source that explains how radiation gets into our food supply.

Although the idea of preparing for an EMP or nuclear disaster is not something we want to think about, there are multiple ways to prepare, prevent and protect ourselves from the effects of radiation.

  1. One of the easiest ways to minimize the effects of radiation is knowing where our food comes from and limiting our exposure to radioactive foods and water sources. Keep in mind that foods, especially seafood from the West coast will be the most affected by radiation.
  2. An  electroscope that gauges how much radiation you are receiving daily can be a useful tool. A Kearny Fallout Meter can give daily readings of radiation levels in your area.
  3. Thoroughly wash your produce. Despite arguments to the contrary, you can wash radioactive particles off of produce.
  4. Adopting an anti-radiation diet can provide natural alternatives to assist the body in ridding itself of radioactive toxins. Foods such as kelp, rosemary, spirulina, miso soup and niacin all assist the body in fighting radiation damage.  Other foods that may help in combating radiation sickness are foods that naturally detoxify the body. Foods that are high in potassium such as apples, oranges, pineapples and pomegranates are foods that are also good cancer fighters. Foods that are high in antioxidants will also assist your body in ridding itself of radioactive particles. Foods such as green and black teas (make sure that your tea is not from Japan), garlic, cumin, nettles, dandelions, ginseng, lentils, collards and mustard greens are also suggested.
  5. Any food or water stored in sealed containers that have any fallout dust is safe to consume as long as the fallout dust is brushed or rinsed off the outside of the container. Take caution not to allow the fallout dust to get inside the container.
  6. If you are concerned about your water sources, use filtered water in everything, including brushing your teeth and sponge bathing. Purchase a reverse osmosis water filter with extra filtration cartridges. Remember, it is important to replace your filters after multiple uses.
  7. Drinking apple cider vinegar can also assist in flushing toxins and  radiation from the body. Baking soda and water is another option as it also flushes radiation and cleans the stomach lining. You can also put baking soda in dish soap, body soap, laundry detergent as the radiation will bind to the baking soda which neutralizes it.
  8. Did you know that the Spiderwort plant is Nature’s gieger counter? This plant naturally has very dark purple flowers and when they are exposed to radiation or near an area where radiation is high, the flowers turn pink. Planting these in your yard will be a great way to know if you are taking in excess radiation.
  9. Knowing in advance how much radiation you are  exposed to radiation through natural and un-natural means can help you calculate your annual radiation dose. To find this out, click on the Annual Radiation Calculator.

For a more in-depth look at what you should do if you are exposed to radiation, the symptoms of radiation sickness and how to prepare for this type of emergency, click here.

Electro-Magnetic Pulse

EMP’s are another force to reckon with. An Electro-Magnetic Pulse can be the result of natural events (solar flares) or a man-made attack (a nuclear bomb detonated) and would cripple our way of life. Either type of EMP event would take out the electrical transformers, as well as any unprotected devices (anything electrical – cell phones, computers, cars, electrical appliances, etc.). In other words, we would be thrown back to the pre-electricity days of the 1800’s, without the benefit of homes that were built to run without electricity.

If an enemy of the United States plans to attack the U.S. by means of an EMP, all he needs to irreparably cripple us is a small-scale, five to ten kiloton weapon detonated 200 miles above Nebraska, or a few weapons detonated 50 miles or so above the eastern, western and central United States. The lasting effects would be nothing short of disastrous – literally the end of the world as we know it.

This means that we would not only be without electrical power until transformers could be replaced, but that once they were up and running (a prospect that could take years),  all unprotected and unhardened electrical devices would be left useless and would eventually need to be replaced due to the circuits and boards being fried beyond repair. A way to combat this issue would be to purchase or construct an enclosure made of conductive material that blocks both static and non-static electrical fields. This is also called a Faraday cage. For tips on how to construct a Faraday cage and what items to put into one, click here.

All aspects of our way of life would be effected. The greater overall affect of this is that:

1.)  Food processing and transit would completely cease.

2.)  A vast majority of people would no longer be able to heat or cool their homes.

3.) We would not be able to access money in banks.

4.)  All manufacturing would completely cease.

5.) You would not have access to vital medication or medical assistance.

6.) Your personal security could be threatened.

Over the course of this series, I have often emphasized the importance of being ahead of the pack in terms of preparedness. The faster you can react to the disaster in front of you, the more quickly you can be prepared. Once an EMP outage occurs, your paper money will be worthless within a matter of days. Don’t hesitate to spend it. Last-minute purchases could include:

  • Ammunition and weapons
  • Climate appropriate clothing
  • Practical shoes/boots
  • Long-term storage food
  • Seeds and gardening tools
  • Bottled water and gravity-fed water filtration systems
  • Fuel such as propane and kerosene
  • Medications, both prescription and over the counter
  • Solar devices
  • Candles, solar yard lights, and other alternative light sources
  • Gold or silver
  • Batteries in multiple sizes

I have also stressed that it’s not about the preps that you acquire, but your skill level and knowledge with in working with what you have. Taking this a step further, in an EMP survival situation, you would be taking those skills and applying them to an off-grid environment. For example, if you have non-working electrical appliances from the EMP detonation, you will be canning and preserving your food off the grid. Have you practiced that technique? Click here for some pointers.

In conclusion, the threat of nuclear disasters and EMPs are real and we must prepare ahead of time in order to survive the aftermath. Having all of your items prepared and in place before the disaster will keep your family or group safe and ready to bunker in more quickly.

Recommended Research:

For instructions on how to prepare for an imminent nuclear attack and how long to bug in place, click here.

For more information on nuclear disasters, click here.

To learn more about what radiation does to the body, click here.

One Second After by William Forstchen

Jericho TV Series (Available on iTunes, Netflix and Amazon Instant Viewing)

Patriots by James Wesley Rawles

Preps to Buy:

You will of course need:

  • Long-term supply of food and water
  • Medical supplies
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Emergency lighting sources
  • Heat sources
  • Emergency communications (at least a hand-crank or short-wave radio)
Refer to the 52-Weeks to Preparedness List for emergency list suggestions.

In Quantity:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Epsom salt
  • Ingestible bentonite clay
  • Duct tape
  • Activated carbon
  • Soap, sponges and/or bristled brush (vegetable scrubbing brush)

For each group or family member:

Action Items:

  1. Do an inventory on your food, water and preparedness supply to see where you are in terms of short and long-term preparedness. At this point, you should have a multi-level stock of preparedness foods to last long-term (up to 12 months).
  2. Consider purchasing more freeze dried goods (They last for 25 years, so it’s a great investment in your long-term preparedness).
  3. Find out if you are near a nuclear power plant and use the annual radiation calculator to see what your levels are.
  4. Start practicing those survival and homesteading skills!

This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on August 10th, 2012