- Click here for "Island Tips for Surviving a Nuclear Attack."
- Click here for "How to Survive a Nuclear Explosion Like a Scientist."
- Click here for "5 Steps To Survive A Nuclear Attack."
If the blast happens in an area with a lot of flammable materials — like structures built out of wood — and the fire grows large enough, there is the risk of a firestorm: essentially, a three-mile-high waterspout made out of fire. When a fire gets large enough, its heat causes the air to rise, leaving a vacuum that pulls in air from the sides, further fanning the flames, and creating its own stable wind system. The exact requirements to set one off aren’t well-understood; Hiroshima had one but Nagasaki didn’t, for example. A good rule of thumb is that if you see widespread fires, and especially if there are steady, hot winds, get out of the area as fast as you can, heading upwind: a mile and a half from the blast site is a good distance to shoot for [emphasis added].
Underground (if you can find anywhere!) is even better, but make sure you’re finding a place that’s easy to open from the inside, and where falling debris won’t obstruct your exit. Cement structures in general are excellent protection, especially with typhoon shutters protecting the windows. Bunkers from WWII are also very good if you can close the openings. Homes made of corrugated metal, metal airplane hangars, and cars do not make good protection — they’re basically flying debris waiting to happen. Rather than hide in these, look for a nearby ditch or other earthen or cement obstruction to hide behind, or best of all, get yourself to a shelter [emphasis added].
I will not go down under the ground'Cause somebody tells me that death's comin' 'roundAn' I will not carry myself down to dieWhen I go to my grave my head will be high,Let me die in my footstepsBefore I go down under the ground.
In conclusion, here's the only tip worth taking: The only way to survive a nuclear attack is to make sure that one never happens.