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WW3 May Be Brewing While We Are Distracted - US Vs. Russia - Where to Escape From World War III?

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Where would be a good place to survive and rebuild after the upcoming nuclear war between the US and Russia?
(Putting this answer together has made me visit many excitingly conspiratorial and terrifyingly paranoid websites. It’s been a blast)

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Theories of nuclear exchange vary widely (example: even a limited regional conflict could set of catastrophic global consequences under some models) . As many have noted, in the worst case scenario all human activity crashes under the “Narnia Scenario” (Always winter and never Christmas, aka Nuclear winter) but to be honest, we don’t really know what would happen. There are so many variables. (The size of the nuclear exchange, the targets, etc).

With those limitations in mind, I will do my best to sketch out a general strategy for survival.

(Full disclaimer, I am no physicist. If nuclear war occurs and these steps do not save your life, please feel free to suggest some edits)

In this hypothetical situation, your best bet is to find a way to maximize your survival variables.

Items of concern:

1. Initial Safety
2. Food Availability
3. Fallout-safe water
4. Fallout-safe topsoil
5. Good neighbors
6. Shelter

1. Initial Safety. I’m going to assume you aren’t planning to be anywhere near a detonation, so none of this is about surviving the explosion. You will, however, have to put some thought into weather patterns and target density.
For the US:
Stay away from large cities, military bases, other sites of interest, and the entire Midwest. Think like an enemy trying to take out potentially dangerous areas, and then avoid those areas. There are a plethora of potential fallout pattern maps on the internet. I’ve selected this one because it is colorful:

This map is more or less similar to many others easily found online, but the point is that you have a limited amount of control over your exposure based on geography.

Do not take shelter in a region you have not lived in for long. Wind patterns are everything in this scenario. You need to know how the wind typically blows in your preferred hiding place. If there is a nuclear crisis, you need to know immediately if you are downwind from a radiation-cooked area.

Also watch this video- You’re about to lose everything you’ve worked so hard for your entire life and it’s even not going to be your fault! – your house, your car, your credit card will be worthless…

2. Food. As has been noted below, the infrastructure is going to break down. Even if you have found yourself in a neutral, non-nuked country (which might or might not exist, depending on your nightmare scenario of choice), in the first few months everything is going to be hard to come by. And in the first few years, nothing is going to be growing very well.

Best bet? Canned goods.

3. Fallout-Safe Water. In the first few days, you should hoard as much water as possible. Fill your bathtubs. Fills all your containers. Even if you aren’t in a detonation zone, water is going to become scarce. Especially if the fallout starts contaminating water supplies. Access to an underground well is a huge plus if you think you are going to be exposed to radiation.

4. Fallout-Safe Topsoil. If you think your topsoil has been exposed to radiation, you can’t safely use it to grow food. But in a post nuclear environment, you are going to have to depend on locally sourced produce. Wherever you keep your canned goods, keep dozens of bags of soil. It won’t be enough to start a farm, but it can help replace the soil you are going to have to scrape away to start a safe growing area.

5. Good neighbors. In a best case scenario, small communities are going to hold each other up a-la Jericho (TV Series 2006–2008). But in a worse case scenario, you will face dangerous anarchy. In either circumstance, being alone is a death sentence and being with strangers is playing dice with death. Have your neighbors over to your house. Be social. Make friends. The stockpiler without friends is the one who gets shot for his food.

6. Shelter. It might just be terrifyingly cold, desolate, and dangerous. Make sure your home can be weatherized well enough to keep inside air reasonably separate from outside air (to protect against fallout miscalculations) and to keep the heat inside. A fireplace will be critical when the first (and perhaps eternal) winter comes after the power goes down. But make sure the fireplace can be closed off efficiently (For the same reasons as above).

Follow these steps and you will probably still die with the rest of us, but at least it can give you a sense of peace and false security.

The best defense against nuclear war is perhaps within the mind and soul.

In Ecclesiastes chapter 3, the Preacher writes:

“What happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return. Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth? So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him?” (ESV)

If it makes you feel better to prepare for nuclear war, than by all means do so. But understand that at the end of the day, we are all going to die one way or another. It is best to enjoy the life you’ve been given and be at peace.
On that note, I’ll let the immortal Tom Lehrer play me out.

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    • Revken

      These are all old maps and don’t take into account new weapon systems like the tsunami bomb. Also does not take into account propaganda strikes for the purpose of demoralizing the opponent.

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