Okay this got kicked off by one of Van Helsing’s posts on his site http://www.moonbattery.com/
My outlook on many things, now that I look back, were influenced by a writer named Dean Ing who dared write about surviving a limited nuclear exchange in the era when the peaceniks were deriding President Reagan for deploying new missiles to Europe to counter all those Soviet SS-20s and demanding of NATO countries unilateral disarmament in the delusional belief the Soviet Bear would disarm to when it realized the West was no longer a military threat. Another great influence is a science fiction writer who lured me into the world of self-reliance by writing a book called Little Fuzzy, his name was H. Beam Piper.
First rule of any endeavour such as this is: stay low keyed. It avoids getting the high-brow’s knickers in a wad, avoids your children being picked on because their parents are survivalists, and most importantly when the bovine waste hits the oscillating unit the refuge you have painstakingly built won’t be overrun in the first wave of looting.
There is nothing more ridiculous than something like a Ford Fiesta painted in camouflage colors to loudly announce you are a survivalist without a clue.
First rule is building a safe room, a place you can retreat to in times of disaster. The FEMA web site has a section devoted to storm safe rooms, included are structural guidelines. You may also want to check this site and your state emergency management web site to see if any federal or state funding is available because for some regions 70% of your construction expenses can be reimbursed. To turn that storm safe room into an NBC safe room we need to visit Dept. of Homeland Security web site for guidance. Remember some things like modifications to the air system need to be taken care of while building the safe room. Consult both sites and modify the storm shelter where needed to meet NBC standards while not compromising the original design.
Second rule is planning on how to get from place of work to your safe room. Do you know of at least two routes from home to work and back? Think of this as a challenge, a game since you may also find a shorter way to work that will save you time every day. May also want to think of a more tactically practical vehicle, when tensions are higher. Something like a Toyota FJ40 LandCruiser or Jeep CJ-7, not one of the current over-equipped SUVs [Supremely Useless Vehicles]. But please if you do get such a grunt vehicle, do NOT paint it camouflage colors, nondescript color is good enough. Ing argues green or tan for vehicle colors, then use hi-vis tape in peacetime; I am not sure of that since it does announce you are a survivalist. You want to attract no notice when you switch over to this vehicle and have to use it to get home. Dean Ing would call this vehicle your First Stage vehicle. If this one gets jammed where it can not break free, then Ing would starts talking of a Second Stage vehicle or a bicycle to get you out of the jam.
Third rule is the tough one. When the disaster strikes, keeping your lifeboat afloat becomes rule one. If you have managed to do the wise thing and form strong friendships with your neighbors then this wont be so bad. But you must keep this lifeboat clean. Nuclear fallout won’t stay around forever. It can be swept up and washed away if you are not near ground zero. Biologicals, wind and distance again determine things; keep on hand plenty of masks, cheap disposable garments, gloves, and bleach to eliminate any possible contamination. You will need these items anyway for the times you venture out to see how things are outside. If you have not formed strong bonds with your neighbors it is up to you to defend your lifeboat with only the people in your shelter. When you have only your people in that shelter, never let strangers in. Strangers may bring contamination and disease, or worse case they take your shelter over and all you have worked for will go to feed someone else’s belly while you die.
The best way to increase your chances of surviving is simple, move away from high profile targets. Failing that, study all your escape routes including those on foot.
I cannot cover everything so please go read. Knowledge is survival. And practice ensures the skills are sharp.
PS: Being non-descript when escaping on foot is a good idea also. Visible wealth attracts trouble and sneakers work better than high-heels.
The Survival Guide: What to do in a Biological, Chemical, or Nuclear Emergency. Dr. Angelo Acquista, MD. If you want to know symptoms and treatments, get this book.
The Chernobyl Syndrome … and how to survive it. Dean Ing. Updated and expanded version of the survival sections found in Ing’s previous survival novel Pulling Through.