How to Survive a Nuclear Attack Part 3

About how to survive a nuclear attack including information about food supplies, water, and first aid.

How to Survive a Disaster



Water, Food, and Sanitation. Enough food and water should be stored for shelter occupants for 14 days. Most people in shelters can get along on about half as much food as usual.

The following table gives suitable types of foods for storage as well as their storage life. These foods stored for emergency use should be replaced in the periods specified.

Food Months


Evaporated 6

Nonfat dry or whole dry milk, in metal container 6

Canned meat, poultry, fish:

Meat, poultry 18

Fish 12

Mixtures of meats, vegetables, cereal products 18

Condensed meat-and-vegetable soups 8

Fruits and vegetables:

Berries and sour cherries, canned 6

Citrus fruit juices, canned 6

Other fruits and fruit juices, canned 18

Dried fruit, in metal container 6

Tomatoes, sauerkraut, canned 6

Other vegetables, canned (including dry beans and dry peas) 18

Cereals and baked goods:

Ready-to-eat cereals:

In metal container 12

In original paper package 1

Uncooked cereal (quick-cooking or instant):

In metal container 24

In original paper package 12

Hydrogenated (or antioxidant-treated) fats and vegetable oil 12

Sugars, sweets, nuts:

Sugar will keep indefinitely

Hard candy, gum 18

Nuts, canned 12

Instant puddings 12


Coffee, tea, cocoa (instant) 18

Dry cream product (instant) 12

Bouillon products 12

Flavored beverage powders 24

Salt will keep indefinitely

Flavoring extracts (e.g., pepper) 24

Soda, baking powder 12

Water should be stored in tightly sealed plastic containers, bottles, or cans. There should be enough to supply each person with at least one quart per day. In addition to stored water, other drinkable sources are:

--ice cubes, milk, soft drinks, and juices

--water (20 to 60 gallons) in the hot water tank

--water in the pipes of your home plumbing system. To use this water when the main water valves have been turned off, turn on the faucet located at the highest point of your home to let air into the system. Then draw the water, as needed, from the faucet located at the lowest point in your house.

To purify water that may be cloudy from your faucets, or muddy water obtained from out-doors: strain through several thicknesses of clean cloth or paper towels, or allow to "settle" in a container for 24 hours; boil water for 3 to 5 minutes after solid particles have been removed; or add one of the following purifying agents:

--4 water-purifying tablets per gallon (obtained from your local drugstore)

--12 drops per gallon of 2% tincture of iodine

--8 drops per gallon of liquid chlorine house-hold bleach provided the label says it contains hypochlorite as its only active ingredient.

Radiation passing through food does not contaminate it. The only danger is swallowing the actual fallout particles that may be on the food itself (or its container or package). These should be wiped or washed off. Practically all of the particles that dropped into open reservoirs, lakes, and streams would settle to the bottom. A small amount of radioactive material might dissolve in the water, but this would be of concern for only a few weeks.

Sanitation Supplies. A metal container with a tight-fitting lid, to use as an emergency toilet; one or two large garbage cans with covers (for human wastes and garbage); plastic bags to line the toilet container; disinfectant; toilet paper; soap, washcloths and towels; a pail or basin; and sanitary napkins.

Medicine and first-aid supplies should include any medicines regularly taken by family members. A well-stocked first-aid kit and manual, which may be obtained through your local American Red Cross.

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