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May 4, 2018

Nuclear War Survival Skills

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The threat never seems to go away, does it?

I read this book about 15 years ago and just happened on it, gathering dust down in the basement.

Cresson Kearny authored the original 1979 Oak Ridge National Laboratory edition, and then updated and expanded it for a new 1987 edition and added yet another section on hormesis (the positive effects of low-level radiation on the human body) in 1999.

It's a plain-spoken, clearly written, how-to guide to shelter and protection before, during, and after an all-out nuclear exchange.

Written at the height of the Cold War, this book was intended for average Americans who believed it not only possible but desirable to ride out a nuclear exchange with "The Evil Empire" and then emerge weeks or months later into a Mad Max-like world to rebuild.

The matter-of-fact prose about the millions of dead and maimed is compelling.

Even more so, however, are the pictures of what happens to structures and shelters after being exposed to a nuclear explosion at close range.

For example, in August 1945 one simple underground wood-framed shelter survived completely intact 300 yards from ground zero at Hiroshima.

Wrote Kearny, "Although the shelter itself was undamaged, its occupants would have been fatally injured because the shelter had no blast door."

"The combined effect of blast waves, excessive pressure, blast wind, and burns from extremely hot dust blown into the shelter (the popcorning effect) and from the heated air would have killed the occupants."

"For people to survive in areas of severe blast, their shelters must have strong blast doors."

I expect this book will be in print for a long, long time.

Odd note: the price is the same now as when I bought it in 2004.


May 4, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink


This is the second time I read something about hormesis today. What are the odds? Unless they, as in them, are using radiation, secretly of course, to read my thoughts and internet browser history.

Speaking of paranoia, does the book cover how to build a Faraday Cage around the shelter? Life without the radiation from my iPhone and microwave would be quite unbearable. Life as we know it, without all the beautiful electricity, would be over.

Posted by: Daniel | May 8, 2018 6:21:17 PM

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