A common scenario is that of nuclear attack, and it includes common questions like, “What about nuclear incidents or attacks? Where will I be safe from a nuclear bomb blast? Where will I be safe from fallout effects?” In answer, we offer links to two crucial resources.
First, what are the effects of ‘the bomb?’ How big is the blast radius? How about the damage from the pressure wave?
Well, depends on how big of a bomb…
How much radiation might you be exposed to?
Depends on the bomb and how close you are…
NukeMap is a great resource because it runs all the physics calculations for you and includes handy presets for known nuclear devices. Are you more worried about nuclear attack from Russia, China, or North Korea? NukeMap has presets for all the known weapons and yields.
But when I’m stress-testing the feasibility of a location, I just go worst-case and use Russia’s designed-but-never-built 100Mt Tsar-Bomb. (They tested the 50Mt version.)There’s nothing bigger, so it works decently for a worst case illustration. Most places in the Redoubt wouldn’t see a thing even from a bomb that big. But just in case your chosen spot might be on the fringe, try a more realistic scenario like North Korea’s latest weapon tests, which are substantially smaller.
And of course, this is all ignoring the question of which targets would be worth it to an enemy nation to expend their nukes on? That’s a topic for a whole different resource.
Which Way Does the Wind Blow?
Fallout is going to come from the winds pushing that mushroom cloud across the map in the hours after detonation. But which way is downwind from your theoretical blast in NukeMap?
For that, take a look at “wind map“. It is a constantly updated live projection of wind forecasts in the USA.Pros: It is an excellent visualization of winds in the USA and is hypnotic to watch. You can zoom in on the map and see more detail in a local area.
Cons: It was coded as an art project so does not offer much in the way of locators. You’ll have to eyeball your location based on lines between the nearest major cities. It is also a current forecast, so will change with developing weather patterns. Nevertheless, it is still useful because if a bomb went off near your hypothetical retreat location, would current winds push the fallout over your fields?
You could even use the wind map to determine if an incident at a regional nuclear power plant would affect you.
Between these two resources, you’ve got a handy means of eyeballing your exposure to “possible” nuclear scenarios. More detail will be needed to analyze “likely” nuclear scenarios (likely enemy, likely weapon, likely target), but that will be a smaller subset of the possible scenarios.