Nuclear fallouts are the most unpredictable of all disaster events. They are not as unpredictable in terms of occurrence, as they are in terms of damage and consequence. The effects of nuclear fallout, such as radiation spillage, can be felt years after the event.
Sometimes exposure to nuclear events can require little more than a shower. On the other hand, they can render entire geographic regions uninhabitable for decades. You will never know which situation you are in when one a nuclear event does occur. Therefore, you must act quickly.
Much like riots, nuclear fallouts present us with the stay or go dilemma. The recent Fukushima nuclear plant crisis in Japan is a good example. Radiation is invisible, and not measurable to most people. In Japan, people relied upon their government to tell them whether they were safe or not. It turns out that early assurances were wrong; the radiation had spread faster than what authorities had thought or wanted people to know. It is recommended that you DO NOT stay in your home if you a near a nuclear accident, regardless of what authorities say.
But staying requires expert preparation which must be done well in advance. You will have to be very well insulated from any toxic elements and be prepared to stay withdrawn from ground for long periods of time. Shelters must be built underground, in places like basements or subway tunnels. They should possess ample power, water and food supplies, while allowing you the option of not having to exit them for significant amounts of time.
Power sources are the first step and will require a large generator in addition to small portable units. Lots of batteries and battery operated lamps, flashlights and radios will also fall under your power umbrella.
A large canned food supply and fresh water are needed in copious amounts. The average person needs approximately a gallon of water per day to meet hydration and hygiene needs. Everything from first aid kits to clothing and tools will be required, as well. Building a nuclear fallout shelter is almost like building a new world for you and your family. It will have to be abundant in quality and quantity of supplies.
Those who choose to evacuate during a nuclear disaster will need to react quickly and decisively. In case of nuclear fallout, everyone will hit the major roads and highways. Gridlock can make escape impossible.
Therefore, knowing the back roads and rural routes in your vicinity is a great way to get a head start on your evacuation. Study maps, whether traditional or digital. The next time you are online, spend a few minutes on Google Earth and get specific visuals of your surroundings. Pick up a terrain map and read it carefully. Get to know what your immediate vicinity, actually looks like. Take scouting trips, venturing further out on each expedition. Know your geographic region and the travel times between set points. You can count on nuclear fallout greatly slowing down traffic and increasing those travel times. Prepare accordingly, by finding alternate routes. It is much smarter to take roundabout routes that avoid crowds, even if they span greater distances.
One approach most people never think of in terms of escaping is the UPS delivery strategy. UPS delivery drivers never make left turns. UPS studies have found that the amount of time it takes their drivers to make a left turn greatly impedes delivery time. Instead, UPS trucks only make right hand turns, with the help of dispatchers and GPS navigation. This tactic mainly relates to urban settings and UPS delivery trucks are a lot bigger than what you will be driving.
Nevertheless, this is the sort of outside-the-box thinking you should employ. Regardless of your approach and strategy, a GPS system can be of great help to you. You must remember, however, that GPS can also be rendered useless by power failures, so studying and holding physical maps is your best option, by far.
Tactical driving maneuvers can sometimes go against common logic, but are extremely useful. If you have studied your terrain map well, you may be able to “make your own road”, while avoiding crowds. This is a great strategy in areas with flat roads and few large bodies of water, such as the Midwest. You may find that driving straight across a corn or wheat field will cut your travel time by hours in a single shot. Regardless of stay or go, the assumption must be made that access to your home and its supplies will not be available once you leave. This is why you will want to have a well-stocked go bag, regardless of whether you need to go to ground or whether you wind up hitting the road.