Nuclear Fallout Survival in Missouri: Tips to Stay Safe

Nuclear fallout poses a grave danger, potentially impacting millions in the aftermath of a nuclear conflict or accident. Fallout, comprising radioactive particles carried by winds post-explosion, can contaminate air, water, soil, and food for years. Exposure to heightened radiation levels can lead to acute radiation sickness, cancer, and even fatalities.

Missouri harbors numerous potential nuclear targets, including military installations, missile silos, power plants, and major urban centers. A FEMA map from 1990 identifies St. Louis, Kansas City, Whiteman Air Force Base, Fort Leonard Wood, and Jefferson City as prime targets. However, fallout dispersion can extend hundreds or thousands of miles, leaving no place entirely immune.

For Missouri residents and visitors, readiness for nuclear fallout is paramount. Here are essential guidelines to navigate such an event:

Recognize Signs of a Nuclear Attack:

  • A blinding flash followed by a deafening boom and shockwave denotes the nuclear blast, causing severe burns and injuries.
  • The emergence of a mushroom cloud indicates the nuclear explosion, potentially spanning miles in height and width.
  • Emergency alerts via phone, radio, or TV serve as official warnings, providing directives and safe havens.

Identify Suitable Shelter:

  • Seek refuge in structures with thick, radiation-resistant materials like concrete, brick, or metal.
  • Opt for basement or underground areas or interior rooms devoid of windows for increased protection.
  • Seal entry points with plastic and duct tape to prevent fallout infiltration.

Examples of Adequate Shelter:

  • Fallout shelters, recognizable by the “Fallout Shelter” sign, offer specialized protection.
  • Basements or cellars in houses provide sturdy refuge, while interior rooms in high-rise buildings offer secondary options.

Examples of Inadequate Shelter:

  • Vehicles, tents, or mobile homes offer minimal protection due to their thin walls.
  • Open fields or parks lack any shielding, exposing individuals to direct radiation.

Remain in Shelter Until Safe:

  • Seal all openings to prevent fallout entry and switch off external air circulation systems.
  • Stay informed via battery-powered radios for updates from authorities.
  • Consume packaged food and bottled water to avoid contamination.

Exiting Shelter Safely:

  • Adhere to authorities’ instructions, wearing protective clothing to minimize radiation exposure.
  • Steer clear of visibly contaminated fallout and radioactive zones.
  • Seek medical and psychological support for any symptoms or trauma post-event.


Nuclear fallout presents a significant threat to Missouri and its inhabitants. Preparedness through awareness of attack signs, seeking suitable shelter, and heeding safety protocols enhances survival prospects. Vigilance and readiness are key to mitigating the risks of nuclear fallout. Stay informed, stay safe.

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