The Best Fallout Shelter Tips and Tricks
Fallout Shelter has been on the market for nearly five years now, and much has changed in the Wasteland since those early days. The game was a massive departure for Bethesda, a company usually known for its sprawling open-world titles. Not only was the overall game design radically different from past Fallout titles, but Fallout Shelter was also originally released as a mobile title before being ported over to consoles.
- Build smart
- SPECIAL stats explained
- Keep vault dwellers busy
- Arm your vault dwellers
- Upgrade outfits
- Prepare to fend off enemies
- Use Stimpaks and RadAway
- Go for the lunchboxes
- Rebuild the population
- Out in the morning, in at night
- Quest smarter, not harder
- How to get an edge in combat
- The Mysterious Stranger
- Sex and radio are proven mood boosters
- You can easily avoid the microtransactions
If you’re returning to Fallout Shelter after a long hiatus, there’s a lot of new content for you to explore. And even if you’ve established a thriving Vault, there are plenty of actions you can take to optimize your setup. Here are a few tips to make your time with Fallout Shelter more efficient.
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In the beginning, it’s easy to build new rooms haphazardly as they become available. Scroll down and see how deep your vault can run, however, to see how much room there is to expand as your population booms. Larger, connected rooms are more efficient than an equal total of smaller rooms of the same type.
Because rooms max out at three across, always leave space for them to expand. Extending the initial elevator directly down leaves you room for three-wide rooms on either side. It may be a little more expensive to build elevators down instead of using more of the horizontal space, but the long-term efficiency of this simple, two-column structure can’t be beat.
Rooms require more power to operate the farther they are from a power plant, so be sure to space your reactors out evenly to maximize their efficiency. Don’t build too fast, though! Diners and water treatment facilities use power even if no one is operating them, so building facilities you can’t use yet is a waste of precious power.
Even if you do have the personnel, sometimes it is better to focus on training them to work more efficiently in the rooms you do have instead of building new ones. Power generating rooms are the exception, though. If you are producing a surplus of electricity, you can safely build more facilities to increase your storage capacity without putting a strain on your resources.
SPECIAL stats explained
All of your dwellers have the main Fallout games’ SPECIAL stats, standing for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck. These abilities correspond to how effective the dweller will be in a particular room, so let them guide where you assign them to work. Strength increases production in power plants, perception helps at the water treatment facility, endurance helps them survive longer in the wasteland, charisma helps them breed more quickly in the living quarters and attract new followers with the radio station, intelligence aids in producing Stimpaks and RadAway, and agility aids in producing food at the diner and garden.
Luck helps dwellers in any job be more likely to succeed when you rush production, and also increases the odds of your wanderers finding good loot. Once you gain access to the training rooms, buff up dwellers’ strongest stat to maximize their efficacy in a given job. Luck is a good second stat to focus on for anyone, followed by charisma to make repopulating faster for everyone.
Keep vault dwellers busy
You can sort the list of your vault dwellers by different columns, including their current job. Anyone on “Coffee Break” isn’t taking a breather from the power plant — it’s just a euphemism for unemployment. Without a job, your dwellers are just soaking up food and water, so be sure to periodically check and make sure everyone is busy either working or training.
They are happier when they are busy, so you have no reason not to strive for full employment. When assigning dwellers to rooms, holding them over a given room shows the net change (either positive or negative) on its efficiency. This is an easy way to make sure your dweller assignments are the most impactful, especially when trying to fulfill the objective of assigning dwellers to the proper room.
Arm your vault dwellers
After your wanderers start bringing in weapons, the best thing place to store them is in the hands of every adult citizen you have. Your biggest and most powerful guns, such as alien blasters and the Fat Man, are best saved for those wanderers to stay safe out in the wasteland. Most of the guns you find will be less powerful, like rusty sawed-off shotguns and pistols.
You can sell these for a few caps, or build a storage room to keep them, but it’s best first to arm every one of your citizens. Having at least some guns in every single room ensures that they will remain safe in case of a radroach infestation or if raiders break through your defenses.
Don’t bother arming your pregnant women, though. When disaster strikes, pregnant dwellers flee to the bunks in order to wait it out, so guns won’t do them any good. Also, don’t bother with weapons that only do 0-1 damage. That’s not any better than the damage they will do with their bare hands, and extra caps are always useful.
Just like with guns, the best place to store the outfits your wanderers bring back is on the backs of your vault dwellers. Outfits boost particular combinations of SPECIAL stats, so try and give everyone an outfit that boosts their strongest stat, corresponding with their job. Endurance- and strength-boosting outfits are best saved for your wanderers to keep them safe out there. The nightwear’s charisma boost is an easy way to help anyone breed more quickly in the living quarters. For lack of anything better, the formal wear’s luck boost is useful for rushing any room.
Prepare to fend off enemies
Raiders will occasionally harry your vault, but a little preparedness goes a long way. You can assign two vault dwellers to your entrance in order to guard against attacks, but this is often unnecessary since they are otherwise not producing anything or improving at all.
Put two of your more powerful weapons with dwellers who work in the room nearest the entrance on the first floor and then upgrade the vault door’s health early on. When raiders come knocking, simply move your two designated guards from the nearby room to the entrance to fend off the attack. You don’t even have to drag them back afterward. Once the raiders are put down, your guards will run back to their previous job unprompted.
As you dig deeper, more challenging threats like feral ghouls and deathclaws will also come knocking. If you find your attackers are beating your guards to the door, upgrading your vault door will buy you extra time so they can get into place before the enemy breaches.
Use Stimpaks and RadAway
Accidents happen, and sometimes your dwellers will take a beating from raiders, radroaches, or fires. They will gradually heal back up to full if left alone after the problem is resolved, but sometimes a series of unfortunate events or a poorly armed room means that a few may be gravely wounded in the course of duty. Rather than paying caps to revive them after the fact (since no one ever dies permanently), it is much more effective to select dwellers that you see running low on health and immediately apply Stimpaks, which restore a substantial portion of their health instantaneously.
Radiation reduces their maximum health (as indicated by a red bar that grows from the right), so be sure to use RadAway before wasting Stimpaks on your irradiated dwellers. If they do kick the bucket, don’t despair! Anyone who dies, whether at home or wandering the wasteland, can be revived. It’s expensive, but it’s better than losing your favorite citizens forever.
Go for the lunchboxes
The rotating three objectives you have at any given time are a great way to supplement your income. They will never run out, so if there is a low-value objective you won’t be easily completing any time, feel free to give up on it in the hope of a better option. Goals that ask you to equip weapons or outfits are easy to achieve once you have a decent supply, since you can just strip and re-equip your dwellers to fulfill the requirements.
Objectives that reward lunchboxes are far and away the most valuable since they will often include more caps in addition to other resources, weapons, and occasionally rare dwellers with exceptionally high SPECIAL stats. By no means do you need to buy additional lunchboxes in order to play successfully, but an injection early on of supplies and special dwellers can do wonders for setting you on the right path. Given that the game is otherwise free, I didn’t have any qualms about kicking the developers a few dollars for such a delightful little game, but whether and how much to pay is obviously a matter of personal preference.
Rebuild the population
New dwellers are a rare commodity if you just wait for them to show up at your door. That means you will need to encourage the population you do have to grow from within. SPECIAL stats of the parents affect the resulting children, so you will generally want to breed your very best for a stronger next generation.
Thumbing its nose at conventional genetics wisdom, this also applies to stats that have been raised through training. The rare dwellers that show up from lunchboxes, with their naturally high stats, make for the best breeders then. Since the vast majority of unique characters are (problematically) men, the easiest way to do this is to bring one to a living quarters, and fill the rest of the available slots with women for them to successively get knocked up.
Be sure to put them back to work once done, since they aren’t doing any good just wandering around the bunks once pregnant. The game thankfully doesn’t let parents make babies with their own children, so you’ll have to rotate male characters when you end up with too many direct relatives. Your dwellers are not especially picky beyond that, however, so don’t think too closely about the relationships you’re creating.
Out in the morning, in at night
Unless you plan on buying a lot of lunchboxes, you will need to send dwellers out to explore the wasteland and bring back precious weapons and outfits. They are essentially playing a conventional Fallout game for you, reduced to a passive stream of descriptive updates. No dwellers can survive forever out in the wasteland, but you will want to push them as far as they can go to get the most out of every trip.
Endurance is the most important stat for survival, but any other high SPECIAL seems to help. Higher-level characters also tend to stay alive for longer. Load them up with Stimpaks and RadAways to help them stay alive as long as possible, but periodically check in to make sure they aren’t near death. Once their healing supply runs out, bring them back home to collect their findings. No one gets hurt on their way home, so you can safely use all of their healing supplies before recalling them.
No matter how efficiently they use their healing items over the course of an entire day, dwellers inevitably seem to die if left out overnight (IRL). We found a good rhythm in sending out dwellers first thing in the morning, checking on them occasionally throughout the day, then calling them back before going to sleep at night. They do not take on additional damage or radiation while returning home, and will probably be back just in time in the morning for you to collect what they found and send them back out again for another day of hunting. As time goes on and you have some high-level dwellers and weapons, you can start to let them stay out longer, even for a few days at a time. The longer your dwellers are out, the harder the challenges and the greater the rewards.
Quest smarter, not harder
In July of 2016, Fallout Shelter added quests — Instead of simply exploring the wasteland scavenging for supplies, you can send groups of up to three dwellers to explore buildings and even other vaults. These missions, like most other tasks in the game, require some planning. The people you send won’t be able to help back at the Vault in the event of a raider attack or a food shortage. Each quest features certain level- and weapon-related requirements; generally speaking, you’re being pushed to send your best people, rather than your new, less useful people.
If you don’t want to pull extra dwellers away from their work, however, we recommend sending one or two overqualified characters on a mission, instead of three people who just barely meet the quest’s requirements. A level 50 dweller, for instance, can easily complete a level-10 quest on his or her own. The other two people who would have tagged along can stay in the vault safe and sound. If you’re sending a smaller team on a quest, you can also supplement them by pairing them with a pet, which can add additional support during close encounters.
Also, these quests typically require several hours of travel time before and after the actual mission. If you need your wasteland-wandering heroes back quickly, you can call them back with Nuka-Cola Quantum — obtained from quests, lunchboxes, or the real-money store — to make this process instant. We suggest you use these sparingly, but they can help in a pinch.
Once your vault dwellers have completed their mission and return home, make sure you reassign them to their previous rooms or their talents can quickly go to waste.
How to get an edge in combat
Quest combat varies a little bit from raids and infestations. By clicking on an enemy character, you can select which enemy you want your vault dweller to attack first, and lucky characters can land critical hits via a timing mini-game.
As such, there are three stats that you’ll want to maximize in quest-bound characters: Agility affects the speed of their attacks, while both perception and luck improve their critical hits. Raising a dweller’s perception slows down the icon you need to tap during a critical hit, making it easier to land critical hits. Lucky dwellers will get more chances to try and land a critical hit.
The Mysterious Stranger
Just like in the main series of Fallout games, you may occasionally run into a character known as the “Mysterious Stranger” in Fallout Shelter. Unlike Fallout 4, where he helps you through a tough fight, the stranger simply pops up around your vault every now and then, and will give you a wealth of bottle caps if you happen to find and tap on him.
When the stranger arrives, you’ll hear a mysterious three-note tune: The louder the tune, the closer he is to the room or dweller you’re currently examining. If the music is loud, do a quick sweep around the rooms adjacent to where you’re looking; if it’s softer, zoom out and look at rooms in the other areas of your vault. You only have a few seconds to find him, so make sure to keep your eyes and ears open at all times.
Sex and radio are proven mood boosters
Happy vault dwellers are productive vault dwellers (increasing their rooms’ outputs), so it’s always in your best interest to keep smiles on everyone’s faces. Having enough food and water and a well-matched job are the basic requirements for happiness. When that isn’t enough, there are a few other ways to turn those frowns upside-down. A radio station will help attract new dwellers from out in the wasteland, but it also serves the secondary function of keeping your population at home happy. Assign your most charismatic dwellers here to entertain the masses.
The second (and perhaps obvious) method of boosting your population’s happiness? Get them laid! Stick your depressed dwellers in the living quarters with someone of the opposite sex, maybe throw on some sexy nightwear, and let nature take its course. No one’s foul mood can survive a little dancing and repopulating.
You can easily avoid the microtransactions
Fallout Shelter is free to play, so that means you can offer up real currency for in-game items. In fact, despite being a free-to-play game, Fallout Shelter has earned more than $90 million for its creators. That doesn’t mean you need to contribute to that number because Fallout Shelter does some unique things.
Unlike other free-to-play games that rely on microtransactions, Fallout Shelter doesn’t limit your progress if you don’t invest. Fallout Shelter does something else different from other free-to-play games. It doesn’t make you wait before more resources become available.
To enjoy the game and advance through the Fallout Shelter storyline, you won’t have to spend a dime. However, if you’d like to enhance your gameplay, there are a few smaller purchases that are worth the price.
The baseline, most-worthwhile purchase you can make in this game is the lunchbox. It should be your first microtransaction. It’s the game’s loot crate, and it will instantly give you six new items.
You can also use real cash to get premium currency in the game. Once you make that transaction, you can continue using in-game currency to buy pretty much anything you need throughout the game.
Buying premium items early on can help you advance much more quickly through the levels of the game. But we think it’s more of a challenge – and more fun – to attempt the game without the added help. One of the game highlights is when you go back to your shelter to build your assets up with gaming sessions. With premium features, you don’t need to rely on those sessions.
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18 Essential Fallout Shelter Tips and Tricks
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Finding an addicting game on iOS or Android is easy. But finding one that can bridge the gap between the console and mobile and give you an entirely different perspective on a wildly popular franchise is another story.
And that’s where Fallout Shelter comes in. The game, which is available as a free download on mobile devices, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, puts you in the role of the Overseer in the post-apocalyptic Falloutuniverse.
Your job is to build an underground world for Dwellers who are seeking shelter, food, water and electricity from the dangerous world.
Along the way, you need to manage reserves, build facilities underground, find supplies and keep your Dwellers alive. So read on for some tips and tricks for Fallout Shelter that aim at making your time playing the game a bit easier and more fun.
1. Start Slow
When you first start playing Fallout Shelter, you’ll be flush with Caps that help you pay for building areas in your shelter. And although the game will make you build a couple, don’t go crazy. Building too much too soon will quickly deplete you of critical resources. Worse yet, it might prove to be too much work for your Dwellers, causing them to be upset.
2. Size Matters
As you look underground at the dirt and rocks below the surface, pay special attention to layout. When you decide to build something like a diner or a power plant, you’ll be given the option of placing it in areas where dirt is available. If you combine two or even three of the same type of room together, you’ll get a bigger space that can more easily handle capacity.
MORE: Fallout Shelter Review: Addictive Apocalypse
To get the most out of your shelter, build three of the same types of facilities next to each other. Splitting them up makes for all kinds of trouble as the game wears on.
3. Understand the SPECIAL System
To get the most out of your shelter, you need to understand the SPECIAL system that gives you insight into the Dwellers and what their strengths are. Someone with Charisma, for instance, might be best-suited for procreating. Those who have strength are ideal for power plants.
Here’s a breakdown of what each attribute in SPECIAL means.
Strength: Perfect for power plants and nuclear reactors.
Perception: Specialists in water treatment and water purification.
Endurance: Ideal for exploring the outside world.
Charisma: Baby-makers and radio hosts.
Intelligence: Put the smart ones in Medbays and Science Labs.
Agility: Diners and gardens and making great food.
Luck: A little luck goes a long way in any aspect of the game.
4. Keep Workers Working
If you send your Dwellers to have babies in dorm rooms, they’ll do it. But once it’s all over, they’ll just stand there waiting for something to happen. And along the way, they won’t build up their levels and might start to feel a little less enthused to be in your shelter. The best move, then, is to keep all your Dwellers working at all times. And be sure to use the SPECIAL attribute system to determine the best place for them to work.
5. Keep Workers Happy
Keeping Dwellers happy is one of your most important jobs. And the only way to do that is to keep a close eye on the power, water and food they need to survive. If they have everything they want, they’ll show their appreciation by working hard and not complaining. But when things start to go awry, trouble can mount and they might prove to be a problem.
6. Get and Use Weapons Early and Often
Raiders, RADroaches and a variety of other threats are all over the place in the Fallout world. Therefore, it’s a good idea to try to find and equip your Dwellers with weapons that will keep them safe. If you don’t have enough weapons to go around, be sure to give your best guns and other items to those who will be exploring the world and working on the top floor. That gives them and the rest of the Dwellers the best chance of staying alive.
7. Clothing Is Your Friend
Clothing can play an important role in the long-term success of your Fallout shelter. And while most of the Dwellers will have basic clothing, sometimes, your explorers will come back with articles of clothing that can improve the skills of your Dwellers. Better yet, if a new Dweller knocks on the door in the hope of coming in, you can analyze what he or she is wearing and determine whether the clothing would be better-suited for your residents. In some cases, clothing can boost your Dwellers’ attributes by as much as plus 5.
8. Protect Your Door
Raiders are a constant concern in Fallout Shelter. They’re out there, roaming the post-apocalyptic world, just looking for a shelter like yours to bust in. And when they do, they’ll be seeking supplies and might even pose a threat to your Dwellers.
To address that problem, you’ll want to use the Upgrade function to upgrade your vault door. Raiders will eventually make their way in, but the stronger the door, the more time you’ll have to get your Dwellers to the top floor to stop the raid.
9. Stop the Love — Initially
Yes, it’s an interesting concept that Fallout Shelter lets you pair up two Dwellers and watch as they conceive a child. But don’t forget that when you bring a baby into this world, you need to feed him or her. And it takes several hours for the baby to become a contributor to your community. So, until you have your place ready to go and you feel you need another mouth to feed and shelter, don’t rush two of your Dwellers into bed.
10. Encourage the Love — As Time Goes On
OK, so now you’ve set up your shelter, things are going well, you have plenty of resources, and you feel confident. Chances are, you will notice that a few people from outside your shelter are coming in to join your community. You might also know that Fallout Shelter allows up to 200 characters in a single shelter.
It’s at this time — and only at this time — that you should pair up your characters and let them do what they will in bed. Before you pair up the characters, however, look for people who have enough charisma to actually attract someone. You’ll also want to ensure you have people with a large amount of Luck, which will come in handy down the road.
11. Play to the Objectives
There will eventually come a point while playing Fallout Shelter that you’ll be out of Caps and you’ll desperately need some to increase your food supply or solve a variety of other problems. And when that happens, you’ll want to turn to your Pip Boy and look for the objectives.
Throughout the game, Fallout Shelter gives you a list of objectives to complete. Some are simple, like delivering a baby, and will earn you just a few Caps. Others, however, are more sophisticated, like finding things on exploration, and could earn you hundreds of Caps. Either way, try to complete them as soon as possible to increase your Caps supply.
12. Let Them See the World
Dwellers might like the idea of living underground and working on your behalf, but if they really want to help everyone, exploring the outside world is critical.
When Dwellers head out, they’ll come across a variety of threats and kill them to earn XP. Better yet, they’ll also have the opportunity to pick up supplies that they can then bring back to the shelter to help everyone.
But before you just send anyone out there to Explore, keep in mind that those with high levels of Endurance tend to be the best choices for exploring the world. And since they’ll be facing threats, you’ll need to remember to put them in armored clothing and equip them with weapons to keep them safe. Sending out a pet with them can also help.
Remember, though, that when you send someone out to explore, that’s one less person who can help your shelter. And since the person will have a weapon, it also means that it’s one less weapon to protect your shelter from raiders.
13. Don’t Be Afraid to Repurpose in Emergencies
Although the SPECIAL attributes are a guide for helping you determine where you should place your Dwellers, it can’t be your only guiding light. If you’re having an emergency and need more people to produce food, then send folks from the water or power areas to the diners. The same goes for increasing your water supply or boosting power.
In some cases, there’s strength in numbers — even if some of those people aren’t as skilled at producing critical supplies as others.
14. Rush — At Your Own Risk
When you need to get a quick boost to one of your supplies, using the Rush function is helpful. The feature means you can accelerate the waiting period for extracting supplies from your shelter section to boost your gauge. Although it’s a nice feature, you don’t want to overdo it. In many cases, your team will succeed in rushing and everything will go well. But in others, things might go awry. On a few occasions, I tried to rush my restaurant workers, only to have them fail and for the place to catch fire. It pushed back the waiting period and made a food shortage even worse.
15. Shore Up the First Floor
The first floor is arguably the most important floor in your facility for one major reason: It’s the first place raiders go when they break in. Preparing for raiders is critical and having everyone on the top floor equipped with guns is a great idea. Once the raiders break in, all of the people on the first floor can swarm them with weapons and protect everyone else below.
Having more people upstairs equipped with guns is a very good idea.
16. Place Your Elevators Carefully
Elevators allow your Dwellers to move up and down to different levels within your shelter. But they can also be a nuisance and cost you valuable Caps if you don’t use them correctly.
Build elevators only when the time is right and you’ve exhausted all the space on the higher tiers. Needlessly building elevators can cost you time and Caps and make your efforts to keep your Dwellers happy even more difficult.
17. Train Your Workers
As you get further into Fallout Shelter and have the opportunity to bring on more Dwellers, you’ll also have the opportunity to build a variety of rooms for them to hone their talents and work on improving their skills. For instance, a Classroom will help you increase the intelligence of your community and make for improved work in medical and science labs. And if you invest in an armory, you’ll be able to equip your Dwellers with far better weapons.
18. Don’t Forget to Build Some Storage Rooms
Building some storage rooms is another good idea that you can’t overlook. Storage rooms are there to put your additional resources when you’re producing more than you need to meet the demand of your Dwellers. Storage rooms aren’t the most exciting of things you can build, but they go a long way in ensuring that you’ll have enough resources to keep your place running well even when things aren’t going so great.
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Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom’s Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.
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Self-protection against radiation | US EPA
Radioactive radiation is part of our lives. Background radiation is constantly present around us, emitted mainly by natural minerals. Fortunately, situations in which the average individual is exposed to uncontrolled sources of radiation above background radiation are very rare. However, it is advisable to be prepared and know how to act in case of such a situation.
The best way to prepare is to understand the principles of radiation protection through time, distance and shielding. During a radiological emergency (a large release of radioactive material into the environment), we can use these principles to protect ourselves and our families.
- Time, distance and shielding
- Radiation emergencies
- Where to contact in case of a radiation emergency
- Preparing for a radiation emergency
Potassium iodide (KI)
Time, distance and shielding
Time, distance and shielding reduce your exposure to radiation in much the same way that they protect you from excessive sun exposure:
- Time: For those who are exposed to additional radiation in addition to natural background radiation, limiting or reducing the exposure time reduces the radiation dose.
- Distance: Just as the heat from a fire decreases the further you move away from it, the dose of radiation decreases significantly as the distance from the radiation source increases.
- Shielding: Lead, concrete or water barriers provide protection against penetrating gamma rays and x-rays. For this reason, some radioactive materials are stored underwater or in concrete or lead-lined rooms, and dentists place a lead blanket over patients while taking x-rays of their teeth. Therefore, installing a reliable shield between you and the radiation source will greatly reduce or eliminate the radiation dose received.
It has been proven in practice that in the event of a large-scale release of radiation, such as from a nuclear power plant accident or a terrorist attack, the following recommendations provide maximum protection.
In the event of a radiation emergency, you can take the following steps to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your pets: Get Shelter, Stay Covered and Stay Connected . Follow the recommendations of the emergency brigade and representatives of the rescue services.
Go to cover
In the event of a radiation hazard, you may be asked to enter the premises and take shelter there for a while.
- This action is called “Providing a Local Shelter”.
- Stay in the center of a building or basement, away from doors and windows.
- Take your pets to the shelter.
Stay in cover
Buildings can provide tangible protection from radioactive radiation. The more walls between you and the outside world, the more barriers between you and the radioactive material outside. Sheltering indoors and staying indoors after a radiological incident can limit your exposure to radiation and possibly save your life.
- Close windows and doors.
- Shower or wipe exposed body parts with a damp cloth.
- Drink bottled water and eat food in sealed containers.
Stay in touch
Emergency services personnel are trained to respond to emergencies and will take specific steps to keep people safe. Notification can be made through social networks, emergency alert systems, television or radio.
- Get up-to-date information via radio, TV, internet, mobile devices, etc.
- Emergency personnel will provide information on where to go for a radioactive contamination test.
If you have discovered or come into contact with a radioactive source, contact your nearest state radiation control agency [you are leaving the EPA website].
Where to contact in case of a radiation emergency
Infographic based on materials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Move to the basement or the center of a solid building. The radioactive material settles on the outside of buildings, so it’s best to stay as far away from walls and roofs as possible. Stay inside the building for at least 24 hours until the emergency services advise you that it is safe to go outside.
Radiation emergency preparation
For any emergency, it is important to have a plan in place so that you and your family know how to respond in a real emergency. To prepare yourself and your family, take the following steps now:
- Protect yourself: in the event of a radiation emergency, go to shelter, stay sheltered and stay in touch. Repeat this advice to your family members during the non-emergency period so that they know what to do in the event of a radiation accident.
- Create a family emergency communication plan: Share and practice your family communication plan with your loved ones so your family knows how to respond in an emergency. For more information about creating a plan, including templates, visit the «Make a Plan» section at Ready.gov/plan (in English).
- Assemble an emergency kit: This kit can be used in any emergency and includes non-perishable food, a battery-powered radio or hand-operated generator, water, a flashlight, batteries, first aid supplies, and copies of important documents for you if you have to evacuate. For more information on what’s included, see the Basic Disaster Supplies Kit section at Ready. gov/kit (in English).
- Familiarize yourself with your community’s radiation emergency plan: Consult with local officials, your child’s school, where you work, etc. to find out how prepared they are for a radiological emergency.
- Familiarize yourself with the Public Emergency Alert and Alert System: This system will be used to alert the public in the event of a radiological incident. Many communities have text message or email alert systems for emergency notification. To find out which alerts are available in your area, search the Internet for your town, city, or county and the word “alerts”.
- Identify reliable sources of information: Identify reliable sources of information for yourself now and return to those sources in case of an emergency for messages and instructions. Unfortunately, we know from past disasters and emergencies that a small group of individuals may seize the opportunity to spread false information.
Potassium iodide (KI)
Do not take potassium iodide (KI) or give it to others unless specifically directed to do so by the health department, emergency personnel, or your doctor.
KI is prescribed only in cases of exposure to the environment of radioactive iodine and protects only the thyroid gland. KI works by filling a person’s thyroid with stable iodine while the harmful radioactive iodine from the waste is not absorbed, thereby reducing the risk of future thyroid cancer.
The following are questions and answers from the Potassium Iodide (KI) page on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website (in English).
What is potassium iodide?
KI (Potassium Iodide) does not keep radioactive iodine from entering the body and is unable to reverse the health effects of radioactive iodine when the thyroid is damaged.
KI (potassium iodide) protects only the thyroid gland from radioactive iodine, but not other parts of the body.
KI (potassium iodide) is not able to protect the body from other radioactive elements except radioactive iodine—in the absence of radioactive iodine, taking KI does not provide protection and may be harmful.
Salt and iodine-rich foods do not contain enough iodine to prevent radioactive iodine from entering the thyroid gland. Do not use table salt or food as a substitute for KI.
How does KI (potassium iodide) work?
The thyroid gland is unable to distinguish between stable iodine and radioactive iodine. It absorbs both types of iodine.
KI (potassium iodide) prevents radioactive iodine from entering the thyroid gland. When a person takes KI, the stable iodine in the preparation is taken up by the thyroid gland. Because KI contains so much stable iodine, the thyroid gland «overfills» and can no longer absorb iodine—neither stable nor radioactive—for the next 24 hours.
KI (potassium iodide) cannot provide 100% protection against radioactive iodine. Security will increase depending on three factors.
- Time after exposure: The sooner a person takes KI, the more time the thyroid gland has to «refuel» with stable iodine.
- Absorption: The amount of stable iodine that enters the thyroid gland depends on how quickly KI is absorbed into the blood.
- Dose of radioactive iodine: Minimizing the total amount of radioactive iodine a person receives reduces the amount of harmful radioactive iodine that is taken up by the thyroid gland.
How often should I take KI (potassium iodide)?
Taking a higher dose of KI (potassium iodide) or taking KI more often than recommended does not provide more protection and may cause severe illness or death.
A single dose of KI (potassium iodide) protects the thyroid gland for 24 hours. To protect the thyroid gland, as a rule, a single dose in prescribed sizes is sufficient.
In some cases, people may be exposed to radioactive iodine for more than a day. If this happens, health or emergency officials may recommend that you take one dose of KI (potassium iodide) every 24 hours for several days.
What are the side effects of KI (potassium iodide)?
Side effects of KI (potassium iodide) may include stomach or gastrointestinal upset, allergic reactions, rash, and inflammation of the salivary glands.
When taken as directed, KI (potassium iodide) may occasionally cause thyroid related adverse health effects.
These rare side effects are more likely if the person:
- takes a higher dose of KI than recommended
- takes the drug several days in a row
- already has thyroid disease
Newborn babies (under 1 month of age) who receive more than one dose of KI (potassium iodide) are at risk of developing a condition known as hypothyroidism (too low thyroid hormone levels). Left untreated, hypothyroidism can lead to brain damage.
- Infants receiving more than one dose of KI should have their thyroid levels checked and monitored by a physician.
- Avoid repeated administration of KI to neonates.
11 Steps to Surviving a Nuclear War Step 7-11 (VAULT TIPS 101)
Know How to Provide Medical Care
in a national disaster. If many injured or sick people need to be cared for, existing medical services may not be able to cope. So the need for medical knowledge reaches a qualitatively new level. Responsibility for the survival of injured or sick members of your family will fall on your shoulders..
Main objectives of first aid and nursing education:
1. Save life;
2. Neutralize harm from injury or disease;
3. Alleviate the painful condition;
4. Provide long-term care and promote recovery.
Therefore, you need to:
• Have knowledge and skills in first aid;
• Possess knowledge and skills in caring for the sick.
First Aid Kit
Your hideout should have:
• 1 bottle of weak antiseptic solution (for decontamination of minor wounds)
• 5 yards of 2-inch gauze bandage
• 2 triangular bandages (used for dressing)
• a dozen 10 x 10 cm sterile wipes (wounds and burns)
• a dozen assorted germicidal patches
• 2 large sterile wipes 20 x 20 cm
• 5 meters of 9 cm wide adhesive tape
mixed size safety pins •
• 1 bottle of drops from toothache (for temporary overcoming of toothache)
• 1 Vaseline tube
• 1 packaging of aspirin
• 1 thermometer
• 1 scissors (stupid)
• 1 Medicine Glass
• 1 Pinzet
• Food soda (food soda (food soda ( 100 grams) and table salt (200 g) to prepare a solution (a tablespoon of salt and half a spoon of soda to 1 quart of water (0.946 liters)
• First Aid Guide
• Nursing Guide
• 1 pack of paper handkerchiefs (ie 10 packs, not 10 handkerchiefs)
Warning: An individual supply of medicines for chronic ailments of a particular person may be required.
• Remain calm.
• Place the injured person in a comfortable position; position the head at the same level with the body until you find out the severity of the injury.
• Determine for shortness of breath, bleeding, or fractures. This must be done before the slightest attempt is made to move the victim.
• Keep the casualty at a comfortable temperature by placing blankets underneath and covering them.
• Do not try to get a semi-conscious or unconscious person drunk (pouring liquid into them).
An unconscious patient lying on his back is in danger of being strangled by his own tongue, which may block the larynx. Turn the unconscious person’s head to the side.
If the victim is breathing quietly and easily, his lips are pink and there is no foam on them, breathing is not difficult.
If the victim is breathing noisily and with difficulty, his lips are blue and foaming, and his chest sinks in when he inhales, this means that the airway is blocked and the patient needs immediate help.
Place something handy under shoulders; Tilt your head back with one hand and support your neck with the other.
If the patient has stopped breathing, you can breathe for him by blowing air into his lungs. Take a deep breath. Pinch the victim’s nostrils. Press your mouth firmly against his. Exhale so strongly that the victim’s chest rises. Repeat these steps every 3-5 seconds if the affected adult, and a little more often if with a child. In the case of a child, exhale softly, but forcefully enough for the chest to rise. (Hold the victim’s lower jaw with the other hand. Do not open the victim’s mouth wider than necessary to blow in air.)
— Stop bleeding.
— Prevent infection.
Cover the wound with a clean dressing to prevent contamination and bacteria. Bandage tightly to stop bleeding. If the wound is bleeding heavily, hold it firmly with your hand until the dressing is applied. The dressing material can be a clean, soft, compressible object, large enough to close the wound — a handkerchief, scarf, towel, cloth flap.
— Cover the burned area with a dry cloth and bandage tightly.
— Give the victim plenty to drink. Usually, after burns and bleeding, a solution of salt and soda is used.
If the limb hurts a lot and/or bends where it shouldn’t, or if the victim hears the bone cracking, it looks like the bone is broken.
The sharp end of a broken bone can damage internal organs such as blood vessels and nerves. The broken limb must be straightened and held in this position, preventing it from moving and the damaged bones inside.
If the victim’s back or neck is so severely injured that he cannot move because of severe pain, torso fractures should be suspected. Move the victim on a rigid, durable stretcher with special precautions, saving him from bending the body. An impromptu stretcher can be made from a door, wide board, shutters, etc. Fill in the gaps formed by the outlines of the body (lower back, neck, knees) with rollers from clothes, etc. and prop your head on both sides, preventing it from turning.
Do’s and Don’ts:
— Pour strong antiseptics into the wound.
— Use a tourniquet
— Rip off clothes stuck to the burn.
— Open blisters and apply creams or ointments to large burns.
— Attempt to feed or drink a semi-conscious patient, or a patient with internal injuries.
Breastfeeding is preferred, and if this is not possible, ensure sterility for the preparation of powdered or dehydrated milk.
Nausea and diarrhea cause rapid dehydration. To avoid it, often give children boiled water to drink.
If rash or fever develops, keep sick child away from other children.
People experiencing emotional distress as a result of a disaster should be handled with care but confidence. They should be kept in small groups, preferably with people they know and trust and can talk to. If they are not injured, it is better to take them to some useful activity. It may be necessary to assign a balanced person to take care of an overexcited patient. If the state of stupefaction or overexcitation lasts longer than 6-8 hours, you should consult a doctor.
Signs and symptoms are described in Step 2.
Treatment involves rest, providing the best possible food and drink. The oral cavity should be cleaned with care, with a warm saline solution. Since patients are susceptible to infection, special attention must be paid to keeping wounds clean. Keep patients with radiation sickness separate from those with frostbite, rashes, and fever.
The following tips will help you when specialized accessories are not available.
• Bedding: daybed, mattress or any solidly padded solid surface; heights can be added using bricks, boxes or logs.
• Safety bed cover: old nursery mats trimmed as needed and laid on a waterproof pad; or — several layers of newsprint and thick wrapping paper, covered with an old soft cotton sheet. (Do not use plastic or polyethylene if the child is sleeping on the bed.)
• Reclining placement: upside-down chaise lounge at the head of the bed, securely attached to it, or triangular cushions from a sofa or couch.
• Cradle: Lightweight wooden or strong cardboard box approx. or a rim sawn in half and connected at the centers of the resulting halves.
• Padding Pillows: Cushion, foam rubber or foam rubber will protect the heels, elbows, back of the head or any other vulnerable organ from pressure sores.
• Bedpan or urinal: a deep dish or basin/pot is used as a bedpan; for a urinal, any wide-mouthed bottle or jar.
• Heating pad: heated brick wrapped in many layers of newsprint.
AT LEAST ONE PERSON IN EVERY FAMILY SHOULD BE ABLE TO RENDER FIRST AID.
Know emergency hygiene
Your limited supply of water will need to be rationed and used only when absolutely necessary. If you have enough time before nuclear fallout, fill your tub and all available buckets and pots with water. And remember that there is an emergency supply in your hot water tank (aka water heater, boiler). (Remember this if your water supply was temporarily interrupted during peacetime).
Garbage and human waste disposal problems can be solved even if nuclear fallout has driven you into a shelter. Place trash in tightly sealed buckets. After using the ersatz toilet, place human waste in waterproof (polyethylene) bags and place in a trash can. Stock up on these packs for two weeks. After the second day of your stay in the shelter, you may risk leaving it for a short time for urgent needs. So when the waste containers overflow, remove them from the shelter.
Provide the shelter with a soft broom for cleaning.
Remember that personal hygiene in a crowded shelter is of great importance for the health of you, your children and household.
If your place of stay is free from radioactive fallout, but the sewerage system has not yet been restored, bury waste and garbage in the ground. Dig a hole deep enough to cover the waste with at least two feet of earth.
Know how to dispose of radioactive dust
In Step 2, fallout is described as «sand». For your own safety, get rid of this sand. If you think your clothing has been exposed to rain, take it off when you enter your home and leave it outside. Do not shake clothes inside the dwelling/shelter — you will only disperse radioactive dust inside and put yourself and others in unnecessary danger. If you have water, wash thoroughly, paying special attention to hair and exposed areas of the body. But do not rub the skin, you can rub radioactive particles into it.
Fallout exposure will not make you radioactive.
If you are afflicted with radiation sickness, this disease cannot be transmitted to others.
Rainfall on your clothes exposes you and those around you. If you suspect that you have been exposed to radioactive fallout, you will protect yourself and others from danger if you get rid of outer clothing outside your home.
Food and water
Food that has been in tightly sealed containers (jars, bottles, bags, boxes) is safe to consume after removing dust from the surface of the container.
Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly, carefully remove the skin.
Water is safe if stored in closed containers, or taken from closed springs or undamaged water supplies.
Know the official emergency plans
It is important that your municipality has wartime plans. And it is important for you to know this plan.
Provincial and municipal governments, with the help of the federal authorities, are constantly developing plans to protect the population and maintain the functioning of public services in wartime. Most municipalities in Canada have plans to deal with both peacetime disasters and the aftermath of a nuclear attack. They concern how social security, health care, police, utilities, fire and other emergency services will function.
Several large communities are developing plans to help those who choose to evacuate before being attacked or those who are left alive, possibly suffering from an attack. These plans include the order of movement to the centers of accommodation and medical care.
It would be very prudent to prepare your own family survival plan — first without checking it against the municipal plans. It doesn’t matter if you plan to move to safer areas before the attack, or if you stay at home. It is essential to know and understand the system of public warnings about the need to stay in the shelter and, when it is safe, to leave the shelter. Fallout is a health threat that requires specific countermeasures to protect yourself and your family, including an assessment of the strength of the radiation, as well as advice and guidance to those in the shelter.
There must be a clear understanding and interaction between the public and the municipal authorities responsible for protection.
Stay up to date with municipal emergency plans and stay aware of their changes.
Plan Your Family’s Survival
If you know everything in the first nine steps and you know the municipal martial law plans, you must make a survival plan for yourself and your family. The success of your plan will depend on how many of the suggested recommendations you can implement. The likelihood of your survival increases with the implementation of each recommendation.
The first important step is to think about the problems you will face after a nuclear attack on North America. Shock wave, light and thermal radiation, and radioactive radiation — these are the problems. An effective survival plan will include preparations you can make ahead of these problems.
As you plan, note certain things you need to know:
When to take protective action
When sirens and other warning devices sound and your local transmission radio announces that an attack on North America has been detected, this means that you must take protective measures immediately. Will you and your family:
— able to recognize alerts?
— turn on the radio or TV and listen to instructions?
Where to Shelter
Deciding where you will take initial protective measures and where you and your family will find fallout shelter are two main items you should consider in creating your survival plan. Can you answer the following questions about seeking immediate protection and shelter:
— Have you decided where you will hide when you are away from home when the alerts go off?
— Will you try to get home?
— Will your family know what to do if you are away from home?
— Will there be a shelter for your children at school?
— Do you want the kids to try to get home?
— Does everyone in your family know your survival plan?
In thinking about who to do and where to move, one must take into account the possibility of leaving home to find refuge somewhere else. Before deciding to evacuate, consider the following questions:
— Will the protection be better there than in your house?
— Are there enough supplies?
— Can you transfer supplies there for 14 days?
— Do you know how to get there quickly?
How to Shelter
If you do not have a fallout shelter in your home, study the guidance provided in «Step 4». With the shelter requirements in mind, consider whether you have enough materials to set up a makeshift shelter in your basement (or central part of the house).
— Can you quickly move building materials to where they are needed?
— Will you get the help you need?
Based on the lists of supplies provided in Steps 5, 6, 7 and 8, try answering the following questions:
— Do you have any at home?
— Can you quickly collect them and move them to the hideout?
— Do your tiles, lamp, lantern, radio work?
— Do you have containers for water, garbage, hygiene needs?
— DO YOU HAVE A PORTABLE RADIO AND SPARE BATTERIES?
There are many other items that you and your family must decide in order to create a realistic survival plan. This booklet provides you with the most essential information to base your plans on. Read the «Steps» again, and as you review each «Step», try to answer questions about your environment, home, family. Here are a few of them:
— Do I know fire recommendations?
— Does anyone in my family know how to deal with a small fire?
— Can an emergency supply of water be quickly used to fight a fire? for personal use?
— Is the first aid kit always in full readiness?
— Does anyone in my family know how to give first aid?
— Can personal hygiene items be quickly collected near the shelter?
— Do I know everything I need to know about radioactive dust?
— Do I know my municipality’s plans for public shelters? evacuation routes? schools, hospitals? other special instructions?
REMEMBER! YOU MUST PLAN:
— PROTECTIVE ACTION AFTER ATTACK WARNING and
— SUPPLYING THE SHELTER.
Based on what you have read and the questions and answers to them, you create your plan for survival and undertake whatever preparations you can make in advance. BUT MAKE SURE ALL MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY KNOW YOUR PLAN AND WHAT TO DO WHEN THE TIME IS COMING.