The N Word: Living in one room for one week

This is going to sound extreme but please bear with me as it’s only a hypothetical scenario but WHAT IF the unthinkable happened and a nuclear weapon was used in your country of residence and you were within range (depending on wind direction) to experience nuclear fall-out.

Being EVER PRACTICAL I looked at the most likely scenario here in the UK if the absolute unthinkable happened and if a Intercontinental Ballistic Missile was successfully delivered to London. While it is an awful thing to consider and while I personally cannot even comprehend and do not believe such an awful thing would happen, I still want to be informed and prepared, at least in someway. I’ve put a couple of maps and a link to an interesting site at the bottom of the page for those interested but don’t want for that to be the focus of this post.

Having spent some hours reading about practical steps to avoid radiation sickness it seems that the best thing one can do if you cannot get to a proper bunker and are likely to have to sit it out at home is to try and stay in the one room for several days if possible (and that room should be a basement or a room in the middle of the house on the ground floor and if possible a room without windows.)

In that room (according to what I’ve read) you should have the following at a minimum:

  • bottled water to drink and wash in for several days
  • food for several days, food from freezer and fridge and stuff in packets and cans is fine
  • something to cook with and heat water with
  • portable toilet with kitty litter and plastic bags and toilet tissue
  • first aid supplies and your medications and ointments for burns and injuries
  • clothing, towels, disposable wipes all stored in plastic bags until used
  • warm clothing and something to sleep on
  • wind up or battery operated light and power banks and radio
  • toiletries and eating and drinking utensils, stored in plastic, one use, throw away
  • any important documents and communication devices and money/cash/cards/car keys etc
  • Plastic sheeting and tape to seal window
  • Plastic bags to dispose of items

I’ve been giving this a little thought, I have my designated room. It does have a small window but the room contains my emergency pantry, fridge freezer, a sturdy table for a portable gas stove and for sitting at and is one of the largest rooms in the house.

As I read back through the above I actually can’t believe I am writing about this, do I sound like some nutter? I don’t know about you but actually I feel pretty safe and probably less than 5% of me thinks that this scenario could happen here in blighty. I just can’t begin to understand how the peoples of Ukraine and surrounding countries must feel right now and lets not forget the people of Russia. I always believe that there are more peace loving people in the world than ones that actively want to hurt others. We also know that coercion is real worldwide, from subtle propaganda campaigns to peer pressure and through dictatorship.

Personally for me I now have my emergency pantry completed, my medical supplies, portable camping toilet, portable cooking stove, wind up lights, radio and power banks. All good stuff for any emergency situation really. I also do have some thick sheeting and tape to seal the window (and I hope these only ever gather dust of the normal daily kind).

I’d love to hear your positive thoughts and real fears. Lets remember that we all cope with these times and situations in different ways. Some of us over prepare and that alleviates any anxiety, others don’t prepare and that is fine too. We are only human.

Much love, stay safe, be happy, C xxxxx


Download “Nuclear War Survival Skills” book from US Archive here

Download FEMA information sheet here

Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (800 Mt) | Click for link to website

27 thoughts on “The N Word: Living in one room for one week

  1. I have no wish to survive a nuclear attack, I would prefer to go up in the mushroom cloud. Even if I did survive the initial attack, I wouldn’t last long without my medication, which wouldn’t be available anyway.
    I don’t think it matters where one goes or what one does, I think the biggest problem would be widespread and uncontrolled crime.

    • It’s Doom Watch ! At least we would be certain that the retaliation would leave us in the same boat as the aggressor. Any survivors would be in the thick of anarchy and the biggest bully would be in control – back to the dark ages. I for one would not want to live through any such event, if it happens I hope I am vaporised in the initial blast.

  2. Nearly all of those emergency supplies are practical for other, more likely, emergencies, such as hurricanes and other devastating storms.

    It is my fervent hope that people will not let their fears get a hold on them. There are a few, evil, individuals and groups who manipulate the public (and elections) through fear. We very much need to guard against that. They do it for their own power and profit.

    “Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.” – Winston Churchill

    Let us decide to be for peace, kindness, and yes, even trust. It is definitely a good thing to be prepared for emergencies, but there is real danger in listening to speakers, news programs, or websites that stir up distrust, particularly of our own democratic governments.

    By the way, we have always had those things with our camping gear, along with other useful tools, such as a solar charger, a napsack with many things prepacked (in case you need to move because of flooding or lack of services, for example), and a family emergency plan, so that we know how to contact eachother (through the Red Cross, for example), or where to meet up locally.

    • Like you, wishing for peace always. I have a few people who have very balanced views from different countries including Russia that I love to listen to. The tabloids are just awful whipping things up into a frenzy. xxxx

  3. l think you are practical and sensible, and l want to thank you for the extensive list you have put together which I’m now writing down. l live in a bungalow so l don’t have an inner room but l think my plan would be to use my L shade hall as it has only a very tiny window in a very sturdy front door. All the other large windowed rooms l could seal off. It has enough space to make up 2 beds for my husband and me & a fold up small table l could use in the middle at the foot of each bed. l could use the coat rack to hang our food bags etc on and the spare coats as extra blankets. l already have 2 emergency bags packed which we have had ready for several yrs in flight suitcases with wheels for ease of use . It has most of the things you list for 3 to 5 days but now I’ve seen yr list l will add things l forgot about.. Bottled water and canned foods would fit each side of our make shift beds. I’m not fearful at all but l like to pre plan for the unthinkable that which l have no control over , but l want to take practical steps that l can control ,.as it gives me peace of mind

    • I think this list was pretty much the minimum someone would need to get by for several days in the case of it being unsafe to be outside or become contaminated by the air. I think most of us would have these sort of things normally for camping or emergencies anyway. The water is really important. Sounds like you have a good plan there Mrs Elston xxxxx

      • l was just chatting about yr list to my husband & we thought of a few extra things we would do if we had to ‘stay in place’ if outside was unsafe, just like many had to do in war years, I know this would be different , but to me the pre planning of the unexpected is the same. I’m guessing a large area of population would need to stay where they are. I plan on writing up a ‘ready set go’ plan for a ‘him and her ‘ if we only had minutes to implement. My list would be something like grab the emergency bags, the water bottles and tin food, then bedding..his would be something like turn off all electric/gas, grab cell phone then start to seal the doors etc. I’m not sure how much warning time we would get but l plan on not just sitting there and do nothing ! Instinct would make me do something so the more controlled and organized l am the better. l guess it’s my take on the training flight attendants have, they have learnt to stay calm because they are prepared. My hope and wish is to stay calm as possible, Panic helps no one and to alleviate that, a person needs to prepare.

  4. I never think its EXTREME to prepare for something that has a possibility to happen. There is an unstable man threatening to use nuclear means to retaliate, and in the United States, you really have to take notice when you see on the news that the US just purchased $290 million of drugs for use in radiological and nuclear emergencies. Your list does contain some things that we should already have in case of an emergency, but it is so useful for those that ‘meant’ to put a kit together long ago, but didn’t. Now is the time!

    • Well said, I think if something horrid happened and the conflict escalated, a natural reaction is for people to start stocking up at the last minute ( as was said above by @Holly W “Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.” – Winston Churchill) which leads to shortages and people do not have the supplies they need. By preparing somewhat we won’t be adding to the problem of shortages when that time comes as we won’t need to go and buy everything xxxxx

    • Please don’t be scared. A military expert was saying they have such advance technology now- a -days to intercept any of these sort of nuclear attacks. We can’t control what they do but we can stay calm by not panicking.

  5. Good forward thinking Carolyn, even if it is not nuclear, there are other natural disasters that could force one to isolate, fires, floods, pandemics, etc. you are ready for anything! Ann

  6. I’m a Boomer and raised in a town that always had a BIG target painted on it. Military installations, check; oil refineries, check; aircraft manufacturing, check. Yes, I remember hiding under my desk at school. The grim reality is that you want to be ground zero.  The medical problems, both short-term and long-term, will be a living hell, just to name one problem.

    Being prepared for severe weather events or your own personal SHTF event makes better sense.  I wouldn’t get too hung up on a nuclear disaster scenario.  Being prepared for severe weather events or your own personal SHTF events will overlap into a nuclear event.  By the way, how close are you to a railroad or an interstate highway?  A chemical spill is a more likely event.

    May I suggest you do a risk analysis? You write down everything you can think of.  Then, ask yourself the question, “how likely is this to happen?”  It will do a lot for your peace of mind.  Plus, you will look at the scare mongers in the media and in your government with a much more critical eye.

    Hang in there and don’t let the bastards get you down!

    • Yes totally agree. Like I said my fear of nuclear missiles landing in the UK is pretty low on my fearometer, to me it’s a small possibility only but very unlikely. For me I think my biggest SHTF event would be losing my job or ill health. Having some preps in to see me through the possibly of months of job hunting is what worries me most 🙁 😞…xxxxx

  7. Living in the boonies has some advantages. If you haven’t yet seen the YouTube Chanel called City Prepper, might I suggest it as one of the more reliable prepper type websites.
    There are huge amounts of overlap between the wartime community and the prepper community in regards to daily living. The same winter preps for energy savings such as using poly to Overseal windows is also useful for sealing against fallout. Stored food is useful not matter what the emergency, as is alternative sources of cooking, heating and refuse.
    If you never have to use the preps, Great! If you do have to use them, there they are due to your foresight. You cant go wrong. ( Unless you spend money you don’t have for toys and gadgets.)
    With Vlad the Cad having nukes, it is a more real threat than most of us are comfortable thinking about.
    Preps aren’t about guns and ammo and flag waving.

    • I will check that out and I agree that most preppers are not gun swinging, flag carrying people. They are more likely our grandma’s and great grandma’s! Saving for a rainy day, preserving harvests, mending and making do, making things last being sensible xxxxxx

    • Well we’ll we’ll the fear mongers are doing what they know best just keep the majority fearful then they are easier to control.Example the COVID jabs! My sister only had one and died with bilateral blood clots in her lungs.Fear is a great weapon to stress people out and it worrying about a nuclear attack is one great worry for a lot of people.So if you want be a prepared I am just going about my life without all this helped by getting rid of the gloom and doom merchants.

  8. Wow! A very interesting read Carolyn. I think my OH could now manage to live in one room after an enforced stay for 10 days in the back bedroom after contracting covid after insisting on going to a footie match in 2021 – but joking aside I do think these times are worrying and definitely people deal with things differently. My sister simply ignores the news and says she will cope with whatever comes along preferring to live her life to the full as it is now. I’m more of a prepper in that I tend to think mainly of those who have gone before us. I’m sure that people heading for some of the worst periods in history that we now read about could not perhaps believe at the time things would ever manifest the way they did. But the worst happened anyway. So I, like you, have gone some way to changing things / preparing to try and alleviate issues should the worst happen. Sometimes I laugh at myself for even thinking I might need the new (often old) skills but at other times I watch the news and think yes this is the right thing to do. One thing the last three years has done is made me appreciate the good moments! A lesson well worth nailing. Great piece and you sound far more organised than I do 🙂

    • Now I never gave the Covid isolation a thought! But yes in the earlier days of Covid, it really was a lockdown in one room most of the time so in a strange way some of us have had to experience that inconvenience already to some degree. Love your comment Jules and yes we are all different, no one is right or wrong, we do what we feel is right for us xxxx

  9. I haven’t yet read up on surviving a Nuclear event, but I am under the impression that it would be contaminated outside for months (years?) You’d have to have quite a bunker to survive that long indoors on just the supplies you already have. I guess it’s time to do some reading??

  10. Hi Carolyn,

        When I was between 13 and 16 years of age, (1959-1962) there was a
    programme for schools called (I think) ” One in  Five.” the idea being
    that they gave the information on what to do in case of a nuclear attack
    to a finite number of people and each individual would then pass on that
    information to four more. I can remember all the class being very
    matter-of-fact about it all.  No panic or fright.  The instructions were
    to:   Fill up some containers with water, (which in those days would
    probably be a couple of tizer bottles.)  gather up as much food as
    possible and surround yourself with as many mattresses as you had
    available, preferable in a room with as many double walls as possible
    (like a hallway). I decided that the kitchen in our house was the best
    room, it had three double walls, and the fourth  looked out onto the
    passageway between our house and nextdoor about four or five feet wide.
    Thankfully we never needed to use any of it,but the memory stayed all
    these years.  Good luck to us all. Valerie

  11. Lots of very ‘worst case scenario’ sensible ideas, but with a company and husband in the nuclear industry and him being absolutely unperturbed by any of the recent events and what people should do or not do, I will just sit tight and live my normal life. Unfortunately, my tiny home is totally unsuitable to take most of those precautions as the centre room is the one most open to the elements.
    Survival at all costs in a major nuclear attack is not the way it seems in the movies.

  12. I year ago, I might have thought these was overreacting, but a year ago, I never thought the USA would overturn Roe v. Wade, so this world is crazy and unpredictible. You are smart to be prepared. I hate how much fear we have to live with these days. Hugs.

  13. This is exactly the sort of stuff that was trotted out in the 1950s, along with American children hiding under their desks — the utter inadequacy and likely reality of such preparations was depicted in Raymond Briggs’ classic “When The Wind Blows”…

    Basically, you do not want to survive a nuclear strike. It’s a lot more pleasant to be vaporised instantly.

  14. I’m personally not preparing for such an event, just because I’m disabled and would be unlikely to survive. I also wouldn’t want to survive, because I would suffer far more if I did. But I do have emergency supplies for a normal kind of disaster.

  15. Please look into adding red iodine to your list. Covering an area of skin roughly the size of that person’s hand can protect their thyroid from fallout or nuclear plant accident. Once it fades away reapply. Pills work too.

    Thank you for your list is very helpful. I never even thought about a camp stove. I have tea light candles, a mental trivet and a tin cup. Good for one person but we have 3.
    Cheap pool rafts can sever as mattresses. Large print books are so much easier to read by candle light. A local map place mark on where all the churches, schools, shelters, drugstores etc. A good road map in case major roads are blocked. I live an area that gets tornados.

    I don’t fear crime overly much. I’ve been threw one major and a few minor natural disaster. People come together for the most part.

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