How To Turn Your Student Pad Into A Nuclear Fallout Shelter | Top Universities

How To Turn Your Student Pad Into A Nuclear Fallout Shelter

By Mathilde Frot

Updated August 11, 2017 Updated August 11, 2017

Are we on the brink of a nuclear apocalypse? At the moment, it seems the answer to that question boils down to whether Kim Jong Un decides to take President Trump’s belligerent words at face value…hardly the most comforting thought.

If you haven’t been able to sleep well at night (despite US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s reassurance), it might be time to start thinking about how you can prepare your student flat for nuclear armageddon. If you draw up your doomsday shopping list and start making your room as radiation-proof as possible, you might be one of the lucky few who survives and gets to build Earth anew. You’ll just have to deal with a lot of weird looks from friends until anything happens.

What to do right now

You’re not going to survive long in the apocalypse if you haven’t got the right stuff stored up. Head to the shops and add these things to your list:

Moet is a always a safe choice.

  • Hand-cranked radio and walkie-talkies for updates and human contact
  • Large bucket or container, if you ever need to go to the bathroom
  • Torch lamp and candle for when the electricity gets cut off
  • Several gallons of bottled water
  • Canned goods, snacks and champagne truffles
  • Pair of pliers, if you ever need to perform surgery on yourself or amputate a limb
  • Loo roll or kitchen roll
  • Record player, books and Aretha Franklin’s Greatest Hits (if hard to source, settle for the morale-boosting 7” single of I Will Survive
  • Bottle of champagne to drink to the end of the world/ for morale
  • Cyanide pills if you ever want to top yourself painlessly

If you’re stuck above ground during a nuclear attack and don’t happen to have a basement in your home or a spare$230,800 in your bank account to buy this guy’s bomb bunker, you’re better off staying indoors away from windows and flammable material. Remember: homes built from brick and mortar afford the most coverage from radiation, which can cause cancer, DNA mutation, melting skin and, of course, death.

Try not to die from radiation burns and/or poisoning.

To make your bedroom as nuclear-proof as possible, start by insulating your windows and doors with aluminum foil. Bricks and mattresses can also provide added protection against heat and radiation. Next, find a desk or a table and build a shield around it with several inches of books, furniture and blankets on all sides to stop radiation from infiltrating.

You might want to leave a few ventilation holes as it would be pretty rubbish to die of asphyxiation during a nuclear fallout just because you fucked up the makeshift shelter.

Have a little chinwag with bae on long range walkie-talkies

What to do on the day

The best warning sign of an attack is not the blast itself, but the bright light caused by the detonation. Under no circumstances, look directly at it. The fireball can cause blindness, which wouldn’t be very helpful at all when you’re trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.

If you’re within the blast radius, you’ll probably die within thirty seconds just from the impact of the heat and shockwaves, which doesn’t sound too bad when you think about it. If you’re fortunate/unlucky enough to be outside it, gather up your doomsday supplies and lock yourself inside your little fort.

As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to wait at least eight days before venturing out. That’s because of the toxic by-products of a nuclear bomb, but do listen for updates on firestorms, radiation levels and any revenge detonations on a little hand-cranked radio. Remember, if another bomb is detonated, you’ll have to stay indoors for another eight days.

Draw me like one of your French girls before the bomb kills us all”.

What to do after the attack

If you’ve survived the nuclear attack, take precautions when you do eventually emerge from your home. Wear goggles, gloves, and as many clothes as possible. Think Joey in Friends saying “Look at me; I’m Chandler. Could I be wearing any more clothes?”  This is to protect you from beta burns. Also, channel your inner hygiene freak and decontaminate yourself and your clothes from radiation with water all the time.

Remember the outside world might look a little different after the bomb(s). Schools, hospitals and other public services will be shut down or stretched beyond capacity. You may have to scavenge your own food and tend to your wounds.  

To treat burns with blisters or charred skin, wash gently with cold water and cover with a compress. If you just have minor sunburn, apply some Vaseline on the affected area. For more severe buns, wash gently with cold water and cover with cling film. Remember, never pop blisters or try to remove clothing that’s sealed to your skin.

Hopefully, none of this is actually ever going to be necessary, but...you never know. Either way, good luck!

This article was originally published in August 2017 .

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Written by

I'm originally French but I grew up in Casablanca, Kuala Lumpur and Geneva. When I'm not writing for QS, you'll usually find me sipping espresso(s) with a good paperback.

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