‎‎Building A Nuclear Survival Kit

This nuclear survival kit is small and portable enough to be taken to work or school and stored in a locker, or kept in a vehicle in case a nuclear bomb goes off while you are not at home near your main supplies. It will allow you to shelter in place for up to two weeks to avoid the worst of the radiation.

Core Contents

The core contents of this is the essentials that you need for survival. It may not be comfortable but you will make it with just this stuff.


We all know can survive two weeks without food but it is not a good idea to do. We recommend two of the Seven Oceans Survival Food as it is designed to be eaten on an empty stomach and lasts for ages. It is also super calorie dense so doesn’t take up much room. You can supplement this with as much long lasting food you feel you have space for if you don’t feel like starving it out.

Duct Tape

Duct tape is an essential item for sealing off the outside world. You can use it to tape off windows and doors creating an airtight space that fallout from the outside world can’t get into.


If you are doing well you will have made it to a basement or an interior room with no windows. While this is great for protection from radiation it poses the problem of a lack of light. A torch will be essential in moving around in your space if you have no windows when the power goes out. It is also a great idea to take some spare batteries with you. A headtorch is most advisable as it will leave your hands free.


Water is very bulky so if you are minimising space you can just bring some collapsible water containers and fill them up in the first few minutes after the blast. Otherwise Seven Oceans also does some water ration packs. We don’t really recommend stocking water purification as there probably wont be a water source to drink from but if you do it is worth noting that you should use a water filter not sterilisation tablets. This is because a filter will remove contamination from fallout while the purifying tablets will just kill bacteria.

NBC Survival Kit - Rations Image
Seven Ocean Ration Pack and Drinking Water

The Bulk

This is everything you should pack if you have the space. It will make your two weeks indoor easier and increase your ability to avoid radiation exposure.

Bin Bags

While typically the first thing you would think of in a survival scenario bin bags are a necessity for nuclear survival. If you can you should invest into the heavy duty ones but any should do. Here are some examples of what you can use them for:

  • Covering doors and windows to stop fallout entering
  • Air tight storage of clothes that you have taken off when first entering your shelter to stop radioactive dust from them spreading
  • Collection of human waste
  • Make shift sleeping bags
  • Something to cover up with in your stay if you had to strip off your clothes upon entering.
Nuclear Kit - FP3 Mask Image
An FP3 Mask


When you emerge the Earth will be covered in radioactive dust which you don’t want to inhale. You should carry some dust masks (FP3 rated) in your kit as a minimum but preferably you would have a respirator or full on gas mask. Goggles will also help in stopping the dust getting in your eyes.

Potassium Iodide Tablets

If you have watched Chernobyl then you will have heard of these tablets. They help prevent radiation poisoning from ingested particles. You should always check with your doctor before taking any medication so ask them about these tablets if you have any doubts. For more information you can check out or deep dive in to potassium iodide pills.

Spare Batteries/Power Banks

You should keep these on hands for your torches, lamps, radios and phone.

A Faraday Bag

While not essential and a little pricey Faraday Bags are highly recommended as they protect the contents from an EMP. If you don’t go for a Faraday Bag it is still worth putting all this gear in a different bag. You could also make a faraday box for it.

Spare Clothes

As you will probably have stripped before entering your shelter to get rid of clothes contaminated with fallout it would be nice to have a spare set of warm clothes to change into.

A Copy of ‘The Red Dog: Nuclear Survival Skills’

Preferably you would have read this book before a nuclear strike but if not you will have plenty of time to get through it in your shelter. It contains a wealth of knowledge about surviving a nuclear bomb which you will really need when exiting. It also has ways to upgrade your shelter and the instructions and materials to make a makeshift radiation detector.

A Hand Crank Radio

This items main use is to give you an idea of what is going on outside your shelter. You can use it to listen in to broadcasts about rescue attempts and radiation levels of your local area. This will let you work out when to leave and where to go when you do. It will also be a good source of moral if some music stations are still playing. Make sure it is a hand crank radio so you can charge it and be careful about getting it out before the bombs stop as its large antenna will be susceptible to EMPs.

A Knife/Multitool

Obviously check your local laws as to what you can add to your kit first. A multitool is always useful and will let you solve a multitude of problems that may come up in your shelter. A knife will also be useful for self defence when you emerge into the wasteland. Of course it should only ever be used in a dire emergency and carrying a knife for self defence is illegal in the UK but we are talking about a theoretical apocalyptic scenario.

Maps and Compass

When you emerge from your shelter you will probably want to find your loved ones or your way home. It is worth keeping a map with pre-planned routes and meet points detailed on it. You will also need a compass to use with the map. A GPS could be used too for up to two weeks after a war provided satellites haven’t been shot down. However, after two weeks the satellites will have drifted too far in their orbits for the GPS to be useable.

Nuke Survival - Burn Cream Image
Burn Cream

First Aid Kit

This is important for any survival kit but it has a special use case here. Your first aid kit should be equipped with plenty of burn treatment as people will likely suffer second or third degree burns if they are exposed to the heat wave.

Luxury Items

These items are definitely worth having but are either too expensive for what they do or are just creature comforts.

Geiger Counter/Dosimeter

These devices tell you the amount of radiation in the area. They each do it slightly differently but they will both get the point across. They will allow you to see the levels of radiation in your shelter and determine if it is safe to step foot outside and for how long.

Nuclear War Survival Kit - Geiger Counter Image
A Geiger Counter

Lock Picks

When you emerge you may struggle to find uncontaminated food sources. Being able to get into buildings where the dust hasn’t reached will help you scavenge clean supplies.

Painting Suit + Disposable Gloves

Combined these two items make a great makeshift NBC suit for you to explore the wastes in when you first leave your shelter. They will protect your skin and clothes underneath from being contaminated by fallout dust.

Toilet Paper

I hope this one doesn’t need explaining.

Nuclear Survival Kit - Bivvy Bag Image
An Emergency Bivvy Bag

Bivvy Bag

These are like mini survival sleeping bags that are made of a reflective material. They will keep you warm at night while being fist sized and easy to put in a pack.


We hope this guide proved useful to you and gave you a better insight into how to build a Nuclear Survival Kit. Just remember its only useful if you have it on you!

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