How Deep Underground To Survive Nuclear Blast?

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Last Updated on June 12, 2023 by Umar

In the event of a nuclear explosion, finding adequate shelter is crucial for survival.

This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about building and utilizing an underground bunker to protect yourself and your loved ones from the devastating effects of a nuclear blast.

Choosing the Right Location

Select a dry location with gravel soil for your underground bunker

Avoid areas with high clay content, natural gas pockets, bedrock, electrical circuits, and shallow water tables

Additionally, stay away from locations at the bottom of a steep slope.

Determining the Depth of Your Bunker

A depth of about 10 feet is sufficient for providing ample protection from radioactive particles and blast impact

However, going deeper than this can make it difficult to dig out in the event of a collapse

In a nuclear airburst scenario, a depth of at least 40 feet is recommended for adequate protection.

Bunker Construction Materials

A fallout shelter should be made of steel and buried underground to create a livable environment in case of a nuclear blast

Concrete and steel are cheap, plentiful, and tough materials that can be used for building an effective shelter without breaking the bank


Designing Your Bunker

When designing your bunker, consider the following factors:

  • Include an emergency entrance/exit to ensure you have multiple exit routes in case debris blocks your main entrance.
  • Plan for a minimum stay of 24 hours and a maximum stay of 14 days underground, as this is the time it takes for the initial radiation to fall to relatively safe levels.
  • Ensure that your bunker has proper ventilation, as air can get stale quickly underground.

Radiation Protection

The three factors for protecting oneself from radiation and fallout are distance, shielding, and time


  1. Distance: The more distance between you and the fallout particles, the better. An underground area, such as a basement, offers more protection than the first floor of a building.
  2. Shielding: The heavier and denser the materials (e.g., thick walls, concrete, bricks, books, and earth) between you and the fallout particles, the better.
  3. Time: Fallout radiation loses its intensity fairly rapidly. In time, you will be able to leave the fallout shelter. Radioactive fallout poses the greatest threat to people during the first two weeks, by which time it has declined to about 1% of its initial radiation level.

What to Do in the Event of a Nuclear Blast

If you have warning of a nuclear explosion, take cover from the blast behind anything that might offer protection

If you are outside, lie face down to protect exposed skin from the heat and flying debris

After the shockwave passes, go inside the nearest building as quickly as possible.


Building and maintaining an underground bunker can significantly increase your chances of survival in the event of a nuclear blast.

By following the guidelines outlined in this guide, you can ensure that you and your loved ones are well-prepared for such a scenario.

Remember, the key to survival is proper planning and preparation.

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