Surviving a Nuclear Apocalypse
When playing a game set in a post apocalyptic nuclear wasteland, like Fallout 4, your character is always capable of anything, but have you stopped to ask yourself how you might really cope in the event of an actual disaster? You might have had fun running around in Fallout 4’s immersive gameworld, scavenging, building and fighting, but that’s hardly realistic. Do you think you are a survivalist, like Bear Grylls or Raymears, or doomsday mentalist who has their own fully stocked bunker? Either way, there are a number of things you’ll want to know and think about…
Firstly, what does the government say? Depending on where you are, your government could be giving you amazingly useful advice, like hide in a ditch and kiss your ass goodbye, or make a shelter in your living room out of anything you can get your hands on. Is this going to do you much good? Probably not. In fact, unless you’re far enough away from the blast zone and fallout area, or protected inside a suitable bunker, you’re in for a pretty horrid time. How do you know you’re far enough away?
Each bomb would be different, affected by the prevailing winds and the landscape you’re in, but realistically, the best option is the rule of thumb. Literally. Hold your thumb up to the mushroom cloud, and if you can cover this with your thumb, you’re probably a fairly safe distance away – not that it would hurt to go back further! This image is exactly what pip-boy is doing on the Fallout logo in fact. If you can’t cover it with your thumb, well, it is not looking pretty for you.
We went on a merry trip to a “secret bunker” just outside of London in Essex. This old bunker has been built in the 1950s, and could support 600 survivors for 3 months. Everything inside has been preserved since the ‘good old’ cold war days, and the fax machines and computers all far less powerful than even a dated smartphone. Still, it’s the protection you’d want from the fallout as well as from other people.
Survival is important, and you can rest assured that should the big one hit, everyone will be looking out for one and themselves, as well as any close family and friends along the way. That whole civilisation thing we’ve been working on for thousands of years would go out the window. So a bunker keeping people out, whilst keeping you safe, is ideal. Other key elements of survival would be food and drink.
3 days without water. 3 weeks without food. Better get your priorities straight. A bunker should keep you covered though, with water filtration systems and air purification, to remove the harmful radioactive dust that could spell your death. I’m fairly certain everyone knows that tinned food suddenly becomes your best friend, as anything fresh would be contaminated… unless we’re talking about eating people – but that shouldn’t happen. Right? Water can be found in lots of places, but it will hardly be safe. Your best bets are deep wells and covered pits, but lightly contaminated water from a deep lake taken from the surface might have to do, or worse still, from a shallow source.
With food, drink and shelter out the way? Whatever next? You’re going to want to sit tight. Maybe read a book? Hell, why not write a book? It is unlikely you’ll be able to sit there and play Fifa, check the latest news posts on Reddit or catch up on whatever hilarious cat video has just been shared by your friends as most electronics will be fried, and the internet will most likely disappear. So, without that, just keep yourself busy and alive, but inside. Stay inside. Why? Because of radiation, obviously. There are 3 kinds that come from a nuclear blast. Alpha, Beta and Gamma.
- Alpha – The most damaging, but it isn’t very good at penetration. Ie. even a sheet a paper will stop it.
- Beta – Sits in the middle with ionisation. Will pass through air and paper, but thin aluminium will stop this.
- Gamma – The least damaging, but not pleasant. And not going to turn you into the Incredible Hulk. This is like the vindaloo of radiation, passing through almost everything with ease. You’ll need centimetres of lead or maybe meters and meters of cement.
So, you’ll want to keep away from the radiation if you want to survive. Or, at the very least, minimise exposure as much as possible. Although, if you do need to venture forth into the decaying and desolate wasteland that was one your home, then you’d best be prepared. Here is where a whole host of Bear Grylls or Ray Mears skills come to the fore. Can you catch your food? Do you know which plants are safe? Can you patch up a wound? What if you got in a fight?
Well, there is a hell of a lot to consider. So, if you really think this might be happening soon, you’d best get of that backside of yours and get prepared. Do some courses in first aid, hit a rifle range, learn some woodcraft and survival skills, get fit and healthy, figure out how to get from a to b without Googlemaps… Or, you could just sit back, relax, prepare to kiss your ass goodbye, and all the while enjoy playing Fallout 4.
If you aren’t already familiar with Fallout 4 with hours of play under your jumpsuit (what, have you been hiding in a vault?), then you can pick it up for Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC from Game