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Old 07-04-2017, 06:34 PM
sisterpine sisterpine is offline
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Just reading a book and the guy taped up all the openings in his downstairs bedroom to hide from possible fallout. If he taped up all the possible avenues of air exchange won't he run out of air?
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Old 07-04-2017, 06:45 PM
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Just reading a book and the guy taped up all the openings in his downstairs bedroom to hide from possible fallout. If he taped up all the possible avenues of air exchange won't he run out of air?
The idea is to minimize radiological contamination (alpha, beta, gamma) by not allowing unfiltered air into an enclosed space. Dust particles and other particulate in the air could be carrying radiological contamination - which is relatively easy to scrub off your skin, but very difficult to get rid of if you inhale it or it enters your body via a wound/puncture, etc.

There would need to be some means of air entering the enclosed space, and hopefully some sort of filter or other means of reducing the probability that suspended particulate enters along with that air.
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Old 07-04-2017, 06:52 PM
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Most homes have considerable places for air to leak in. Walls, floors, framing around access points, ceiling light bases and power receptacles. If you totally seal it off you indeed would run out of air.
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Old 07-04-2017, 06:59 PM
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I see sealing your house off from outside air a useless endeavor except for a short term chemical precaution. A waste of time and money IMO.
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Old 07-04-2017, 07:18 PM
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Unless you seal yourself inside a plastic bag, fugeddaboutit.
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Old 07-04-2017, 07:40 PM
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Thanks folks!
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Old 07-04-2017, 08:41 PM
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Just get an appropriate sized HEPA filter.
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:22 PM
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I suppose you could get a ducted fan, fit it with a HEPA filter and use it to "pressurize" your house. Any air leaks would leak outward then.
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:29 PM
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Two answers (one of them is mentioned already):
1. An ordinary house leaks like a sieve, which diminishes usefulness of taping.
2. Even if your house can be made airtight, there is plenty of air for DAYS.

The most important thing is the radiation though (never mind the fallout). It would penetrate the walls and the roof. So one needs a proper shelter.
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:51 AM
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I suppose you could get a ducted fan, fit it with a HEPA filter and use it to "pressurize" your house. Any air leaks would leak outward then.
What he said. Depending on the scenario, radiological exposure from fallout CAN be pretty short lived, so even without a purpose-built air filter, it can be an effective practice. Certainly, it would be worthwhile in a chemical gas or toxin event. The problem lies in knowing exactly when to do it, because obviously you can't be sealed in for prolonged periods like that. One reason for having a good radio, and for having a calibrated Geiger counter. For the long term, the most effective method is a NBC "overpressure" filter which sucks in air- cleans it of radioactive dust (toxic gas and biological beasties) and then puts it out into your house which creates a positive pressure so clean air is leaking OUT of the cracks instead of the alternative. As others have said, this may protect you from fallout, but it will not protect you from direct exposure to radiation which effectively shoots right through the walls of your house like a laser gun. Earth, concrete, lead, large bodies of water, are the types of things needed to absorb and block radiation to create a true fallout shelter, but something as simple as laying in a cast iron bathtub or huddling down in a crawl space can effect the volume of exposure.

I will say this, I have in my preps some radiation suits (basically Tyvex painters suits) in case of a radiological fallout scenario, and have come to learn that it is good practice (sealing with plastic and tape) to create a decontamination room, like an airlock, in your house or RV to make the best use of you NBC filters and even a true fallout shelter. Even if you don't have full gear, it's good practice to remove your cloths and scrub down before entering your structure, and this should be done in a transition space that could be created using the plastic if you had nothing else (maybe a mudroom, or plastic Tee-Pee taped over your door) For that reason I also keep good stores of plastic sheeting and tape. This is also good practice for creating a clean room to minimize biological infection of traumatic wounds (think an add-hoc operating room), or potentially even creating a quarantine area in the case of a pandemic. Over-pressure principals apply here as well.
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Old 07-05-2017, 04:48 AM
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This subject of radioactive fallout is a subject which can easily confuse people. Fallout is the particulate matter, of varying sizes, that begins to fall from the sky shortly after an event. Because it is heavier than air, it wants to sink to the ground. How does it get up there? If a device is detonated at or near ground level, the explosions will suck great amounts of dirt in to the air, in the process making it radioactive. This is the most common form of fallout that will be present.

Once it hits the ground, it continues to emit radiation, but most of this will be released over a matter of days or short weeks. You can't stop it from landing, but you can take measures to protect against it, as others have said. The best way is to put "mass" between you and the fallout. The best way is with properly designed fallout shelters that are buried under the ground. Ground has mass. Lead is very dense, high in mass and is thus a good liner.

Your house could be made into an improvised fallout shelter. If you are fortunate to have a basement, that would usually be the best place to section off for your improvised shelter. For most people, protecting the whole house would be impractical. You already have some builtin protection from the roof and every intervening floor. You can then stack items like desks, or use saw horses to cover with planks. Increase the mass over your head by piling up anything that has mass. Piles of books, stacks of old catalogs and magazines, any metal sheets you have. Any physical "stuff" has mass and can be stacked on top. Even removing doors from upstairs can provide another layer of protection, as it can be used as a base to pile items with mass on them.

Your second level of protection is the walls of your home. You may increase the mass of your walls by banking up earth around the base of the home. Again, any metal sheeting might be placed against the walls to cover the improvised shelter portion. Think of adding protection around the part of the home in which you will shelter. Even parking vehicles by the wall can provide extra mass. The whole idea is to put as much "stuff" between you and the fallout, as mass absorbs the initial radiation. Theoretically a wall or roof made of feathers would protect you, if you could stack it high enough. Everything has mass, so don't discount items that might be useful because they are not lead or concrete. Even piling dirt in buckets or boxes on top of the deck of your improvise shelter will help.

The other area to consider is the air entering the shelter. Airborne dust particles are likely to be radioactive, but you can take measures to mitigate this. If you don't have the HEPA filter mentioned above, you can make an airway to your shelter that can cause particles to precipitate before they enter your shelter. Think of the way trenches were made in defensive in World War 1. They had many short runs, then diagonal or square turns back and forth. The idea of this was so as to minimize the damage a shell or a strafing machine gun could do. In a similar manner, an air duct or tunnel which has many turns and ups and downs slows air as it moves, and slower air drops particles.

Taping off as many openings and cracks as you can think of is a useful thing to do if your danger is from a radioactive fallout cloud that is coming your way. This will help keep out radioactive particles. We have to note here that it is not the air itself which is dangerous, but the particles in the air. If you can prevent these from getting in, then they will not be sitting on the floor in your shelter. If it gets in and sits on your floor, it will irradiate any people in direct line of sight. Keep wall and roof leakage out as close to 100% as possible, but by also adding layers of mass above you, you may still be able to keep it from harming you below.

I've just had another thought. You could also use floor[s] directly above you as a base for piling up items with mass. Books, papers and magazines as mentioned, but also any bricks, tiles stones you may scrounge up, placed in boxes, tubs, laundry baskets, grocery bins.

Apartment buildings can be great fallout shelters. They contain many layers of various construction materials, each of which contribute to the mass needed to shied you. If you could co-ordinate with neighbours you could come up with novel ways to reinforce the building. The underground car garage could be another excellent shelter, but make sure to ensure your air supply.

And with all of the above, ensure water and sanitation needs, lighting, food, medications, first aid and items to keep morale high, such as games and books. Have older people tell stories to young people about their life experiences.

These are ideas I remember gleaning from various government and private publications over the years. Review them and you will learn that it is possible to survive radioactive fallout even if you don't have a special shelter built for the job. Shelters capable of saving lives can be built even in the panic period just as it occurs. You don't have to say it is too late or resign your life to fate. Something can be done, but you need to use the peaceful present to educate yourself on the subject of expedient fall out shelters.

Just remember that the fallout dust will land on your shelter, so you must have a layered defense, layers of mass that will intercept the radioactivity and lower your chances of exposure. Also remember that radioactive dust can enter your home, so seal off these areas of leakage and if you can't use a HEPA filter, build an air conduit that has many runs, drops and climbs, so that it is not simply blowing straight in through an open door and sitting on the floor of your shelter and now irradiating those in the shelter.

After the disaster is over, the roof can be hosed down and the items you used as mass to absorb radiation should be dusted off. Wear masks while doing this. This aspect for me is a weak area, so be sure to get the guides and talk to more expert people than myself, who am not a worker in the industry, simply a curious guy who likes to read this sort of thing.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:38 AM
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I want to extend something Keysersosay noted above.

As I have gone through this prepping exercise (in my 10th year of prepping), I've come to realize that nothing I do will result in being certain as to the result. All I can do is improve my odds of successful outcomes--I cannot guarantee a successful outcome.

That realization, I believe, signified my maturation as a prepper. It's why it became clear, to me at least, that I had to prep capabilities and worry less about this or that scenario.

If I taped up my house to prevent air infiltration, would it be perfect? No. Would it be better than doing nothing? Probably. I would have reduced--reduced--my exposure to whatever could enter the house. Is that a good thing? Also probably.

I have fairly extensive car kits in both vehicles, including instructions in my wife's car for what to do if she needs the stuff. Someone once criticized me as to what difference it would make if she was stranded for longer than the water and food in the kit would last, as if there was no point in having a kit if it couldn't guarantee a successful outcome.

I was dumbfounded by the question; I asked simply this: is she better off having the capabilities of that kit in her possession, or not? I can think of dozens of instances where having that kit can save her butt. All it does is improve her odds.

That's all any of us can do. You can't guarantee survival, you just can't. How can you prevent a plane crashing on your house after an EMP renders its electronics useless? How can you prevent a meteor hitting your house? How can you prevent a sinkhole opening up under you where previously no one suspected one?

You can't. All you can do is improve your odds. You do that by having some basic supplies, food, water, hygiene, cooking fuel/light/heat, first aid/medical, and defense.

***********************

I rarely take part in discussions of "what gun is best for SHTF" as it almost always requires one to imagine specific scenarios. I also have done a fair amount of competition, move-and-shoot types of things, and one thing always comes out of that for me: there are a million possible scenarios, all you can hope to do is prepare yourself and your skills, and hope they suffice.

I don't want to get in a firefight with anybody. I can't know their skill level, their weapons (maybe), and even if I could, all it takes is one lucky shot and I'm toast. I'd rather run away if I could, unless i'm defending family or crucial prep supplies.

I'm probably better prepared in terms of firearms than most people here. I reload for everything I shoot except 22LR, I cast my own bullets, I have lots of supplies. I expose myself to different shooting disciplines and challenges and whatnot, but what happens if I'm presented with a scenario for which I haven't prepared? I'd better hope I can make it up on the fly, and that's all that my preparation can do.

******************

Your philosophy may be different than mine. If so, I'd like to know why you have concluded something else....might learn something.
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:58 PM
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Good information in this thread, thanks.

We've no interest in surviving a nuclear exchange. Some type of limited exchange, or terrorist event, where we could determine "safe zones"...and get there. Yes.

However the info on semi-securing your house from outside direct air circulation could be handy for a number of different events.

Volcanic ash. Wildfire smoke & ash. Any number of burning building/neighborhood scenarios (plastics in particular)....
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:09 PM
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Good information in this thread, thanks.

We've no interest in surviving a nuclear exchange. Some type of limited exchange, or terrorist event, where we could determine "safe zones"...and get there. Yes.

However the info on semi-securing your house from outside direct air circulation could be handy for a number of different events.

Volcanic ash. Wildfire smoke & ash. Any number of burning building/neighborhood scenarios (plastics in particular)....
We have had smoke from local forest fires so thick that you couldn't see the house across the street (about 75 yards). Our house was sealed well enough that running an air purifier made it so we could hardly smell the smoke until we opened the door to go out.

Funny thing, I don't think our new house is sealed as good as the old house was after we got finished putting seals on everything.
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