Evacuating your home 101, Box 3 – The Nuclear kit

Box #3 – The Nuclear Kit


Container: Steel ammo can (army surplus stores are a great place to get one)


Black and Yellow flag with text caution radioactive

Radiation is not visible

(If you jumped into this series on this post, you’ll want to head back to the beginning so it makes sense.  The first post in the series can be found here, then follow the links for the rest of the series.)

Prior to 9/11/01 there were a few ‘extremists’ talking about the possibility of terrorists flying airplanes into buildings.  A few planners worked out contingencies for dealing with that sort of thing, but for the most part nobody believed it would ever happen.  It was just too weird.

It wasn’t so extreme during the fifties to build a bomb shelter, but since the apparent dissolution of the Soviet Union no one wants to listen to talk about nuclear war.  Most Americans are banking on it being somehow indefinitely avoided.

This kit is for terrorism or war.  Assume the next war on American soil will turn nuclear even if it doesn’t start that way, and take this box with you in any evacuation involving foreign aggression.

At the very least the kit should contain:

  • a copy of Nuclear War Survival Skills by Cresson Kearny,
  •  enough KI03 (Potassium Iodate) for your family. (Potassium IodATE is better tolerated and tastes better  than KI, Potassium IodIDE.  Both will work.
  • A battery-powered radio with extra fresh batteries, you might even consider rechargables that can be charged in a solar or car charger.  eneloop is probably the best brand of rechargables on the market now, and some of the sets come with adapters for C and D batteries.
  • radiation meter, (or tools and supplies to make one as shown in the book) would also be beneficial.

I must admit that this kit is the one that I prefer to think about the least.  It’s so out of our realm of normal thought that it’s more scary to imagine than the rest, but I must say that having these items on the shelf, brings peace of mind.

After the earthquake ,  tsunami and nuclear power plant issues in Japan last year, there was a bit of panic and it was very difficult to find the Potassium Iodate.  If you could find it, the prices were crazy.  Now that the panic has passed, supplies are replenished and prices are back down to near normal.  So now is a good time to stock up on this for your family and loved ones.  Dosages for KI03 are based on weight:

  • adults (over 100 lbs) need a dose of 130-135 mg per day, until the rad levels get down to 1 rad/hour (up to 14 days)
  • children and adults under 100 lbs need a dose of 60-65 mg per day.
  • babies up to 18 months have thyroid that are not yet developed and can not process it

This will fill your thyroid with stable iodine so that radioactive iodine cannot enter. You only take it when a cloud is imminent or you can ruin your thyroid. You’d know that a cloud was coming by listening to official news sources.

The KI03 linked to above have 85 mg per pill so an adult would take 2 pills (85 mg) per day and children would take 1 per day for about 14 days.  Knowing that, you’ll have to do a little math to figure how many pills total you’d need.  For example, I have 8 in my family, 5 over 100 lbs, and 3 under.  so my math formula would look like this.

(5 people x 2 pills (85mg) per day x 14 days = 140 pills) and

(3 people x 1 pill per day x 14 days = 42 pills)   then

add the 140 and 42 together and the total I need is 182 pills for my family.

OK, so it’s been a while since I bought mine so I went to check and see if I had enough….here is what I found, I do but I opted to go with two different dosages for the different members of my family.  For the adult sized people, I have the KI03, 170 mg tablets so we only have to take 1 per day and then I have the 85 mg for the littler people.

Another reason I would get KI03 (Iodate) vs KI (Iodide) for my family is that it has a longer shelf life which is  a huge plus because this is something that we hope to never have to need, but will store for when we do.  The expiration dates on my bottles are in the 2020’s.  And, after expiring, they just slowly lose potency, they don’t go bad.

FYI, The label on my bottles says:

Directions: Use KI03 when directed by authorities or exposure to radioactive fallout is imminent.  Examples: Downwind from nuclear explosion or reactor leak.  Discontinue when authorities announce “All Clear” (3-15 days)

Tablets can crushed and mixed with juice or milk.

See your physician before taking KI03 if you have thyroid disease, dermatitis, hepatitis, iodine allergy or vascular disease.

There you go…your science class for the day, more than you ever wanted to know about KI03, Potassium Iodate.

Coming up next…the pretty boring but Oh-so-glad-you-have-it-when-you-need-it -box, Box #4-  The Water Box



  1. Judi says:

    Tons of good info here! I would love to see each box list available in PDF to save to my computer and to print with out all of the other stuff. I am compiling info to have for some prepping classes I plan to teach for our church. Thanks!

    • Andrea says:

      Hi Judi,
      Thanks for the question, I’ll work on that.

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