PHOENIX - A nuclear blast is a terrifying thought. More horrifying that that is radioactive fallout. Too much exposure to this radiation can damage the body's cells quickly.
In the Valley, a number of old fallout shelters are now just shells, tucked away under buildings or used as storage rooms.
In Tucson, a man recently found an old Cold War shelter underneath his lawn.
What was once forgotten, is now becoming a fear again.
We talked with a local survival expert, Tim Ralston, who used to have his very own fallout shelter, about how to be prepared.
“Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, but if you are already prepared for a worst case scenario, when it does happen, you won’t panic," said survival expert Ralston.
When it comes to supplies, of course non-perishable food and plenty of water, but what else could you pick up?
“For nuclear, pick up some Potassium Iodide tablets, get a gas mask and a chem suit," Ralston said.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency also recommends a battery powered or hand-crank radio, a flash light, first aid kit and local maps.
You can find basic survival kits at places like Costco for about $100.
Where do you go if you don’t have a shelter?
“If we are talking about a nuclear blast, we need distance, shielding and time. A basement would work or go down a few levels into a parking garage and barricade off a section, that would work too," Ralston said. "I found an old drainage pipe in a ditch near my house. It's surrounded by about 20 to 30 feet of earth because it goes to a dam. I bought a bunch of sacks and if I had to, I'd fill those with earth, plug up one side and plug up the other side and use that as my shelter."
The takeaway is, whether it’s a nuclear war or just a natural disaster, be proactive instead of reactive. Take action and always have a plan.
© 2017 KPNX-TV