Conflicted Wednesday – Nuclear Fallout Deck

We have worked out an exclusive deal with the publishers of the survival card game “Conflicted” where we will be posting one question per week from the deck for open discussion here on You can buy your own Conflicted Deck here and play it with your friends and family… Okay, here we go…

Russian geopolitical analyst Konstantin Sivkov has called for Moscow to launch a nuclear attack on Yellowstone National Park and the San Andreas fault line, noting that the devastating consequences would “disappear” the United States as a country.

How would a nuclear attack on these sensitive geographical areas affect you?

Looking forward to the discussion in the comments below…

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. mom of three says:

    We would be toast..

  2. Direct impact would be minimal, but the down wind impact as radiation dispersed would be a wait and see, depending on how the winds blow.

  3. Just b/c a Russian analyst called for nuclear strikes on W US, doesn’t necessarily mean that Putin would order them to be carried out. Maybe. Maybe not. & if he did, does the US military have anyway to intercept them or blow them up over the Pacific?

    To some extent, how much it’d affect u depends on where u live. We live roughly 1500 miles SE of Yellowstone. So, depending on high level winds in the days & mths afterwards, our health may be affected to some extent. Cancer rates may increase in the months & yrs afterwards. Another concern would be its impact on one’s food supply – on gardens & animals.

    I am thankful to see Conflicted Wed come back. Thanks MD.

  4. The assumption here is that nuking the Yellowstone caldera would set off a major eruption of Vulcanic armegedun. Assuming it did much of the country between it and the Misssiippi river would be covered in ash. from there east may not be as bad but still in deep dodo. The further North you are the more the prevailing wind will help you. For me It may be surviveable.

    As far as the San andeas fault. If it takes out Kalifornia, Oregon and Washington so much the better. Refugees will not make it far anyway.

    • Almost all of the responses about the San Andreas earthquake/rupture automatically assumes that ‘Kalifornia’ would disappear. On the contrary, it may not disappear. The California portion of the San Andreas is a slip fault going north/south up to the Oregon border. Sure there will a lot of destruction from toppled building, accidents and infrastructure failures, but the state is not likely to disappear. If the East side of the fault causes a subsidence, then there is the likely hood the Sacramento/San Joaquin valley will flood.

      I wouldn’t wish for anything to happen of this magnitude, because California is responsible for about 70% of our food supply. That would be just as devastating as a volcano without the ash fallout. Recovery would take decades to establish a new agricultural environment that produces as much food as California does now.

      • Thank you for an intelligent response. I just love the people that want to bash California and say they would be better off without it when they most likely just ate a dinner that was grown there. And just for the record those of you who think that all Californians are just liberal idiots you might google State of Jefferson. You will find that Northern California is a different story.

  5. If the attack on Yellowstone triggered the eruption of the “super volcano” there I might be toast. I’m right on the edge of immediate destruction, so I’ve always mused that I hope it goes during a storm, so the prevailing winds might keep it just out of reach. But then of course I’d have a bleak future to deal with, culminating in my eventual demise anyway (about a year, maybe two?) Triggering the San Andreas fault line would eventually cause me some consternation (again about a year down the road) but nothing directly life threatening. The joke might be on Mr. Sivkov with the Yellowstone thing though, because of the global damage it would lead to. Think dark skies and failing crops…

    • patientmomma says:

      I saw a TV program (2016) on what scientists think would happen if Yellowstone erupted; it was not pretty. According to the scientists, anything west of the Mississippi and north of Texas would be radiated. The rest of the world would get ash skies (no sun) for one or two years and Al Gore might indeed get his climate change at that point. I hope the Russians are not that stupid to do something like that. As far as California goes; other TV scientists claim that if the fault trigger is in southern California it will go all the way up to Alaska and pop off the volcanoes in Washington and Oregon. I think they said an estimated 70% kill rate of all population and animals.

      I don’t care for California politics but I would not wish either disaster on any state or country. I got my own problems with the New Madrid fault 150 miles north west of me to worry about.

      • Patientmomma, would you happen to remember the title of the program?

        I’ll do a you tube search to see if I can find it on public domain in the meantime.

  6. I don’t mean to be smug, but my family will be fine. I’ll try to save as many of those in my neighborhood — and sphere of influence — as possible.

    Thanks to incredibly altruistic people who educated me, I know basically how to survive a nuclear attack (that doesn’t put me at ground zero….of course….and I’m not likely to be there…..) — and thanks to many many articles and experiences here and there — I’m pretty convinced we have everything needed to survive and thrive. The question will be: how many others can I keep alive. My life will be far richer and far nicer if I am able to keep a large number of people around me alive — I’m going to need them, and their skills and thought processes and abilities!

    There would be very significant time lapse between any nuclear attack on THAT part of the world, and that would make it relatively easy for many to deal with the fallout. Past that, working on food growing is the immediate next goal. Those who think they are going to live off the “wild game bounty” — good luck. Every time the calories go through another “eater” a huge fraction of those is lost… are far more likely to survive if you can GROW food, rather than having to depend on game.

    Security is not that difficult to arrange. I’ll do the best that I can to keep the largest area possible around me from descendding into a Dante’s Inferno where every man thinks he is the local Warlord of all that he can see…….

  7. ok, question here, got the old cogs grinding. in case of volcano eruption and ash falling all over the place what would be the best protection from this junk getting into your lungs? gas mask? mouth protector mask (forgot what you call those)?

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      007 … Depends on where you live! East of Chicago across to Northern Oregon and down to El Paso… you would need to plan a relocation if you can’t deal with 10 to 30 mm of ash. Inside that area… I suppose I’d wait till it settled then start walking East or North. You would need to plan on breathing through some sort of filter for weeks outside of NGS zone 5 … Inside zone 5 or 4… bad juju. Inside zone 4, you may have no problem breathing … as you waited to long and you Aren’t… breathing. Things would get very crowded East of the Mississippi if folks had a day or so warning… which is certian. Nice way to spend an hour or two… figuring out what ta-do in this event.

      The San Andreas … I’m a ‘former’ native of the left coast. If it happens fast… pity the loss of a lot of good folks… but take comfort in the removal of a viral infection that has ruined some of the most beautiful land in the country… (biased as I am).

      • I practically live on top of the new madrid fault, in other words southern Missouri. of course the new madrid fault could be another issue with nuclear attack.

    • 007:

      Volcanic ash turns into something resembling concrete if it gets into the lungs in sufficient quantity. You will need a particulate filter system, nothing as complicated as for chem/bio. But the filters in these systems will work but will need to be changed often.

      It will also play havoc with the air filters in your home and vehicles.


      • JP, best defense for ash would be foam filters over existing ones. Easily washable and reusable just like riding mowers.

    • Don’t forget goggles to protect your eyes from the ash. What we call volcanic ash isnt. It’s very fine glass and silica, with some other minerals that were ejected into the atmosphere. It has very sharp edges, and can lacerat e eyes, lungs, mouth and throat. It combines with the moisture in the lungs and does form a heavy deposit in the lungs, making it difficult to breath. If inhaled, it can lead to pneumonia, even if you don’t take in much and leave the affected area.

    • OldAlaskan says:

      Let me tell you what we did here in Anchorage, Alaska when in June 1992 Mt. Spur erupted. Watching the ash cloud come toward us was like watching the end of the world come to you. There was lightning in the clouds. The dread of doom was prevalent. I had to work that day and as a junior supervisor I called all of my fellow employees to stay home, an act that the supervisors above me at the company I worked for did not like. (Delta Airlines) I went outside as the ash started falling. My eyes and mucus membranes started to burn from the sulfuric acid. YOU must bring all animals indoors or protect them somehow. EMPTY their water buckets and turn them upside down. We wore painter masks and the finer the micron the better, DO NOT use your windshield wipers on your vehicles you will have Permanente Scratches in your windshield. Just throw buckets of water on them. Try not to run your engines because the silica (ash) could get into your engine. Change your engine oil often even after the ash has stopped falling. Sweep up any ash in your driveway and get the neighbors to help sweep the street it will keep the dust down. Water your grass, garden and anything you cannot sweep for dust control. Cover bare skin since you sweat and the ash will turn to a mild sulfuric acid and protect all of your outside animals. Feed bags over rabbit hutches, keep tour chickens in the coop and blankets on Goats, sheep horses and cattle IF POSSIBLE. We had about 2 inches of ash and it was a nascence for about a month.

      • mom of three says:

        Oh my gosh, I was there we were living over by army base, my brother in law, was still in the army. I forgot about Mt. Spur, we could see the black from the ash it was scary. I also lived through Mt. Saint Helens, in 1980 it was supposed to blow on the west side of the but then it blew it side open and it went east to the Yakima Valley, I was 11 and watched it on T.V. that was scary too all my Family on both side of my parents lived in the Yakima Valley, scary times.

  8. I believe I would survive the initial attack. The years after would be devastating.
    What about the counter strike?
    Karymshina is a super volcano in Russia, an attack there would impact the watershed and has a sub base very near.
    Biggest question, would anyone survive the following all out nuclear war ???
    No Remember wargames the movie.

  9. The strike on California – nothing really directly.

    On Yellowstone – I’m going to guess I’d be pretty well smoked! It will depend on what it sets off and which way the wind is blowing and how hard (assuming a surface burst).

  10. California Strike – little to no direct impact (watch for fallout). Yellowstone Strike – little to no direct impact (watch for fallout).

    However, both would invoke a major event with long term international repercussions (WW3). Huge security, health, economic, and refugee impact even if it were to end there (which I seriously doubt).

    • Dakota coffman says:

      Agreed. And the catastrophe it would invoke would depend largely on the size of the nuke. The fallout would be the major thing I think for people over 2-3k miles out of epicenter of explosion. And pbviously the repercussions besides fallout. Like wars. Pretty new prepper, there’s just so much stuff that has came to my attention lately and makes you want to prepare even more for the times ahead!!

  11. It would affect everyone in the world. Because even one nuke including an EMP nuke detonated on America will result in about 2000 nukes going the other way. And of course a couple thousand nukes coming back at us. This is what MAD (mutually assured destruction) means.
    No one knows of course if a nuke on a fault would trigger an earthquake that would be worse than the damage the nuke caused. Ditto for Yellowstone.

  12. I would not survive if Yellowstone blew. Because of my faith, I would simply pull up a chair, have a drink and a smoke, and thank God for a wonderful life. I would prefer a quick death, then having to live through starvation and disease. Crops failing, contaminated water and a total shift of ecosystems as nature attempts to keep going would overwhelm me. No conflict here, but hoping we repay the favor.

  13. Surviving Yellowstone would depend on whether she blew or not. Prevailing winds would give us a few hours, if we received notification in time, to pack the car and head east. Immediately. this would put us on a course most likely to remove us from the path of both ash and fallout. Curvature of the earth would protect us from direct radiation, as radiation is light and travels on a straight line.
    If unable to bug out, we would shelter in place, with every large opening sealed off from whatever radioactive dust might come our way. I would immediately begin to fill the tub, large bowls and containers with water, cuz even though I have a good supply, we could need more. The dogs would have to go inside for awhile. Could get stinky.
    After its had time to settle, or the all clear has sounded, we coul risk going out, thoroughly covered, to check the state of things and go from there. By now, refugees and travelers would be coming through. We would have to watch out, as a community, on the possibility of communicable diseases and the potential drain on community resources.
    If Yellowstone blows, without warning, we’re gone anyway.
    If San Andreas goes, it wouldn’t affect us except for possible refugees needing help (or demanding it).

  14. bout2vomit says:

    Game over! West coast…toast and Yellowstone would take care of the mid-west and portions of the south and east. The resulting ash from Yellowstone would blanket the nation, Canada and portions of Mexico…… I said, “game over.”

  15. OldAlaskan says:

    I live over 3,000 miles more or less North West in Alaska so no problem until the ash blocked the sun. We lived through it before in 1992

  16. Since I live in SE Wisconsin probably survive for a while. But if this caldera blows a crapload of sun dimming ash would be thrown into the atmosphere and undoubtedly affect growing seasons for several years. So when my stash of food runs out it may be problematic to grow more. The winter here is already pretty brutal, so it will be tough to make it for sure.

  17. EMP we can survive, Kalifornistan’s destruction we can survive. The Yellowstone Caldera could easily become an extinction level event. Even if pockets of well prepared humans survived it would be years before they would have much more than a subsistence existence. It would be millennia before worldwide civilization, as we understand it today, returned.

  18. Prevailing winds from west to east so I doubt a Yellowstone caldera event, natural or man triggered would effect the PNW where I am other than commercial/domestic impact ( off the cuff answer so…)

    San Andreas fault? A possibility that it could trigger other faults into activity. It does run out to sea on both ends if I remember right, but is limited to California, so I doubt it would travel with one nuke detonation.

    It would be more bang for the buck for Russia to expend the ordnance into a nation crippling EMP, the resulting aftermath would likely achieve more than two detonations on Geo unstable areas. All IMO anyway, YMMV.

  19. We are in So Orange County, so, unless we could get out to our family in Texas….we would likely die from nuclear fallout.

  20. Ronald Beal says:

    I don’t think many of you understand the scenario completely: The nuclear bomb, regardless of the origin, will cause Yellowstone, the largest caldera in the world, to erupt. I won’t bother to explain all the tech stuff, but bottom line is this: The USA will cease to exist – it doesn’t matter where you live. Washington DC will have 2″ of ash over the entire city – yes it does get into your lungs and it does kill. The ash is finer than flour and is almost impossible to keep out of anything- lungs, motors, plants, animals etc. Nothing is exempt. Similar to a nuclear winter, the thousands of cubic miles of ash, 20-30 miles high will block the Sun. There are several videos produced by scientist and others who are knowledgeable. That is only the USA, the remainder of the world will also suffer and mostly die. Not – if, – but when is considered correct. Yellowstone continues to rise several inches each year- it is not over two feet higher than normal, with new vents opening every year.

  21. Stan Dillard says:

    At my age of 71 and as a Christian, the question for me is, “Would I want to survive?” My answer would probably be “Yes, for a while, at least.” I would want to help those among my family and friends to survive, but if the struggle got severe enough, I might decide to simply stop struggling. I can’t really say that I would ever consider Heaven to be a negative alternative! At the same time, the urge to survive, merely to survive, is a strong element of the human spirit.

    • At my age of 71 and as a Christian, the question for me is, “Would I want to survive?”
      That is a very good question Stan. I am not quite your age but not far from it and I have asked that same question. I am not afraid to die(it will come to all of us at some time or other) but I am afraid of pain and suffering,more for my loved one’s than me. I have often stated that I don’t really prep to survive I prep because I am afraid that I will.

  22. Chuck Findlay says:

    Russian geopolitical analyst Konstantin Sivkov has called for Moscow to launch a nuclear attack on Yellowstone National Park and the San Andreas fault line, noting that the devastating consequences would “disappear” the United States as a country.

    Unlikely, during the Cold War we had someone (a spy) within the Kremlin and this person said the Russians were extremely afraid of the chance of The US nuking them.

    They know that if they hit us, we will hit back.

    So no I don’t see them starting World War Ultimate.

  23. I honestly don’t know what I would do. I think most people would be in shock for a period of time. I also don’t believe Russia wants an all out nuclear war. It would be just as devastating for them as well.

    If San Adreas goes, both of my sons would be in danger along with my grandchildren and 1 of my brothers. If the caldera was hit, my best friend would be directly impacted unless he had gone to his home in NC.

    I would stay put and pray my daughter could get to where I live. I have 2 very good gas masks, numerous other filter masks and goggles. Plenty of food and water for a long period, but that doesn’t mean I would or could survive if such an attack happened while I am still tied to my oxygen unit and/or medical issues.

    It is in the Book of Revelations that the 2nd coming of Christ won’t come until after WWIII. Either way, humans have brought this forecasted devastation on themselves.

  24. I have lots of food and water. I live in Oklahoma. I going to tell ever one no one gets any of my food and water as long as I am alive. Hopefully some takes me out fast they are welcome to the food and water then. I hope they realize they done me a favor and enjoy the food and water as they die slow and I did not have to suffer I will be smiling dead.

  25. Such a silly question!!!! If we were nuked ANYWHERE, let alone Yellowstone and The “fault” line ….. it would then be full all out nuclear war. Survival would be from zip to minimum regardless of your location. Usually the questions/situations from “Conflicted” are much more intelligent possibilities.

    • Yup, Gary, nukes would be flying every whichaway. Pakistan & India would go at it. North Korea would over run South Korea. Etc, etc, etc.

      Here would be horrific even if no second nuke fired here. The ash would be a huge issue from the Rockies to the Atlantic. Farmland covered, bodies of water ruined, never mind the ash would destroy lungs and clog anything relying on air intake. Rivers would take out bridges, cities, towns, farms, and so on. And then we have the radiation from all the nuclear power plants that couldn’t shut down.

      Kalifornia supplies much of our food. West Coast ports would be down & out.

      Ugly scenarios.

  26. IF, and it’s a big IF, a nuke could trigger the Yellowstone eruption most of the world would be in deep crapola. The ash that falls as far East as the Mississippi would be radioactive. The effect on agriculture in the entire Northern Hemisphere would be devastating–including Russia. On the other hand, a nuke might just bleed off some excess pressure and NOT cause a cataclysmic eruption. But one thing for sure–We’d nuke hell out of Russia so fallout would mess up most of the hemisphere.

    Same goes for the San Andreas fault. A nuke or several might set it off but might not. Agriculture would be severely hurt and millions would starve. Again, Russia would glow in the dark.

    Best for all not to go down this path.

Before commenting, please read my Comments Policy - thanks!