Where is the Safest Place to Be in a Nuclear War?

The safest areas in the United States in a nuclear war include the upper Midwest, Maine, West Texas, and multiple small areas, usually in areas that do not have large populations. The most unsafe areas include most of the East Coast and anywhere near a major city, key infrastructure location, or military installation. When it comes to finding a safe haven in the event of a nuclear war, there are several options. Iceland is one of the safest countries due to its isolation, lack of military and geothermal energy.

With no standing army or other military force, the only people at risk would be those working in vital infrastructure such as power plants or airports. However, even these workers could take refuge underground and be safe from radiation exposure. Additionally, Iceland generates all its electricity from geothermal sources, meaning that even if the power grid were to go down, Iceland would still have energy thanks to its natural hot springs. Greenland is another option for safety in a nuclear war.

The largest island in the world located in the Arctic Ocean between Canada and Iceland, Greenland is an autonomous Danish territory with a population of approximately 57,000 people. Although sparsely populated, Greenland has a rich cultural heritage and its own language, the Inuit. The Maldives is an archipelago of 26 atolls with more than 1000 individual islands located in the Indian Ocean south of India and Sri Lanka. Bhutan is another option for safety due to its lack of tourists and its 70% forested mountain coverage which offers plenty of places to hide.

A new report released by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) ranks the Philippines as the 20th safest country in the world out of more than 180 countries evaluated. The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) established in 1987 severely restricts the spread of weapons together with the information and technology used to manufacture them. This has also altered the nuclear landscape. The small and sparsely populated nation of Iceland is largely divorced both from most major international policies and from physical contact with another country. The combination of physical isolation, neutrality on the government scene, and an inhospitable climate make it a tremendous place to stay safe from nuclear problems. New Zealand is another great option for safety during a nuclear war due to its lack of nuclear weapons, almost no military presence, plenty of space to disperse and being far from everywhere except Australia.

Countries that have long been important bases for the United States military often rank high on the list of places that will destroy nuclear bombs such as Guam which is too isolated with few resources and no threat to anyone. French Polynesia is too dispersed to warrant an attack and far enough from any coast for water to sink nuclear rain before it falls amid trade winds. Tristan de Cunha is located about 1,700 miles off the coast of South Africa (Cape Town) which means you would be safe from at least the initial explosions and first rainfall. Easter Island may not seem like an ideal place for safety but it has been calculated as a risk due to its lack of trees which means there would be no fuel for fires or smoke that could attract attention. Denver, Colorado is also on this list due to its high altitude which could provide some protection from radiation. Finally, Australia is also an option for safety due to its military bases in Exmouth, West Aus; Tindall; Humpty Doo; Darwin Harbour; Pine Gap in Alice Springs; and another facility 30 km northwest of Adelaide.