Here’s how the federal government plans to survive a nuclear war (even if the rest of us don’t make it)
05/18/2017 // JD Heyes // Views

The thought of a nuclear conflict is terrifying to most people, and frankly it ought to be. A one-off nuclear explosion by a rogue state, while bound to cause massive American casualties (and instant obliteration of the attacking country), a large-scale nuclear exchange would no doubt wipe out much of humanity.

That said, there is no reason why the average person cannot or should not prepare for that eventuality, especially in these times when it seems as though a number of potentially unstable regimes like North Korea and Iran are on the brink of obtaining these highly destructive weapons, and have threatened to use them.

Because you can bet that the federal government has not only anticipated that someday it may have to deal with nuclear war, it has been preparing for decades on surviving one intact so as to guarantee continuity of government.

As reported by The Washington Post, the government’s preparations are detailed in a new book by former Washingtonian magazine editor-in-chief Garrett M. Graff titled, “Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government’s Secret Plan to Save Itself - While the Rest of Us Die.”

Graff got onto the subject after an employee at the magazine gave him a government ID badge the staffer found in a Metro parking garage in D.C. “Since I reported about that world, he figured I’d know what to do with it,” Graff told the Post.

He began to examine the ID and immediately found something not normal about it.

“The back of the ID had these evacuation instructions on it,” he said. “And so I got on Google Maps and followed the instructions and they led to a road that very clearly went into the side of a mountain, and you can see on the Google satellite view big concrete bunker doors.”


The resulting research and findings culminated in his book.

At first, he said, the government wasn’t planning on letting everyone else die. My, how times -- and government’s attitude towards us -- have changed.

“In the early 1950s, the government really hoped and believed it would be able to save most Americans,” Graff told the Post. But as nuclear weapons became much more sophisticated and a lot more destructive, “plans and ambitions gradually shrunk until, realistically, the best they could hope for is to save the senior leadership.”

Which doesn’t include you or I.

Much of the government’s initial evaluation planning -- getting senior officials out by helicopter and transporting them to a protected underground bunker -- has been repeatedly shown to be deficient in emergency drills and other disasters. And yet, Graff says, that remains the primary response.

One of the shelters is a government-constructed mountain fortress called Raven Rock, hence the name of the book.

The Post described the place:

This compound, carved out of a mountain near the Pennsylvania-Maryland border, contains several freestanding, multistory buildings (on giant, shock-absorbing springs) for a total of 900,000 square feet of office space. It has its own subterranean water supply, too. Raven Rock is where top government and military officials would hide out in the event of a major attack on Washington, D.C.; it was reportedly one of the “undisclosed locations” former Vice President Dick Cheney worked from in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

There is another, similar site, known as Mount Weather, which has been around since the 1950s. It is located on the boundary of Loudoun and Clarke counties in Virginia and is about 600,000 square feet. It is the official evacuation site for the country’s most important documents like the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

There are other preparations as well; specially made and equipped (and always standing by) 747 jets hardened against EMP. They are fully staffed and equipped war rooms that can even unfurl a five-mile long cable that allows for communications with nuclear subs.

But the point is, the government is planning to survive, and that doesn’t include the vast majority of the American people. Very clearly we will be on our own. Are you prepared?

You can survive, and here’s how.

Learn more at and

J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for and, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.

Sources include:

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