New map of nuke targets in US (from Bruce Beach)


Bruce Beach is a good man, and means well in all that he does. I’ve known him since way before Y2k. He’s the owner/founder of Ark II, and was featured on Doomsday Preppers several years ago.  Because of my research and work on civil defense history, I am well read in what nuclear targets in the USA have been for many years now, hence the large bit of information you’ll find below, with the original government documents in these areas.[br]
Bruce Beach’s latest newsletter pointed toward this (supposedly) current target map for the US in the event of a nuclear war. Triangles show a 500-weapon attack; black dots show a 2000-weapon attack. The map he shared in his most recent newsletter, originated from Holly Deyo,  from Stan and Holly Deyo’s multimedia CD that they put out a few years ago, and they pretty much created the map themselves (as with most other maps on the disk).[br]

They did upgrade the list a bit, taking out many (but not all) closed bases. How and why they chose to display the targeting areas and representations, well…you’ll have to ask them. Nothing I’ve found on the web documents Holly’s decision process. The map image has been shared for a few years however, and I’ve not seen any recent take down notices regarding reposting of the map.

As far as the official government maps are concerned, nothing new has been released. A few years ago, a researcher contacted me regarding my National Aimpoint List I digitized about 8 years ago. He was working on contract for the feds to update official target lists for federal training ops, and apparently he couldn’t find that one. He contacted me with a email address…not a throwaway freebie like most.

For SurvivalRing (the site you’re reading this from) I’ve got the three “official” reports that had US targets, including “TR82 High Risk Areas” (~1975), NAPB90 (1988), and FEMA-196 (1990)

The FEMA report RISKS AND HAZARDS-STATE BY STATE- FEMA 196 – downloadable in its entirety here, at 24 years old), a report produced in 1987 that shows both nuclear risk areas AND natural disaster zones for the entire nation.

The next one, NAPB90 (National Attack Planning Base 1990 aka NAPB-90, now 26 years old) used a LOT of computer crunching for potential death rates using census data and other demographics to come up with “then” known science, weather patterns, etc, to create a potential effets list.

Finally, the original…the FEMA report TR-82 High Risk Areas (1975) of the United States (not yet digitized, and 39 years old…I’ve got a GOOD copy) was the first attempt at creating a realistic list. You can view the first few pages of the report here

The data contained in both seems to match up with most of the data presented here. Click above to download the entire report Nuclear Attack Planning Base 1990, released by FEMA through a Freedom of Information request that took two years to complete. This report has much more detailed maps than FEMA 196.

There may never be another “public” update of US targets, but knowing what made primary, secondary, and tertiary targets, and using your knowledge of areas across the nation that would have been a target but no longer are because bases, industrial, or other urban areas were replaced with malls, subdivisions, or lakes…well…you can figure what used to be, ain’t no more…

Some folks have mentioned attacks of 500 bombs (Bruce, for example), but what the .gov planned on for a full-on nuclear war was an exchange of 6000 megatons of weapons…the proverbial scorched earth….

Simply this…Since 9/11, the biggest fear in all of emergency management and homeland security was terror nukes…and more than one in a planned attack. All-out global thermonuclear war is now passe’, but look at what Putin is doing with us, the Fins, the Swedes, even our own gulf of Mexico. The cold war of old is warming up again…thanks to ball-less Zero. Most of you already know this.

Now, some news…if you don’t already know, I’ve been working on an addition to SurvivalRing, called

It’s been low priority for me, but as things are heating up a bit, I’ll get back to it.

The two states that are mostly ready are Wyoming and Alabama. Live Google Maps of target cities are ready, where you click and zoom in to each targeted city to see for yourself what might have been, or may still be, a target.

A BIG part of the site is the CLOSED BASES section. When done, each state’s map page will have a BASES map (Google maps again), with the status of the bases, active or closed, etc. Full reports from several years of the Base Realignment Commissions are on the site so you can read them yourself.

I’m looking for volunteers who would like to help flesh out the rest of the states, with personal knowledge, experience, etc, for anyone who is really in to making updated maps.

Believe me, if there is any GOVERNMENT update in this area, I will find it when it becomes available.


Updated: November 25, 2014 — 10:46 pm

The Author

Rich Fleetwood

Rich is the founder of SurvivalRing, now in it's 24th year, author of multimedia CDs and DVDs, loves the outdoors, his family, his geeky skill-set, and lives in rural southern Wyoming, just below the continental divide (long story, that...). Always ready to help others, he shares what he learns on multiple blogs, many social sites, and more. With a background in preparedness and survival skills, training with county, state, and national organizations, and skills in all areas of media and on air experience in live radio and television, Rich is always thinking about the "big picture", when it comes to helping individuals and families prepare for life's little surprises.

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