People Describe What They Would Do If Nuclear Attack Sirens Went Off In The Middle Of The Night

People Describe What They Would Do If Nuclear Attack Sirens Went Off In The Middle Of The Night
Maxwell Nelson on Unsplash

Imagine being woken up in the middle of the night to a distress call?

The alarm signaling imminent danger is a terrifying reality for many civilians, particularly in the current situation in Ukraine where air raid sirens were heard blaring after Russian military forces invaded the country.
Even routine alarms can be startling, as people may wonder whether or not it's just a drill "this time."
Remember Hawaii's false missile alert in 2018?
Locals were absolutely terrified, and for good reason, as there was pandaemonium with civilians scrambling to seek safety or bracing themselves for the worst-case scenario.

For those of us who have never been in these situations, Redditor TheBestMoronEver wondered:

"If you heard nuclear sirens go off in the middle of the night how would you react?"

These Redditors had a casual response.


"Probably curse about the damned tornado sirens going off again, and rolling over to go back to sleep."

– KaliCalamity

White Noise

"My area sets off the sirens if we have a severe thunderstorm warning, so nobody really pays much attention to them any more."

– notthesedays

Please Identify

"Since I don't know what a nuclear siren sounds like I would probably say, 'What is that?'"

– BlueRFR3100

Here are some unexpected responses.


"Well I'm deaf, so first I'd say 'Holy sh't, I got my hearing back!'"


All About Location

"Given that I'm pretty close to the North Korean border, I'd say I'd guess they were attacking."

– somek_pamak

A Grave Possibility

"I'm pretty close to Russian border (in Finland) so I'd assume it's Putin paying a visit."

– vilefairyx

Laughing Matter

"Jokes on them, the lead paint and asbestos in my apartment will protect me."

"Jokes on me, that will mean I need to go to work right away. :("

– pm-me-racecars

Some people found it easier to accept their fate.

Rest Easy

"Might as well try to enjoy some more sleep for the last moments of my life."

– schmidty33333

Taking The Hit

"Probably die like most people because I have no where to go that could withstand a nuclear blast."

– gameofthrones_addict

Final Viewing

"Might as well go outside and watch."

– BoomZhakaLaka

If Case You Are Out Of The Radius

"You have a better chance of survival if you are indoors. Basement with concrete ideally. All windows and doors shut. The point is to avoid having the fallout settle on your skin. Once inside you stay in for 24-48 hours."

"This, of course, does not apply if you are within the blast radius. In that case it doesn’t matter too much."

– ex_ter_min_ate_

Hawaiians shared their recollections of the false alarm.

"This kind of happened to me in Hawaii a few years ago. I got an ‘incoming nuclear missile, this is not a test’ alert on my phone. My family and I just stood around in shock for a couple minutes, then we went to the underground parking garage and just… waited. Nobody knew what the hell to do. After about 15 minutes it started to become clear that it was a mistake. What a rollercoaster ride that was, holy sh*t…"

– dick-nipples

Harrowing 20 Minutes

"Ooh I was in Hawaii too when this happened!! Was 7 months pregnant with my now 4 year old. Went down to the restaurant to get some breakfast at our hotel and didn’t bring our phones. All of a sudden, we hear the mass text warnings from everyone’s phone going off. Everyone started running and kids started crying. Didn’t know what was going on until we asked someone with a phone and they showed us the alert. We were in shock and kind of just checked out. Went down to the beach because we thought that if missiles were to hit, buildings would collapse and we’d be stuck (lol idk what we were thinking at the time) and what better place to die than at the beach with your lifetime partner and unborn baby. There were barely any people out there except for a few homeless. Found a nice older couple who had the same idea as us and asked if we could use their phone to say our goodbyes to our family. Only knew my brother’s number by heart since my parents recently changed their numbers. All this happened in a span of 20 min I think. Then finally found a police officer that started telling people it was a false alarm. Was so scared I was gonna give birth from all the stress lol."

– GoldenStateMommy

Advice From A Survivor

"There was a Japanese woman who survived either Hiroshima or Nagasaki living on Hawaii when the alert went out. She read it, decided she would rather die than live through a another nuclear blast, and went back to bed."

"So, from a nuclear blast survivor the recommended advice seems to be to die quickly rather than suffer."

– DoomGoober

One Last Drink

"Pour a nice glass of scotch and enjoy the last few minutes of my life."

– thesupplyguy1

It appears once anyone hears a nuclear siren go off, there aren't a lot of options to escape the blast.

And based on what the survivor of the nuclear attacks on Japan said, living through the aftermath sounds like a fate worse than death.

Want to "know" more?

Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.

Profile view of Buzz Lightyear at Hollywood Studios
Photo by Brian McGowan on Unsplash

Anyone who enjoyed watching movies as a kid likely had their favorite films they liked to pick from.

But those who have revisited some of those childhood favorites may have discovered there was more awaiting them in the film as an adult.

Keep reading...Show less
Man screaming into payphone
Alexandra Mirgheș/Unsplash

We all have our different breaking points when it comes to tolerating certain behaviors.

When pushed too far, people can act impulsively and wind up causing irreparable damage and also ruining various relationships.

Some people may find it difficult to do, but turning their back on the situation is key, but if their backs are up against the wall, they may find that counting to ten may bring momentary peace.

Curious to hear about strangers online suppress their rage, Redditor Grouchy-Trip9582 asked:

Keep reading...Show less
Girl crying on school stairs.
Photo by Zhivko Minkov on Unsplash

When we look back on our childhood, we all reflect on things we regret doing.

From stealing money from our parents' wallets to buy candy or cheating on a test, to sneaking into an R-rated movie against our parent's advice, or being caught coming home past our curfew with our first crush.

While these things naturally got us in trouble, we often look back on these things with laughter and amusement, as they seem to be things all children are guilty of at one point or another.

Of course, some of us also may have done things that we can't simply brush off as "kids being kids."

Things we did that couldn't be fixed by an apology or a punishment, and which still cause us to lie awake in bed at night to this very day.

Keep reading...Show less

There are certain things men keep to themselves when it comes to life and dating.

And no one talks about the bro code much.

A recent Reddit thread gave us a chance to peek behind the curtain.

Keep reading...Show less