Fun Fact! In the 1990s a map of every state was created and shared looking at the threat level of every town, city, and area in a state. The site goes on to state,

At the bottom of this page is the 1990 FEMA nuclear target map for Iowa. It was just a conceptual map about the nuclear threat. Even an all-out nuclear war - did not by any means mean that every site would be hit. For some states VERY FEW and POSSIBLY / PROBABLY NONE of the sites will be hit but others may have some very significant targets.

You can see this older Map for Iowa here.


Obviously, this list has been updated since the 90s. For instance, this list has The Duane Arnold Energy Center as a target. It was Iowa's only nuclear power plant and was close to Cedar Rapids (when talking about possible nuke targets) but is no longer in operation. You can learn more here.

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Today we will be looking at some areas that could still be targeted in the event of a nuclear attack. The Des Moines Register took a look at how prepared Iowa was in 2017 for an attack, and did mention that,

we are more likely to encounter flash flooding, a tornado or a hazardous materials incident than a nuclear bomb explosion.

It looked like Iowa was pretty prepared. You can see a full list of every state in America here.

Nuclear Bomb

Possible Iowa Targets

Again this is an extreme situation and should not be something we stress over our entire life. This is for informational purposes only.

Des Moines, Iowa

few different maps over time have put Des Moines as a high target In Iowa. After all, it is the state capital. It was also a mentioned target in the 1990s report.

Quad Cities, Iowa & Illinois

The QC is made up of two Iowa cities, and three Illinois cities. It's a well-known location off of the Mississippi River, and it is also next to the Quad Cities Generating Station which is a two-unit nuclear power plant located near Cordova, Illinois, United States, on the Mississippi River. It's on the Illinois side, but gets lumped in with The Quad Cites making the two Iowa cities (Davenport, and Bettendorf) a target. The Rock Island Arsenal is also a contributor to why the QC might be targeted.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Though the Duane Arnold Energy Center is no longer in operation, there is still another possible target in Cedar Rapids... Collins Aerospace, it is a Raytheon Technologies subsidiary. It is also one of the world's largest suppliers of aerospace and defense products. They have a location in Cedar Rapids. It was formally known as Rockwell Collins.

Council Bluffs, Iowa

The target is located on the border of Iowa and Nebraska. Wallstreet 24/7 even puts this location in the top 15 in America. This spot is known as the Offutt Air Force Base and is actually the headquarters of the U.S. Strategic Command.

In the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush, who was in Florida at the time they struck, was first flown to Barksdale AFB (No. 15), then to Offutt, where he was taken into an underground command center bunker designed to withstand a nuclear blast and as a place from which a presidential order to go to nuclear war could be issued. There he held an hours-long teleconference with his senior cabinet staff, the CIA, Pentagon, and FBI, among others.

Those four locations appear to be likely target if anything was to happen. Stay safe Iowa, and remember not to think or stress about this too much.

LOOK: Which movies were filmed in Iowa?

Stacker compiled a list of movies filmed in Iowa using data from Movie Locations, with additional information about each film collected from IMDb.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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