Fall-out Shelters

Do buildings still have accessible, viable fall-out shelters? Granted, you’re first thinking “fall-out = nuclear”, but the reason I ask is in relation to some confusion in DC over where to bring a daycare in one Federal building to safety. (The official plan didn’t account for a multiple building evacuation - thus causing confusion).

If these shelters are now just “mini-storage”, maybe it’s a good idea to sweep them out and make them a form of refuge during such emergencies. Of course, the draw back os the risk of being buried alive - but in an emergency, there may not be time to debate where’s the safest place to be.

Just thinking…

  • Jinx

Well, the downtown Post Office in Decatur, Illinois has one. Granted, it’s being used for general junk storage, but the Better Half says all the “end of the world” supplies from the 1950s are still down there.

He told me all about it during the Y2K thing, and I remembered, and went upstairs and asked him just now.

He says yeah, the yellow and black signs are still up (the building is a huge stone pile dating from the early 1900s), and in the basement “Fallout Shelter”, a big brick room, are about 40 large, heavy 3-foot-tall cardboard canisters. Packed into the sealed canisters, which are labeled with dates from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s, are paper goods like Kotex, bandages, first aid supplies, and stuff like that. No food, though, he says.

And as an extra added bonus, he says, all the big cardboard canisters have instructions on the sides for how to turn them into Porta-Potties.

And, no, I am not kidding, this is the Straight Dope.

I’m not sure, but I recall reading somewhere that the fallout shelters of the 60s are useless against today’s form of nuclear attack because our bombs are too powerful. I know of some people who still have the shelters from back then, one above ground, which is a massive cement 6 sided structure, and one which is under a mound of dirt and they use them for storage and storms. The cement one has reinforced concrete walls that are 2 1/2 feet thick and cost $2000 to build in the 60s, but building it today would be something along the lines of close to $6000.

We have a disaster headquarters, built under a massive mound of dirt, self contained but I don’t think it could survive a nuclear bomb hitting within 5 miles of it. It can withstand an attack from conventional bombs from aircraft.

Guiliani was himself in a fallout bunker one. It did no good for him when the towers begin falling. He barely got out alive.

Iraq had lots and lots of bunkers in the Gulf War. America’s weapon of choice against them were backhoes, bulldozers and sand.