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Old July 04, 2018, 20:39   #1
Small Arms Collector
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Civil Defense Shelters

Remember the old public fallout shelters of the 1960s? Ever wonder nust what kinds of preps went into them, or what life would have been like? Or why they were abandoned? I did, so I have started some preliminary research, and I actually have learned a lot and thought I would share, maybe influence your own preps in some way.

The minimum shelter size the Office of Civil Defense would supply was 50 people. The shelter also had to have a radiation protection factor of at least 40, meaning that the radiation in the shelter had to be at least 40 times less than the radiation outside (note: not eliminated necessarioy, just greatly reduced).

For 50 people, the shelter would recieve the following suplies:

10 Water Barrels (17.5 gallons each), which were to be filled once the alert was sounded, generally. Each barrel was to supply 5 people. Each barrel contained 2 4 mil thick plastic liners that would be either tied closed or heat sealed, one would be placed inside the other so that if the inner bag leaked the outer bag would catch the water. Early water barrels were fiber board, but most were steel. They were rated to store water for up to 10 years, though, as I said before, they were normally never filled, instead being left empty until the alert. The water disensing spout and cups were stored in the sanitation kit. After being emptied, the water barrels would be used as replacemt chemical toilets.

1 Sanitation kit. Each sanitation kit was designed for 50 people (though some smaller 25 person ones were issued on rare occasions), and consisted of a chemical toilet in the form of a metal drum (though earlier ones were fiber board), and contained inside it 1 plastic toilet seat to set over the top, 1 manual can opener, 60 sanitary napkins, 1 can of waterless hand sanitizer, 1 pair of Polyethelene gloves, 1 water dispensing spout, 1 poly bag to use as a comode liner, 1 wire tie to close the poly bag once it is filled, 80 plastic cups with lids, 12 packs of commode chemicals, 10 rolls of toilet paper, and 1 instruction sheet. It is interesting that most of the shelters supplies were stuffed in the toilet! On November 6, 1964 the cans of waterless hand sanitizer were ordered removed, as it was discovered they had a tendency to go bad and/or leak. On occasion these kits would contain bottles of iodine in place of some of the commode chemicals and would often rupture due to their placement against the edge of said can of waterless hand sanitizer as well. Some early ones had plastic screw top canteens in place of the cups and lids.

1 Medical Kit. Each medical kit was designed for 50-65 people, and contained:
1 500 count bottle of aspirin, 1 100 count bottle of Cascara Sagrada Tablets, 1 1oz bottle of Euginol, 3 .5oz bottles of eye and nose drops, 1 1 quart can of Isopropyl Alcohol, 3 40 gram bottles of Kaolin & Pectin Powder, 2 100 count bottles of Peniciilin G, 1 1 pound bottle of White Petrolatum, 1 500 count bottle of Phenobarbital tablets, 6 1 and 3/4 ounce bars of surgical soap, 1 1 pund can of Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda), 1 1 pound can of salt, 1 500 count bottle of Sulfadiazine tablets, 2 50 count bottles of iodine water purification tablets, 1 12 count package of 2in x 6yd rolls of gauze, 1 37x37x52in muslin bandage, 1 1 pound package of purified cotton, 1 200 count package of 4x4in surgical gauze, 1 100 count package of wood handled cotton applicators, 1 100 count package of wood tongue depressors, 1 forceps, 3 12 count packages of 1.5 inch safety pins, 1 4in straight pocket scissors, 1 fountain syringe, 1 thermometer, 1 manual totled “Medical Care in Shelters.” There was also a larger kit meant for 300-325 people, but the contents were identical, only the quantities were different.

1 Radiation detection kit (CD V-777-1, though in later years it was the CD V-777-2). The CD V-777-1 contained 1 CD V-700 low range geiger (with headphones) counter for detecting contaminated supplies and personel, and lingering pockets of radiation after the attack, 1 CD V-715 high range survey meter for the initial period immediately after the attack, 2 (later 6) CD V-742 dosimeters, 1 CD V-750 dosimeter charger, 2 carrying straps for the meters, and instruction manuals and pamphlets. The CD V-777-2 was identical, except it did not have the CD V-700 gieger counter, and obviously had one less carring strap.

10 Cases of food. The contents of the cases varried wildly from shelter to shelter (I would bet that they were supplied randomly with whatever was on hand), but would be a mix of crackers (in either 2.5 or 5 gallon cans), Bulgar Wafers (in either 2.5 or 5 gallon cans), carbohydrate suppliments (hard candy) in 5 gallon cans, or biscuits in 2.5 gallon cans.

The daily food ration was to have been:
6 crackers or biscuits, if using the 5 gallon cans, or 4 if using the 2.5 gallon cans OR

1.5 Wafers OR

4 crackers or biscuits, if using the 5 gallon cans, plus 2 pieces of hard candy, or 3, if using the 2.5 gallon cans, plus 2 pieces of hard candy OR

1 Wafer and 2 pieces of hard candy

The total calorie count was only 700 per person per day.

In September 1976 an advisory was sent out to destroy all cereal based food rations as tests showed them to be going rancid. No replacements were provided and most shelters never had them removed.

The daily water ration was to be just 1 quart per person per day, supplied via one of the lidded plastic cups from the sanitation kit. You would recieve inly 1 cup, don’t lose it.

SOME shelters would also recieve a PVK (Personel Ventalation Kit), basicaly a stationary bike which drove a fan that drew in air from a plastic duct. The bike could be powered by an electric motor if electricity were available, if not someone had to sit on it and pedal. Only shelters with special ventilation needs would recieve them.

The total cost for the entire program was $128,250,105 in 1966 dollars, that’s $995,869,982 in 2018 dollars.

The component cost was (in 1966 dollars):
Mk 4 Sanitation kit: $8.20
Medical Kit A (the 50-65 person one): $16.40
Radiation Detection Kit: $59.00
Water Drum: $1.90
5 gallon can of crackers or biscuits: $0.25 (per can)

The shelter program effectively ended in 1969 when Congress cut off funding, though state and local governments oftened maintained the shelters and supplies for many years after that, and FEMA was still issuing instructions and advisories well into the 1990s, atleast, and may still be doing so. Most shelters seem to have been effectively abandoned by the 1970s or early1980s, but a few are known to have still been active much longer, into the late 1990s, or possibly early 2,000s, and there may be a few active ones today, however most are long since abandoned and forgotten, though they are often still technically in place, simply because the spaces were never reused.

Last edited by Small Arms Collector; July 11, 2018 at 13:00.
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Old July 05, 2018, 19:49   #2
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Interesting.

I remember the cans around the youth center and little league park. I also had some of the candy while in civil air patrol. They had the radiological air monitoring mission.
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Old July 05, 2018, 20:58   #3
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Our Boy Scout/Explorer units in the late 60s had a lot of the biscuits, not bad. Complete nutrition. The most survivable food these days are Monkey Biscuits. Total nutrition. Lots$$$ went into research. My kid loved them growing up. Wouldn't be surprised they will be the staple in FEMA camps one day.
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Old July 11, 2018, 03:59   #4
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Isn't it funny how America was more prepared 50 yrs ago and now our technology puts us at risk of world collapse how things have gone wrong in the USA.
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Old July 11, 2018, 05:37   #5
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I worked at a community college radio station in Oregon, back in the late 80's, and had need to visit the catacombs on occasion. So, I'd get the key from the chief engineer and head down there, finding the light switches as I went along.

One of the tunnels opened up into a large room with several smaller rooms adjoining. There were stacks and heaps of rations and barrels and supplies stored down there, and if I recall, were dated 1950's post Korean War.
Turns out, it was a big Civil Defense nuclear fallout shelter down there.

The thing that got my attention was the giant V-12 cylinder engine mounted on a concrete pedestal base in one of the rooms. It was piped to exhaust outside and seems like it was set up to run on propane. It was impressive and I wish I remembered exactly what it was...Detroit, Caterpillar, Cummins or what? The shelter was obviously prepared to generate some big power for awhile, if needed.

Anyway, I had no idea my employer was so prepared and figured I'd head on down there if the balloon went up.
Nobody else working there seemed to know anything about it and I didn't ask too many questions. Hindsight, I ought to have rummaged around the rations and supplies to see if any treasures were in the stacks.

Maybe like this...?



I like this one better, lol.

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Old July 11, 2018, 08:08   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenTea View Post
The thing that got my attention was the giant V-12 cylinder engine mounted on a concrete pedestal base in one of the rooms.
Could have been one of the old gasser 1790s (M48/A1/A3), @80% commonality with the later diesels found in the M48A5/M60 series.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_AV1790
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Old July 11, 2018, 09:13   #7
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Could have been one of the old gasser 1790s (M48/A1/A3), @80% commonality with the later diesels found in the M48A5/M60 series.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_AV1790
It could have been Continental.
I used to work for a municipality that had a couple Continental engines on pumps and such...maybe my memory is mixed.
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Old July 11, 2018, 13:25   #8
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Isn't it funny how America was more prepared 50 yrs ago and now our technology puts us at risk of world collapse how things have gone wrong in the USA.
This. Even though the preparations back then were really limited, it was at least something, but now all we get is “keep 3 days of food and water on hand at home.” What a joke. They should ATLEAST encourage atleast 2 weeks (but preferably more), and for the amount of money we waste on welfare for drug addicts and sending bags of rice to African warlords we could EASILY build and stock REAL public shelters for everyone else. At the very least it would cut down on looting and rioting, and it would make actual disaster response MUCH easier, no more waiting for FEMA to half ass it days or weeks later, barring incompetant or complicit state governers delaying them even further, it’s already in place.
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Old July 16, 2018, 10:17   #9
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My dad brought home some of the hard candies and crackers back in the early 70's. He worked for AT&T and they had an old fallout shelter in the basement. The crackers went to the pigs but us kids ate the heck out of the candies, red and yellow. I think the crackers were in cardboard barrels.
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Old July 16, 2018, 10:50   #10
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My dad brought home some of the hard candies and crackers back in the early 70's. He worked for AT&T and they had an old fallout shelter in the basement. The crackers went to the pigs but us kids ate the heck out of the candies, red and yellow. I think the crackers were in cardboard barrels.
Shortly after the turn of the 21st century, I took a gunshop dare to eat some VN era ration (mid 70's) entree's and didn't die!

When I left the shop, I think they expected never to see me again...HAHA!
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Old July 22, 2018, 15:53   #11
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Tripped across this a few days ago. Florida company is selling this basic configuration of underground bunker on your land twenty feet underground for $60,000. Unsure of its air filtration capabilities and how much support infrastructure like water storage and backup power but for less than the price of a new truck it's a nice looking unit.



After they set it in place and started back filling I would have a 5,000 to 8,000 gallon water tank set above it so could have gravity fed water and some form of high effiency flush toilet. I already own enough 20 year warranty batteries that could be installed under the floor that would provide 12 volt LED lighting and keep a couple radios running for at least two months without any additional charge as long as they were on full float at the event horizon. Barring finding a full on nuclear winter situation when had to exit in 60 to 90 days due exhausting resources able to store from my research if not near ground zero or downwind of a major target where huge amounts of radiation settled you would be very likely able to start some form of rebuilding as would be past the worst of the dangerous radiation exposure.

Our panic room is airtight with a battery powered NBC air filtration device that can be pumped by hand to cycle clean air to not poison yourself with own carbon monoxide. Historical study of prevailing winds and assuming two closest targets are downtown Atlanta and Lockheed Martin/Dobbins AFB in Marietta our house should survive the initial over pressure and even worse negative underpressure following event that our windows, doors and roof should hold as well as walls with brick home, hurricane code construction along with triple layer ballistic lined windows and hurricane/vandal resistant storm windows along with force rated entry doors plus hurricane rated storm doors. Especially if have time to close and lock all the shutters.

Have looked at all the charts, maps and done the math on size warhead would expect Soviets to drop on Atlanta and Lockheed (have to assume both are targets especially with largest airport on the planet in ATL) but prevailing winds are mostly west to east, sometimes reverse due to coastal storm or run southeast off the Appilachian Mountains. Of course the pressure of the explosions will be mostly circular we are 54 miles northeast from downtown Atlanta and about the same from Lockheed plant.

I figured two warheads (Topol SS-25 Russian warheads) at 800 kiloton each yield landing about 22 miles apart to dead center ATL and Lockheed. Results will be two 1 kilometer fireballs with two overlapping 6 kilometer airbursts exerting 5 psi over pressure, 12 kilometers of 3rd degree radiation burns and 20 kilometers of 1 psi over pressure. We are just far enough that majority of straght line projection of heavy particles will fall short and the biggest part of fallout from them will overshoot us.

Scary question on fallout for me is a major hit on NASA facility in Huntsville Alabama and some other targets west for fallout issues. Why we are setup to be in our basement positive pressure room in sealed brick house with metal roof that will be kept at positive pressure for 90 days before exiting into main structure of house unless have to come out earlier to protect it. Have run a lot of charts and scenarios based on dirty bomb in downtown Atlanta to a major hit on U.S. mainland from Russia hoping our "Starwars" and other top secret projects stop some if not a majority of the incoming hell storm. Full nuclear winter and who cares but if a person can keep from getting radiation sick for first 90 days then huge portions of the heavy particulate will settle wherever prevailing winds take them. Look at the wind and targets then use sites like nuclearsecrecy.com to work the charts of different scenarios and decide if moving might be a good idea.

I can't afford to drop six or seven figures on a real underground shelter but our panic room has been built as well as I could with two walls totally underground and other two ballistic, EMP and environmentally protected with a source of clean water, food and air for that 90 day magic window of devestaion and death. Have friends burying shipping containers all around me that don't have basements. Between some of the hurricane, tornado and just violent thunderstorm activity along with thefts it's becoming popular and some are setting them up nice as a studio apartment.
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Old July 22, 2018, 16:19   #12
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Our post office has a large shelter/basement.

Was boarded up to the public after the fall of USSR.
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Old July 22, 2018, 20:58   #13
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Our ridiculously over-regulated society would make any public fallout shelters insanely expensive,not just to build,but to maintain. People would say,"for what?" It is far more economically viable for the individual to build and maintain their own.
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Old July 23, 2018, 14:25   #14
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Since 90% of the population doesn't keep three full days food, water and other essentials, much less a couple weeks I say let them die in their $5,000 per month condo with $1,000 POA fee and a pool for the perverts to look at 14 yea old girls. The folks in five bedroom houses and four cars for a family of three all with payments but managed to squeeze a trip to Disney World on their credit cards that must live in a subdivision where POA won't let them put up a ham radio antenna or dig a hole.

Put in a generator for a friend, first big ice storm (over 500 homes on 1/3 acre lots) he had five complaints from neighbors about his generator we hid in a POA approved garden shed from Home Depot. POA considered passing rule against generators but after five days without power about two dozen residents had whole house generators on order or already installed. He said when most of our area lost power about a month ago could hear quiet hum of generators from about one in 25 homes and the folks around them have complained about their whole house Generacs that normally can't be heard over the sound of the ambient noise except during power outages.

He has one really nice neighbor and pulls a single 120 volt extension cord to their house to keep refrigerator running or in last out a window a/c unit he loaned them. I keep four window units in basement in case HVAC craps out beyond ability to repair or decide to just cool a couple rooms instead of whole house on generator power. 500 slab built house, not one with a basement and POA does not allow anyone to install anything such as a 20'x20' underground storm shelter. A tornado rips through and it will be horrific. In Israel a panic room or bomb shelter is a required item for most structures.

I think the folks that don't put some thought and effort into protecting their family have to take responsibility for it. Live in a multi-story apartment or condo and your screwed if live near a primary target or even a good riot or tornado. I have done he best I can with the assets available. Engineer says our panic room will support the weight of our entire house collapsing on it and have two saws inside it to cut our way out. One chainsaw with Fire Department rescue chain along with a cut off saw running a dry cut diamond wheel. Ready to go underground and cut ourselves out if F.D. is unable to do it.

Unless soil is impossible to have a basement under your house every house should have one room with poured concrete walls on all four sides and a force rated entry door. Our panic room is cement block against earth two walls and cement block with all cores filled with cement and re-bar other two walls plus steel I-Beam to support ceiling with steel and other laminates that makes it fire resistant and U.L. 7 bullet resistant so someone cant shoot through floor of main level and stir us up like fish in a barrel. Having two block walls laid and some steel found from a building tear down didn't cost much but over the years have added layers and capabilities to point think we will be able to ride out a limited strike as long as the Russian warheads hit targets they are supposed to as nothing they want to waste a warhead on inside of 20 miles from me.
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Old July 24, 2018, 15:20   #15
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Russia actually has a pretty comprehensive system of public fallout/bomb shelters. And they routinely drill. I would be interested to see how extensive their stuff is,in regards to how fancy or how Spartan it is. My guess,like most things Russian,simple=reliability,complecity=unreliable. I tend to think they still remember a lot of the lessons of WWII,or the "Great Patriotic War" as they called it.
For us to build any infrastructure here,in the U.S.,they would by code/law have to basically build it just like a new modern hospital,with all the assorted life safety crap,and for what? A war that might never happen. Nobody would put their name on that millage issue,or bond proposal.
Deagal.com,fellas...
I think the die is already cast.
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Old July 25, 2018, 18:42   #16
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Rush Limbaugh was discussing underground bunkers and how many of the ultra rich had them now and how they are trying to reconcile keeping their security forces from going Rouge on them after SHTF. Guy just north of ATL has homes inside his "compound" for his security guys and their families. If hire pros, keep them and families fed I believe most will do their job just like they did in previous jobs like military and law enforcement.

Apparently these rich folk are really scared their employees may take over and kick them out their considering items like unremoveable shock collers for their security and other odd devices. I say hire good men, pay them well and have a significant door between their areas and yours. I am going with invited friends I trust. Due to some remodel work at house my team psychiatrist says house should support 14 rather than 9 to 12 people without cabin fever causing us to kill each other.
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