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Bomb Shelter Articles

Radioactive Fallout Will be the Killer

Like the more than 160 million Americans who live within the danger zones, your greatest concern following a nuclear attack comes from radioactive fallout. That's the main reason you will need a well-constructed, underground bomb shelter.

Bomb Shelter Writing Supplies

Are writing supplies available, including pens or pencils and printed forms or paper, for keeping records of radiation exposure?

Watching for Fallout to Arrive Near the Bomb Shelter

When a nuclear weapon explodes anywhere within several hundred miles, there will be many signs to indicate it. By that time, people should be on the way to, or already at, their bomb shelter.

Use of the Penalty Table as a Guide for Bomb Shelter Operations

The Penalty Table was developed to provide a simple guide when decisions must be made that will involve some risk.

Group Dosimetry: Keeping Track of Radiation Exposure

The radiation hazard will be worst throughout the first 24 hours after each fallout cloud arrives. It is important to start keeping track of everyone’s radiation exposure right away, as soon as fallout begins to arrive.

Time-Averaging Method

Used to compare the radiation levels between two or more locations in a bomb shelter when the radiation levels are climbing rapidly and when you have only one survey meter.

Space in the Bomb Shelter

Is there going to be enough room for all of the people at this bomb shelter in the locations of best protection?

Restroom and Water Locations in the Bomb Shelter

After fallout has arrived, he or she should check the radiation levels at these locations. Some of them may have to be blocked off until the radiation decays to a safer level.

Radiation Safety Improvement in Bomb Shelters

As you go through your bomb shelter looking for the places that appear to provide the best shielding from gamma radiation, you should also look for ways to improve the shielding.

Organization of the Bomb Shelter Population

Organization of the bomb shelter population into bomb shelter units, each with its own Unit Leader, is necessary not only for good management but also for keeping a radiation exposure record for each person in the bomb shelter.

Materials for Shielding the Bomb Shelter

You may have improved the radiation safety of the bomb shelter to the best of your judgment and capability, as discussed earlier. But after fallout arrives, you may find with the use of your survey meter that gamma radiation is shining through at some unexpected location.

Light Sources in the Bomb Shelter

Electricity may fail in many locations due to a wide-scale nuclear attack. Most of the bomb shelters with the highest FPF’s will also have the least daylight reaching them. If the power goes out, these bomb shelters may be pitch black.

Informing the People in the Bomb Shelter about Radiation Exposure

Even if people are frightened, it is better not to hold back information. The policy of “what they don’t know won’t hurt them” has never worked with the American public.

Getting and Checking the Bomb Shelter Instruments

If you are selected to be an RM after you arrive at the bomb shelter, you may have to find out where the radiation instruments are, and you may have to make a special trip to get them. Instructions on how to use the instruments may be given at the place where they are issued.

Gamma Shielding by using People in the Bomb Shelter

The shielding effect of human bodies can be used to provide extra protection. This protection would be of particular benefit to those people with the greatest sensitivity to radiation, namely, children and pregnant women.

Forecasting Radiation Exposure

When the survey meter readings level off and then continue to decrease, the arrival of fallout from that particular cloud at your location has almost ended. If no more fallout clouds arrive, the radiation levels will continue to decrease rapidly.

Finding the Places with the Lowest Radiation Levels in the Bomb Shelter

Use the survey meter to find the places that have the lowest radiation levels. The people in the bomb shelter should be gathered at the locations that are estimated to have the lowest radiation levels.

Finding and Covering up Leaks in Bomb Shelter Gamma Shielding

After the safest locations have been found in the bomb shelter and the people have moved there (if they weren’t there already), use the survey meter to make detailed measurements of the radiation levels in and around the area where the people are located.

Dosimeter Locations: Where to Place Dosimeters

In some bomb shelters where the FPF is high and about the same everywhere, as in deep underground bomb shelters, caves, and mines, only a few dosimeters need to be mounted or hung where people will be located, to get an idea of what total exposures they are getting, if any.

Decontamination of People Caught in Radioactive Fallout

Fallout arriving within a few hours after a nuclear explosion is highly radioactive. If it collects on the skin in large enough quantities it can cause beta burns

Checking Radiation Levels Outside the Bomb Shelter Area

Sometime no later than 24 - 30 hours after fallout has begun to come down, you (the RM) should take the survey meter and check the radiation levels in rooms next to the bomb shelter area and on the way to the outside.

Checking Out the Bomb Shelter

Some bomb shelters may have many rooms, some of them on different levels, and others may have just one large room. The problems of providing the best radiation safety will be a little different in each bomb shelter.

Best Bomb Shelter Protection

Which locations within the bomb shelter appear to offer the best protection against fallout? Sketch a bomb shelter floor plan and mark these locations.

Bomb Shelter Openings and Ventilation

Are there openings to be baffled or covered to reduce the amount of radiation coming through them? Will these changes allow enough air to flow through to keep people from getting too hot when they are crowded?

Bomb Shelter Entranceway Problems

One problem that could develop is that the bomb shelter entrance could be blocked by people who have stopped just inside the entrance.

Minimizing Exposure to Radiation

It's people like you and me (hopefully) that will survive the initial blast. Our greatest concern is radioactive fallout. Fallout will kill as many, if not much more than the blast itself. And how long you have before fallout arrives depends on these three things.>

Bomb Shelter Location

The location you choose for your bomb shelter should be one which gives you the greatest protection possible. Just placing an underground bomb shelter in your back yard is not enough.

Bomb Shelter Design

What should your underground bomb shelter look like? What materials should it consist of? How should it be designed? These are all important considerations when planning the construction of an underground bomb shelter.

Blast and Fallout Concerns

The blast wind produced by a nuclear bomb will reach 2,000 mph within the first half mile from ground zero, drop to about 1,000 mph at 2 miles, and will still be at hurricane force (200 mph) several miles out.

Get an Underground Bomb Shelter, Hop in, Now What?

You are going to need a complete underground bomb shelter plan, and you want to make sure such a plan has been scrutinized thoroughly.

Before Fallout Arrives

It may not be possible to do all these tasks before fallout arrives at the bomb shelter or fallout shelter, and in that case, those tasks that can be done inside the bomb shelter can be done later while fallout is arriving.

Understanding Radiation

What is radiation, you ask? Radiation in physics is the process of emitting energy in the form of waves or particles. Various types of radiation may be distinguished, depending on the properties of the emitted energy/matter, the type of the emission source, properties and purposes of the emission, etc.