We Build Underground Bomb Shelters

Space in Your Bomb Shelter

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

After the locations have been found that appear to provide the best protection, you should talk with the bomb shelter Manager about the problem of having enough room. To answer this question you will need to know two things:

1. How many people are in or assigned to your bomb shelter.

2. How much space is available in the locations of best protection.

The bomb shelter Manager should be able to tell you how many people are already in the bomb shelter or are assigned to it. The bomb shelter Manager should have a list of names and radiation sensitivity categories of occupants, names of bomb shelter Unit Leaders, and a record of kinds of special skills that are available.

To answer the second question, you will need the sketch of the floor plan with the approximate dimensions of rooms. This sketch may not show what is in the rooms. You will need to look at the rooms that you have estimated to be the safest to see if there are furniture, equipment, and obstructions that can be moved to increase the space for people.

Bookcases, boxes, chests, desks, and file cabinets may be moved from the rooms expected to have the highest FPF’s into the rooms with lower FPF’s. Some kinds of tables should not be moved because people (especially children) may sit under them as well as on top, thus doubling the space. Wide, sturdy storage shelves can also be used for people to sit down or lie upon at more than one level.

If you aren’t sure which rooms have the highest FPF’s, the bomb shelter Manager may hold off having items moved until after fallout arrives and the radiation builds up to levels you can detect with the survey meter. Then the survey meter may be used to find the locations with the lowest radiation levels.

During the early hours after fallout arrives, it may become necessary to crowd people in the safest locations. After the radioactivity decays to a lower level, the occupants can spread out into rooms with relatively high radiation levels. You can get an idea of whether the bomb shelter Manager may need to crowd people by estimating the total available space in square feet of the safer locations.

Divide that number by 10, the number of square feet allowed per person. If the resulting number is larger than the number of bomb shelter occupants, you have plenty of space in the safer locations. If the number is smaller than the number of bomb shelter occupants, it may be necessary to crowd people temporarily in the safer locations. The number of people in the safer locations can be double if you crowd them temporarily by squeezing down the space per person from 10 square feet to five square feet.

In the floor-plan sketch above, the available floor space in Room G, including the toilet, is about 624 square feet. The hallway to the left of Room G adds about 132 square feet for a total of 756 square feet in the estimated safer locations. Divide 756 by 10, and round off to 76. If more than 76 people are assigned to the apartment building basement, they will need to be crowded in Room G and the hallway if the radiation builds up to hazardous levels after the fallout arrives.

With maximum crowding, they could squeeze about 152 people into Room G and the hallway during the most hazardous times. If more than 152 people were assigned to this bomb shelter, some of them would have to be bomb sheltered in the outer rooms, which are not as safe. In that case, they might work out a rotation scheme so people would share, as fairly as possible, the higher radiation exposures of the outer rooms.

If it is necessary to crowd people in the safer locations, it is very important that enough fresh air and light are provided so that people don’t pass out from heat prostration or get claustrophobia (fear of confined, crowded places) and run outside. Both the bomb shelter Manager and the RM will be involved in these problems.