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Moguls Wellness Group

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Fallout Shelter


The February 15, 1972 editions of the Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Sentinel newspapers included a special advertising section entitled "Milwaukee County government family survival plan" (PDF). The 28 page family survival plan was developed by the Milwaukee County Emergency Government Council for the purpose of telling families where to go and what to do in order to obtain the best available protection from radioactive fallout which could blanket the country in case of a nuclear attack.




Fallout Shelter



In addition to information on how to interpret attack signal warning tones, what to do if you can't reach a fallout shelter and how to administer emergency care to sick and wounded individuals, there are 19 pages containing maps and an index of shelters in Milwaukee County.


  • Create a Custom Map in Tableau - Thanks to Ryan Sleeper's tutorial on How to Make a Custom Map in Tableau, it was possible to plot the location of each shelter on the spliced together map. Next Steps Contact Us If you have questions, comments, or suggestions please send them along to the project team and feel free to download the data set from Tableau and use it for your own project.

For more information about Milwaukee fallout shelters and Cold War era civil defense planning, the Municipal Research Library and Milwaukee Public Library archives contain a plethora of primary sources.


The 1962 Fallout shelter survey of Milwaukee, Wisconsin includes a detailed explanation on creating and locating suitable structures to serve as fallout shelters and a detailed map of downton Milwaukee fallout shelters.


A post-nuclear seat of congressional government, this was truly intended to house only the congressmen and their aids. It was not designed to accommodate their spouses or children, who would presumably have to find shelter somewhere else.


Currently, the shelter houses the offices of a data storage company, but for three decades it was fully stocked with food, furniture, and even current magazines. The shelter even had two mock chambers of Congress, complete with flags, microphones, and pictures of the founding fathers, all equipped to carry on U.S. government operations in case of nuclear war.


The program that led to these buildings being designated and marked as fallout shelters was launched during the Cold War. This was a time when nuclear war with Russia was a very real and rising threat; a time of duck-and-cover drills in schools and educational films about how to build your own fallout shelter at home.


"The Army Corps of Engineers, along with specially trained architects and engineers that were trained by them, went around the U.S. and started surveying buildings to see if they would be suitable for protection against radioactive fallout," said Colby.


The second requirement was that there be space in the building at a suitable distance from likely fallout. This often meant the basements in buildings like schools, and the middle floors of taller buildings. The third criteria was sheer size.


Phase two was to equip the spaces with minimum essentials to last two weeks, by which time the danger of any fallout was expected to have passed. This included "Civil Defense" crackers suitable to eat, water barrels that they would fill when the emergency happened, instruments to measure the radiation, sanitation kits and medical kits.


I tried Pokemon Quest for my free casual game for the commute or for some downtime before I go to sleep, but even If I regard myself a Pokemon fan I prefer playing Fallout Shelter. I have never played any Fallout game but I love micromanaging a city or a shelter in this case, sending my troops on quests and upgrading shelter's facilities.


A fallout shelter was a civil defense initiative intended to reduce casualties in a nuclear war. It was designed to allow occupants to avoid exposure to harmful radioactive fallout from a nuclear blast and its likely aftermath of radiation until radioactivity dropped to a safer level.


The fallout shelter craze came with the cold war involving the United States and Russia. Events during the cold war heightened the awareness of fallout shelters and peaked in the late 1950s and early 1960s.


President Dwight D. Eisenhower expressed little interest in shelters until 1957, when a Gaither Report was released. The report assessed the relative nuclear capability and civil defense efforts of the United States and the Soviet Union.


Public response to the report was an upsurge in fallout shelters. By the late 1950s, officials were actively promoting the construction of fallout shelters as part of the civil defense program. Plans were drawn up. From 1958 onward, the Office of Civil Defense not only promoted home shelters but also published a collection of manuals and created videos that showed Americans why, and how, to build home shelters.


"A fallout shelter for everybody," he said, "as rapidly as possible." Calling the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961 "the great testing place of Western courage and will," Kennedy promised to let every citizen know what steps he could take without delay to protect his family in case of attack.


A 1950s fallout shelter sits in the basement of Ann and Robert "Flute" Snyder on Laurel Avenue in Hudson. The home, built in approximately 1957, has a shelter, complete with cement ceiling and partial sand floor, under the eastern portion of the house.


The federal government recommended that fallout shelters be placed in a basement or buried in the back yard. The idea was to get as much mass as possible between survivors, the detonation, and its after-effects.


A fallout shelter built in the corner of a basement was the least expensive type, and it supposedly offered substantial protection. In many plans, concrete blocks provided the walls. An open doorway and vents near the floor provided ventilation. The shelter's entrance was constructed with a sharp turn to reduce radiation intensity. According to civil defense authorities, a concrete block basement shelter could be built as a do-it-yourself project for $150 to $200 at the time. As part of a project for a contractor, the cost could have gone to $1,000 or more.


Ventilation in most shelters was provided by a hand-cranked blower attached by a pipe to a filter mechanism on the surface. By turning the crank, the shelter would be ventilated with fresh air filtered to keep out radioactive particles. More elaborate plans involved installation of an electrical generator to provide all the comforts of home.


When shelters were being constructed, it was recommended that inhabitants remain in the space for at least two weeks following a nuclear blast. They could then leave the shelter for a few hours a day to begin with. It was suggested that people sleep in the shelter for at least three months.


Some of the fancier shelters in the day had many items to make things more comfortable. They included a battery-powered radio, lanterns, sleeping bags and cots, Geiger counter, chemical toilet and waste holding tanks/waste disposal bags, heating system and fuel tank, air circulation system or air filtering systems, or bottled air, electrical generator, firearms (to discourage intruders) and communications hardware. Recommended supplies included a variety of canned goods, bottled drinking water or water storage drums, first-aid kits, reading material, recreational materials, cleaning supplies, extra clothing and writing materials.


There were also public areas designated, and built, as fallout shelters and were marked with a telltale yellow and black sign. In 1961 President Kennedy asked the Congress for $100 million to build public shelters. Those areas eventually were converted to other uses.


This summer, New York City officials released a public service announcement about what people should do in case of nuclear Armageddon. But if an atomic bomb does explode in the city, experts advise against taking cover in a building with a fallout shelter sign.


The problem now is that no one seems to know to whom the signs belong or how many of them are left, since the Office of Civil Defense was scrapped in the 1970s and subsumed by FEMA. Neither NYC Emergency Management, the city's education department, nor FEMA have a plan to track down the fallout shelter signs across the five boroughs, so they remain.


At the time, the newly created Office of Civil Defense went to work identifying the hundreds of thousands of buildings that could be used as shelter sites. But signage to help the public to find the shelters seemed like an afterthought for the federal government.


For those who find themselves outside during a nuclear attack, Schlegelmilch suggests finding shelter quickly as far from the blast as possible. Once inside, he says people should remove their clothes to prevent radioactive material from coming into contact with their skin.


The shelter, with its 15-inch thick concrete walls, dates to 1963 and is kitty-corner from the old John Marshall School. During the construction of I-5, the shelter was built into the area beneath the southbound lanes of the freeway where it crosses Weedin Place, just east of Green Lake and just north of the University District, around 68th Street in North Seattle.


Williams also says that in order for the Seattle fallout shelter to get built in the first place, skeptical highway authorities had to be convinced that the facility could also serve some transportation-related purpose in addition to just sitting there, waiting to be used in the event of nuclear war.


A few phone calls and e-mails later, I discovered that WSDOT does, in fact, own a fallout shelter. Technically, it's also categorized as a bridge, since it holds up part of I-5. And as far as WSDOT historians can tell, it's the only bridge/fallout shelter/highway combo in the U.S.


Walking up the stark concrete tunnel into the heart of the fallout shelter is a bit like stepping back in time. It's also a lot like walking into a refrigerator. This place literally puts the "cold" in Cold War. Of course, had there been a nuclear blast and had I been one of the 200 people the shelter was designed to serve, I doubt I would have cared much about the interior decorating or the lack of heat. 041b061a72


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