If your neighborhood is vulnerable to air raids or nuclear attacks, then building a bomb shelter might be wise. But before beginning this endeavor, make sure you understand the rules for staying safe inside an underground fallout shelter.
Nuclear explosions emit high levels of radiation that is highly hazardous for humans. Therefore, it is essential to limit your exposure, shield yourself from this danger, and stay as far away from a nuclear source as possible.
Public fallout shelters
When facing an air raid or nuclear attack, there are a few ways to protect yourself and your loved ones. First, find a secure place to stay – usually underground shelter or bunker. But, if you don’t have access to one of these places, other alternatives exist as well.
During the Cold War, fallout shelters were installed in many public buildings across America. These were basically buildings with thick walls or basements that could withstand nuclear bomb blast damage.
By the 1970s, funding for this program had run dry and most of these buildings had become laundry rooms or other utilitarian uses. If you live in a large city like New York or Chicago, however, there are still plenty of fallout shelters that may provide assistance during an emergency.
These shelters are often situated in public places such as banks, movie theaters or university buildings and usually feature fallout shelter signs that read “Fallout Shelter.”
If you’re worried about the safety of your family or yourself, it’s essential to get to a fallout shelter as quickly as possible after an incident. Ideally, try to arrive at the shelter within 10 minutes of explosion to minimize radiation exposure and its worst effects.
Once inside the shelter, try to choose a room far away from windows or where wind is coming from. Doing this can keep you safer from falling debris which could prove hazardous.
Additionally, ensure there is enough drinking water and food in your shelter. Without these necessities, you could become dehydrated or experience sickness.
While inside the shelter, you should cover your mouth and nose to protect them from fallout damage. Fallout can damage mucous membranes in these areas, causing them to swell up.
Additionally, you should strive to keep your lungs as protected as possible from the blast. In order to do this, brush your teeth, shake your hair, and wipe yourself down before entering the shelter.
If you want to stay secure during a nuclear attack, there are several options. Public fallout shelters can be found within many major cities across America.
They offer great protection from radiation and ionizing particles. Commonly found underground in garages, basements or old mine shafts, these locations provide strong shielding from penetrating rays as well as radioactive debris.
Public fallout shelters have been around in America for decades and can be found throughout the country. Typically, they’re situated in public buildings like schools, hospitals and libraries.
Shelters are typically identified with a specific symbol and can be utilized by anyone seeking safety. Furthermore, these shelters make great storage areas for food and supplies in case of an emergency.
Some buildings are constructed out of concrete, while others use tin cans. You should always assess the safety of these establishments before entering them.
Prior to entering a private property, it’s essential to check the license of its owner. Doing this will guarantee that it isn’t being used for other purposes and can help you avoid any potential hazards.
World War II saw the construction of many makeshift air raid shelters, known as Anderson shelters. These were composed of corrugated metal sheets fastened together and designed to withstand a hundred-pound bomb falling six feet away; however, many were leaked and uncomfortable due to lack of ventilation.
Householders in areas deemed likely to be bombed were provided free shelters. Some, such as St Leonard’s Court in East Sheen, southwest London, still stand today.
These are not considered fully bomber proof, as they could still be damaged directly by direct hits from bunker buster bombs. Nonetheless, these have proven useful safety features in places like Spain, Switzerland, Israel and Singapore where they have been employed at some degree.
The city has called on local police to visit homeless camps, where many makeshift shelters are situated, and encourage them to move on. The initiative began last week and has seen 650 visits so far, according to an official from the Department of Social Services in Manhattan.
London Underground stations
Since 1908, the London Underground has been an essential part of city life. During World War II it served as an air raid shelter where many would purchase tickets and camp out on its platforms until they were sure the bombing had stopped.
However, eventually the Tube became too crowded and it was time for the government to construct proper air raid shelters. Initially, ten deep-level shelters that would be slightly below ground level were to be built in Belsize Park, Camden Town, Goodge Street, Chancery Lane, Stockwell, Clapham North and South tube stations as well as St Paul’s.
These shelters were intended to shield against penetrating gamma rays, thermal radiation and radioactive debris. Constructed of concrete, these structures provided a strong shield against these hazards.
Many of these shelters remain in use today, although some have been bricked up and no longer accessible. But some are getting a second chance at being reopened to tourists to experience life during the 1940s.
For an unsettling, off-the-beaten-path experience in London, consider visiting one of these shelters. Some are connected to the London Underground by tunnels and may only be a few bricks away from being opened up for visitors.
Clapham South offers visitors a chance to explore an actual shelter. It looks like a public toilet from ground level, but has an impressive spiral staircase leading down into its lower levels.
Inside are rows of beds that once housed thousands of passengers fleeing the bombing. Though it remains dark inside, one can imagine what life might have been like during this period.
Other abandoned underground stations used as shelters during WWII and are now accessible to visitors. Aldwych Station, for instance, is often rented out to art exhibitions or film crews – it even featured in the zombie apocalyptic movie 28 Weeks Later.
Tokyo’s Senju Shrine
Japan boasts thousands of air raid shelters, most constructed during World War II. Unfortunately, some are at risk of collapse and can cause severe harm or injury to nearby residents. In 2005, four junior high school students tragically passed away after being exposed to carbon monoxide at an abandoned air-raid shelter in Kagoshima.
If you live in Tokyo, chances are that at least one of these shelters is nearby. While these makeshift underground bunkers were intended to shield families from bombings, many remain dismal and unsanitary to this day.
Some are closed, while others remain open. If you want to see some of these shelters up close, Ikebukuro – one of Tokyo’s busiest and most commercial areas – is your best bet for doing so.
Ikebukuro also boasts some of Tokyo’s most serene, charming and authentic areas. Take a leisurely walk down this peaceful shopping street for an insight into a uniquely Japanese Tokyo that may often go overlooked by visitors to the city.
This area is filled with shrines and temples, but one of the most significant is Senju Shrine. Here, you can find a ginkgo tree that survived an air raid as well as other war-damaged trees.
Every year on April 13th, survivors and their relatives gather here for the Nezuyama Small Memorial Service. It’s a simple ceremony where two or three people share their stories while the group sings a song together.
It’s an impressive sight and offers visitors a chance to explore Japanese culture that often goes overlooked by tourists. If you want to learn more about Tokyo’s history, this is an ideal starting point.
Other activities to enjoy in Ikebukuro include taking a leisurely walk along the scenic Benten Bridge or visiting some of its numerous museums such as Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography or National Museum of Nature and Science. If shopping is your thing, there are plenty of department stores and boutiques nearby as well as cafes offering delectable fusion food options. Plus, for some relaxation time, head over to an onsen for some pampering.