Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Public Nuclear Bomb Shelter

  [vote for,

I had a dream one day and it featured an idea. That idea is the one I am listing here. Its funny, I can think and design stuff in my sleep!

The idea: small, individual public bomb shelters from nuclear weapons. If there were a large public bomb shelter, everyone in the public would have to know about it in order for it to be used. Because of this, not only would the public know, but enemies with potential nuclear attack capabilities.

I can imagine the enemy using simple maps like google maps (ok maybe not google maps, but some public maps) to look up large public bomb shelters and then aim their nuclear weapons on them. My solution is small, individual, nuclear bomb shelters which are designed to shelter small groups of people.

This makes them less centralized and more difficult to eradicate. They would not only have shelter but a couple days supply of food, water, and electricity. They could be fed air from outside, with special radiation scrubbing air scrubbers. I do not know if these exist.

Otherwise there would be air tanks which would supply enough air for the people for some time. I do not know how large such tanks might be.

I do not know whether it would be a good idea to include firearms within the shelters. People could take them with them of course.

When a nuclear attack is imminent the warning would be broadcast on the radio and all other communication channels. Specific households in specific neighborhoods would be assigned shelters.

Like a tornado emergency plan at school, they would get to their assigned shelters nearby. Visitors to a city, and the homeless would be required to make their way to larger public shelters, or escape the blast area.

The only two problems I see with this are the air supply and if the enemy would do ground burst nuclear attacks. Most nuclear attacks are set to air burst, destroying most everything.

EvilPickels, Dec 15 2008

QED - A Guide to Armageddon http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=7AYMS1po0L8
Sobering Documentary [oneoffdave, Dec 17 2008]


       You obviously didn't grow up in the sixties.
ldischler, Dec 15 2008

       //You obviously didn't grow up in the sixties.// No, but what is your point?   

       The dream was just a dream, in fact I cannot remember very much about it.   

       And what's this about the jee jee jeebees? I wish more people would comment, I would like to discuss the idea! OMG I think I accidentally deleted his post! I'm so sorry!
EvilPickels, Dec 16 2008

       A large number of buildings in the 60's were designated as bomb shelters, either purpose built or simply because they had deep basements. You can still see the tags on some buildings. None of them were very large, I doubt any had more than a couple hundred people capacity if that.

They weren't assigned, you simply went to the closest, and they didn't necessarily have emergency equipment (although I think building owners might have (still do?) gotten a tax break for maintaining them.

Of course the odds of surviving a blast in any of them were probably somewhere between slim and none, but I think that's largely true of any but the Government centers that were a mile or so underground.
MechE, Dec 16 2008

       Several issues:   

       1) As mentioned, most bomb shelters in reality are already indeed small and scattered.   

       2) Contrary to MechE's comment, it's fairly simple to make an effective bomb shelter. If you are worried, you can build one in your own basement or yard with a couple hundred dollars and no permit, probably. All you need is 2 weeks or so of supplies, some waste disposal capacity, and 3 feet of dirt's worth of mass between you and the sky in all directions. Your survival chances will be very very high if you make something as solid as that, which is pretty easy. (bonus tip: ducking and covering would, in fact, increase survival in modern buildings by up to 50% of so due to not being hit by flying glass. The government knew what they were talking about usually.)   

       3) In a nuclear war, no nation would ever bomb random public fallout shelters. Most nuclear capable nations have actually specifically pledged not to target population centers at all, and even if they wanted to, it wouldn't be worth it for any gathering less than many thousands of people, which would be a pretty absurd shelter.
Smurfsahoy, Dec 16 2008

       I guess I should clarify, I grew up in a probable massive overkill area (Washington, DC area), and in the blast radius for severe damage from contemporary weapons (and that assumes more precise targeting than could really be expected). Add in thermal effects and none of the buildings I saw shelter symbols on would have stood up under a single detonation, let alone repeated.
MechE, Dec 16 2008

       Oh, you mean an actual blast hitting one. Hah, yeah, not so much.   

       You're also screwed if you live in central Montana or North Dakota.
Smurfsahoy, Dec 16 2008

       //You're also screwed if you live in central Montana or North Dakota.// I LIVE in montana! You guys were helpful none the less! The whole state is a fricking missile field!   

       I once joked that if a nuke hit my city my family would be toast for the most part because a lot of my family lives here. Also why CENTRAL montana?
EvilPickels, Dec 16 2008

       A concrete monolithic chord (as opposed to dome, which implies more sticky-outness) might be able to withstand the horizontal loads associated with the initial nuclear blast - the next tricky part is keeping it airtight enough to keep all of the air from being sucked out to feed the resulting firestorm, suffocating the otherwise reasonably preserved occupants in the process.   

       The next step is being able to contain the occupants for 2 weeks whilst maintaining both their physical and emotional needs in a relatively confined space. A bit like living in a tent, only for a fortnight, and with the knowledge that everything outside is totally ruined.   

       This stage requires power, water, food, air, some form of entertainment (it would be easy for the occupants to become agitated or impatient and step outside earlier than is sensible) and sanitation - and all sealed off from the outside to avoid contamination.   

       After that, it all gets a bit trickier - but is likely to result in some form of uncomfortable cannibal holocaust.
zen_tom, Dec 16 2008

       This is how it already is, isn´t it? A dugout that my dad built in case the Reds decide to push the button down.
nineteenthly, Dec 16 2008

       Ah, so it's the Swiss who will inherit the Earth, not the roaches!
DrBob, Dec 16 2008

       The lightbulb in my cellar has gone out - I have an unclear shelter in my basement.
coprocephalous, Dec 16 2008

       //After that, it all gets a bit trickier - but is likely to result in some form of uncomfortable cannibal holocaust// Wow that's pretty scary. I was watching a thing on the history channel a few weeks ago and it was called next nostradamus. They discussed the future and people who claim to be able to predict it. The most scary part was the mentioning of nostradamus's poem about a great famine in the future, where apparently babies would be a main source of food or whatever. I think people may contract HIV at some point too considering the fact that they would be in contact with human blood.   

       Of course nostradamus couldn't possibly be correct as no one can predict the future unless there is some kind of ancient conspiracy out there guiding the world.   

       //Ah, so it's the Swiss who will inherit the Earth, not the roaches!// I was thinking about this a while ago and I came to the conclusion that earthworms may be the surviving species after a nuclear war. They live underground, so they would be mostly protected from the effects of radiation and the blast.
EvilPickels, Dec 17 2008

       //while earthworms live underground they live on dead matter in the soil //
Well, after you've put Granny outside the shelter (having remembered to label her for identification)* there'll be a lot more of that for the worms.

* According to Frankie Goes To Hollywood
coprocephalous, Dec 17 2008

       The BBC series QED did a programme where they attempted to build and live in the shelters laid out on "Protect and Survive". It was quite eye opening. The film "Threads" is always worth looking out too for a fairly realistic portrayal of a nuclear strike and the post attack impact.
oneoffdave, Dec 17 2008

       (mostly reiterative...)   

       As stated you obviously didn't grow up in the '50s; it was well known that certain public buildings were designated as fall-out shelters for the general populace, and apart from those and the catacombs built to allow governments to survive, quite a few people did build their own.   

       What bothers me is that they didn't teach you this in History class: the threat of global thermonuclear war was a hefty societal driving force and political tool in Western civilizations during the 50's and 60's, easily comparable to the current 'Terrorism'... in terms of destruction comparable only to global warming.
FlyingToaster, Dec 17 2008

       //Also why CENTRAL montana?//   

       The missiles are all clustered together in one spot as a defensive measure. If one is hit, the mushroom cloud will shred up any other missiles attempting to hit any others nearby for some time.   

       The cluster in Montana happens to be in the middle of the state, and prevailing winds would carry fallout mostly directly south, such that people in the east or west of the state might actually be okay.
Smurfsahoy, Dec 17 2008


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