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The Importance Of Fallout Shelters Essay

1493 words - 6 pages

A fallout shelter is a shelter that was used in a time of need. From 1947 to 1991, fallout shelters were a big hit during the Cold war. The fallout shelter represents the atomic age and how families got through nuclear attacks. A lot was contributed in the making of these shelters, and they kept families together. Time and effort to keep America safe is what made these shelters important to American History. Not only are the fallout shelters a symbol of the cold war and fear, but it also significantly impacted America because they protected Americans from radioactive debris, gave America shelter in a time of war, and it reduced casualties.
The Shelters protected America from radioactive debris. The free-standing, double hulled structure increased protection (Kurin-The Smithsonian). A person that was to stay inside the shelter is offered a minimum protection factor (SPF) of 40 (Fuller). The sheltered people are getting 1/40th of the radiation whereas a person that goes outside after the explosion is getting the full amount of radiation. Most of these shelters were found or built in downtown (Irish). For extra protection, people and the shelters were in the basement. Steuart Pitman was in charge of making sure that almost everyone in America had shelter (Pastore).
Aside from the radiation protection, Americans were given shelter in a time of war. Millions of dollars contributed in the making of the shelters (Irish). John F. Kennedy put forward money to locate shelters in empty buildings. Inside the shelters were shelves filled with food and other useful supplies. Some may say the shelters were cramped, but there was enough room for a 6 foot man to stand (Gambino). Interior features included a hand crank air pump, and a radio reception to get an update on what was going on outside (“Fallout Shelter”). To detect radiation in the shelter, Geiger counters were available to buy (“The Family Fallout Shelter”-Nebraska). Nebraska’s Civil Defense Agency often gave tins of candy, and sanitation kits. This agency also gave red or yellow candies that were called carbohydrate supplements. Along with packing enough material for the time being, a shelter plan is a must (Bomb Shelter Guide). Before the shelters, the issue of the Cold War and nuclear attack were introduced and it induced panic (“Kennedy Urges Americans to Build Bomb Shelters”). As the nuclear attack was seen as a threat to Americans, Cuba had already received nuclear missiles. Cuba’s nuclear missile attack was known as the Cuban Missile Crisis, in which the USSR placed nuclear missiles in Cuba. This event resulted in the 13 days crisis. The 13 days crisis was tense, and during this time period, Americans began to stock up on canned foods. Canned food was the only food Americans shopped for because none of the shelters had refrigeration, and there were no stoves or microwaves (“The Family Fallout Shelter”-Nebraska). Games like Monopoly, or cards were often played in the shelters to pass time by....

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