Duck and Cover!
February 25, 2003 7:51 AM   Subscribe

In the house where I grew up, we had a 1950's-era Bomb Shelter in the backyard (a cold war relic inherited from the previous owner). We used our shelter as a playground, but many are now forgotten, repurposed, or restored as museum exhibits. Although such shelters are still for sale (often marketed as Tornado or Storm Shelters), many people today regard these shelters as relics from an earlier time. For some, however, the current terror alerts are reviving cold war shelter memories. As demonstrated by sites like the excellent, we are clearly still fascinated with this important and revealing part of our history.
posted by anastasiav (7 comments total)
I myself am a relic from an earlier time, and rarely get out anymore. But I'm hoping to get across the country next month and visit this unique Cold War shelter.
posted by LeLiLo at 8:18 AM on February 25, 2003

This is a cool meme for a post. I've always been fascinated by fallout shelters. Many universities still have them often still stocked with the original provisions from the 1950s. The idea of a safe hole in the ground fully self contained would be very comforting kind of like going back into the womb when things get bad.
posted by stbalbach at 8:27 AM on February 25, 2003

Looking over the "still for sale" link had an idea for a business. Why not build private subscription based shelters, reserved spots in shelters. It would be much cheaper than building your own. A 50-person shelter could probably be built for around $50k to $100k and with a yearly subscription price of $200 per person, a fairly cheap insurance policy for your safety, it would quickly pay for its self if located 50 to 100 miles outside of a major metro area where land prices are cheaper yet still quickly accessed should there be a code red. There could be diffrent grades of shelters depending how much you want to spend from the economy to the luxury.
posted by stbalbach at 9:07 AM on February 25, 2003

Why not build private subscription based shelters, reserved spots in shelters.

Somehow I get the feeling that, once the bombs start dropping, people stop paying attention to the fine print in subscription-based contracts.
posted by LeLiLo at 11:03 AM on February 25, 2003

"Bend over and kiss your ass goodbye," as we used to say in the sixth grade. Here are some nice plans for the Home Depot mob, courtesy of Plans for Dummies. Tip: "The door is all-important."
posted by hairyeyeball at 3:05 PM on February 25, 2003

Really a bomb shelter is only good for making up the mine shaft gap that the United States currently endures. I don't see much use otherwise, some of those things look so small a tornado would rip them clean from the ground and throw them 1000 feet.
posted by jmauro at 9:23 PM on February 25, 2003

I read about this bomb shelter in New Orleans last week. My grandparents had a fallout/bomb shelter at their house in Havana (Florida, not Cuba) to protect from Cuban missles. My dad ended up raising chickens in it for a while, but even as late as the 80s, before they moved, they kept it stocked with water, blankets, flashlights and a few canned goods.

I remember seeing Fallout Shelter Signs in schools and churches, but I haven't seen one in a while.
posted by Frank Grimes at 6:34 AM on February 26, 2003

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