Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you live?

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Jorpho
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Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you live?

Postby Jorpho » Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:18 am UTC

I was thinking of The Atomic Cafe recently and was wondering: are there any genuine bomb shelters that you know of around where you live?

Canada's "Diefenbunker" is a facility that comes to mind, but I'm thinking more of the residential models that private individuals might have purchased.

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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby Djehutynakht » Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:21 am UTC

I suppose it depends on how one defines "Bomb Shelter". For instance, Berlin in WWII actually had many "bomb shelters" that were entirely unable to protect against any bomb and really there for morale.

I'm in Boston, and there are many old Civil War and WWII fortresses out in the harbor made to withstand bombing attacks. Would they stand up against a modern bomb? I have no clue.

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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby ElWanderer » Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:57 am UTC

(Southern UK) A lady we know who's heavily involved in the local history society has a fairly typical WWII, family bomb shelter (Anderson shelter?) in her garden. It's very suspectible to flooding, though, being not a great deal more than a glorified hole in the ground with a roof!
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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby Xenomortis » Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:50 am UTC

Yes, but only WWII air-raid shelters. No nuclear ones.
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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby quetzal1234 » Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:48 pm UTC

I walk past a building every day with signs saying fallout shelter. Why that building, I don't know. It never struck me as particularly secure.
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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby sgfw » Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:56 pm UTC

There is an abandoned missile silo with an enormous door in a town near mine. It's actually for sale for a very large amount of money right now. (it was converted into a gigantic basement for a house, it can still withstand quite a bit though)

The local school also has a fallout shelter, because parts of it are pretty old.

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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby ElWanderer » Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:36 pm UTC

sgfw wrote:There is an abandoned missile silo with an enormous door in a town near mine. It's actually for sale for a very large amount of money right now. (it was converted into a gigantic basement for a house, it can still withstand quite a bit though)

The local school also has a fallout shelter, because parts of it are pretty old.

I'm intrigued what timescale you have in mind as "pretty old", considering how relatively recently nuclear fallout was discovered! My old school was founded in 1512, for example :)
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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby firechicago » Sat Oct 12, 2013 6:47 pm UTC

Fallout shelters are sort of a different beast, since they're not supposed to protect you from the prompt effects of a nuclear weapon (blast, heat and prompt radiation). Fallout shelters protect you from the fallout, that is, the radiation from all the radioactive products of the nuclear reaction. The point is to lock yourself up somewhere that's not directly exposed to outside dust and air for a couple of days while the worst of the radioactive material decays and disperses, and then leave as soon as it's safe to travel. So the sturdiness of the building is irrlevant, the main thing you want in a fallout shelter is a nice big basement without any windows that you can seal off, preferably with enough food and other necessaries to keep you comfy for a week or so.

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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby You, sir, name? » Sat Oct 12, 2013 6:54 pm UTC

Plenty. Had them at university, and most bigger apartment complexes built before the fall. Air filtration systems, concrete walls a meter thick, the whole shebang.

I live in slap bang in the middle of what would be the obvious attack path for a Soviet ground invasion of Sweden.
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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby Ptolom » Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:29 pm UTC

I discovered a Second World War shelter in a field near where I live. Just a broken hatch over a concrete shaft going down about 10m. I would have climbed down to investigate further but the ladder looked pretty rusty.

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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby Volcano99 » Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:00 pm UTC

Barcelona has more than 1500 bomb shelters from the Civil War (1936-1939). They were used during air raids and many of them were built by the neighbors themselves. I've visited Refugi 307, which was dug in the side of a mountain.

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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby darkone238 » Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:44 pm UTC

The university I went to has a few buildings that act as fallout shelters, though that was more for the nearby nuclear plant rather than for the possibility of bombs.

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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby Jorpho » Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:04 pm UTC

darkone238 wrote:The university I went to has a few buildings that act as fallout shelters, though that was more for the nearby nuclear plant rather than for the possibility of bombs.
That makes me wonder who insisted on them being built.

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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:13 am UTC

My university has at least one, and my high school had one. Not sure what you would find in them today, though.

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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby elliptic » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:50 am UTC

Not bomb shelters as such but plenty of WW2 pillboxes (brick/concrete machine-gun bunkers) still standing in the fields and dug into hedgerows around where I live in Somerset in the UK. All built in 1940 for the GHQ Stop Line Red, which was supposed to be the last fixed line of defence if the Battle of Britain had been lost and the Germans had actually invaded.

Even more spookily, there's the collapsed remains of an underground hideout in the woods where "auxiliaries" (ie. saboteurs and resistance fighters) were meant to go to ground behind the German lines in the aftermath.

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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:34 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:I was thinking of The Atomic Cafe recently and was wondering: are there any genuine bomb shelters that you know of around where you live?

Canada's "Diefenbunker" is a facility that comes to mind, but I'm thinking more of the residential models that private individuals might have purchased.


My office build has one (which is odd, considering it was built in 1912 - must've been added later). The geiger counter still works in it, and the hookups for the air tanks and water are still in it, though all the supplies that used to be in there are gone and the bathroom stuff has all been removed.
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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby cplns » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:03 pm UTC

Loads of fallout shelters (my high school was one), but no bomb shelters that I know of.

(Apparently there's a bar near me called the Bomb Shelter that has the city's largest selection of beer, though, so I know where I'm going if my city is attacked.)

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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby a_fuzzyduck » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:26 pm UTC

there's still quite a few Anderson shelters(that survived) across the West of Scotland - mostly they were repurposed as garden sheds
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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby darkone238 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:03 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:
darkone238 wrote:The university I went to has a few buildings that act as fallout shelters, though that was more for the nearby nuclear plant rather than for the possibility of bombs.
That makes me wonder who insisted on them being built.

I decided to look it up to see if any information existed. Apparently I was wrong, and it really was Cold War shenanigans. Though they do have that power plant closeby :)

http://mustangdaily.net/Alookbackintime ... icsatPoly/

"By October 1962, the United States was firmly in the grips of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and the Cuban Missile Crisis only further looked to chill relations.
In the aftermath of the the crisis, Army engineers approved eight Cal Poly buildings as fallout shelters. Rather casually, the campus newspaper noted, “In the event of all-out nuclear war, Vandenberg Air Force base, located 50 miles south of campus, could be a main target area. In the event of this occurrence, Cal Poly could be heavily showered with radioactive fallout.”"

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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby Plasma Man » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:38 pm UTC

There's nothing particularly near me that I know of. One that's not near me, but I find amusing is the Kelvedon Secret Nuclear Bunker, which is a minor tourist attraction.
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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby tms » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:40 pm UTC

As a kid I used to think any old excavated cave was a bomb shelter, because the actual ones were common enough.
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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby iChef » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:52 am UTC

I live in a town that is littered with old gypsum mines that were to be used as bomb shelters during the cold war. In peace time they are used to store things like film, food and other supplies so besides the emergency equipment there is already months of supplies stored down there for practical reasons. It's a good thing too because we were a major supplier of arms for the US during WW2 and would have been a priority target for the Soviet Union.
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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:30 am UTC

None that I know of, though there is a major Canadian Forces ammo depot just outside of my city that I presume has some explosion-resistant buildings. This is in Saskatchewan, Canada, so it's perhaps understandable that there's not a lot of defensive preparation - we're a long ways from a land border with anyone (and that's the US), further yet from any ocean, let alone a potentially hostile country, and we're short on strategic targets.
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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby SomeoneSomewhere » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:15 am UTC

Not much around here (Wellington, NZ). Bombing us would be a waste of a good nuke...

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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:06 am UTC

No bomb shelters I know of out here in California (we don't even have basements), but there are a couple of gigantic concrete WWII-era antiaircraft gun turret mounts on the closest beach to me.
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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby Adacore » Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:38 am UTC

Ooh! I'm totally going to win this one! I live in South Korea, and pretty much every building has a basement designed at least partly as a bomb shelter. The city I live in, Changwon, was designed as the fallback capital in case Seoul fell in a surprise attack by the North, so there are huge underground complexes all over the city. The office I'm working in right now has a bomb shelter in the basement, and we have evacuation drills about once a year. My company also has a small military storage facility onsite with weapons and equipment for the men who will be immediately mobilized in case of war.

Plasma Man wrote:There's nothing particularly near me that I know of. One that's not near me, but I find amusing is the Kelvedon Secret Nuclear Bunker, which is a minor tourist attraction.

And this is within walking distance of my parents' house in the UK. I've been there half a dozen times, at least. The guy that runs it doesn't really make enough money to keep the place well maintained, sadly, so it feels a bit more run down now than it did when it opened.

When it started he used to do all the tours himself, and he had a way with words. The building 'disguising' the entrance he described as "the Ministry of Defence's idea of what a nondescript rural cottage looks like". You can see it in the picture on the website - it's an ugly blocky-looking building that is clearly out of place in the countryside.

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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby Xenomortis » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:07 am UTC

Adacore wrote:Ooh! I'm totally going to win this one! I live in South Korea, and pretty much every building has a basement designed at least partly as a bomb shelter. The city I live in, Changwon, was designed as the fallback capital in case Seoul fell in a surprise attack by the North, so there are huge underground complexes all over the city. The office I'm working in right now has a bomb shelter in the basement, and we have evacuation drills about once a year. My company also has a small military storage facility onsite with weapons and equipment for the men who will be immediately mobilized in case of war.


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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby DSenette » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:15 pm UTC

I live 30-40 min from Oak Ridge TN so.........yes
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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby ahammel » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:33 pm UTC

PhoenixEnigma wrote:None that I know of, though there is a major Canadian Forces ammo depot just outside of my city that I presume has some explosion-resistant buildings. This is in Saskatchewan, Canada, so it's perhaps understandable that there's not a lot of defensive preparation - we're a long ways from a land border with anyone (and that's the US), further yet from any ocean, let alone a potentially hostile country, and we're short on strategic targets.
I believe that there was some concern that at one point that the USSR would should nukes over the North Pole at the US and miss short.

I've never seen any kind of a bomb shelter outside of a military base, though, so I guess our plan for that scenario was 'we all die'.
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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:00 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:I believe that there was some concern that at one point that the USSR would should nukes over the North Pole at the US and miss short.

I've never seen any kind of a bomb shelter outside of a military base, though, so I guess our plan for that scenario was 'we all die'.
At least for Saskatchewan, a random nuclear bomb or two probably wouldn't be all that bad - unless you're aiming for something in particular, you practically guaranteed to hit empty space. A few more terrain variations in the south and some dead gophers aren't exactly the end of the world, and I suspect there are areas in the northern part of the province where people wouldn't even notice it.

Now that I think about it, though, I wonder if Uranium City had/has any preparations for an attack. I'm guessing uranium production would have been a strategic target, and they'd be closer to the USSR than many, but I'm not sure how you'd build a bunker up there.
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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:25 pm UTC

quetzal1234 wrote:I walk past a building every day with signs saying fallout shelter. Why that building, I don't know. It never struck me as particularly secure.


I've seen a few of those. Particularly schools. Presumably there is some history there, but really, one can take shelter from fallout in all sorts of buildings, so long as the building is standing and reasonably capable of keeping the radioactive dust out. Doesn't necessarily mean they can take a bomb, though.

Despite what I am informed by the documentary fallout 3, I have yet to find any vaults or other shelters in my vicinity.

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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby Sungura » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:03 pm UTC

Yup. Lots. More than I can count. Lots of caves in this region were surveyed for their potential shelter usage and determined how many people could take shelter there. Additionally, there are numerous bunkers/basements/etc on the arsenal nearby. So yeah. From caves to built, everything is here. We actually have the most extensive shelter plan in the US.

Alabama city reopening shelters

Three Caves entrance

One of the bunkers on the arsenal:
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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby Tomlidich the second » Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:45 pm UTC

supposedly the school by me has fallout shelters in it, only heard rumors however. never been able to find them, but its a huge campus with MANY doors everywhere that i don't know where they go.
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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby hummerz5 » Sat Nov 02, 2013 1:05 am UTC

We don't have any "genuine bomb shelters" in the middle of the U.S... but we did have a few structures that were once "the place to be" in a fallout... The one I know of is actually just underneath concrete bleachers for our old gymnasium. Now it's full of junk that we can't fit elsewhere.

Something that was actually built during war times would be little artificial hills hiding buildings and shelters. The thinking was that planes flying over wouldn't notice the hills. I don't see how they couldn't.

So, no. We don't have any "genuine bomb shelters" that I know of.

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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby Essah » Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:54 am UTC

practically every park or smaller public green areas/plains in my city have theese concrete doors and air vent's sticking out of the ground. I can't imagine what they would be if it's not bomb shelters (probably built during world war 2)

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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby Jorpho » Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:43 am UTC

Essah wrote:practically every park or smaller public green areas/plains in my city have theese concrete doors and air vent's sticking out of the ground. I can't imagine what they would be if it's not bomb shelters (probably built during world war 2)
What city would that be..?

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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby Essah » Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:29 am UTC

Aarhus, Denmark.
A quick search about them revealed they they were constructed for the cold war during late 40's and early 50's
here's some of them on google street view. According to one article there no less than 300 of those in various sizes around the city

http://goo.gl/maps/bgOr7
apparently if you look down along the road, the long grassy bulge between the roads is actually where a long concrete cylinder which is the shelter is located

here's another one further down the same road. I don't know if those pipes are only ventilation or also access ways with concrete hatches
http://goo.gl/maps/3hv06

another in a park/forest. The whole forest area has a lot of them but they can't be seen from the roads.
http://goo.gl/maps/xjBP6

this one I didn't know about but the location was described in an article I found
(http://www.aarhus2017.dk/Kom%20med%20p%C3%A5%20opdagelse%20under%20Aarhus%20med%20Kultur%20Bunker)

http://goo.gl/maps/mkXdR

same one inside
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flyer about an art event in the bunkers recently, 1st page has a cross section of the bunker type
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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby Mambrino » Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:20 am UTC

Well, there is a shelter in the basement (which currently serves as a storage room for inhabitants of this apartment house) because the law requires so, but it's more of a fallout shelter than a bunker. However it has a reinforced steel concrete structure and should be able to stand 100 kPa overpressure if built up to the requirements.

There's also a large military base nearby that's bound to have proper bunkers, and (as this is the capital, after all) I guess the presidental castle, administrative buildings, ministries, and such have them too but the exact details are naturally not very public information. The parliament building has one, of course (the Parliament House is to be renovated, and there was some talk that the MPs would hold their parliamentary sessions in the parliamentary bomb shelter, but that idea was dismissed because MPs thought the shelter did look depressing (google translate of an old newspaper article for a picture).

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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby strake » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:36 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:are there any genuine bomb shelters that you know of around where you live?

Canada's "Diefenbunker" is a facility that comes to mind


I'm not far from the Diefenbunker, so yes, but otherwise I haven't seen any local.

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Re: Are there any genuine bomb shelters around where you liv

Postby pkcommando » Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:26 pm UTC

My old college, SUNY Potsdam, had at least one area w/ a Fallout Shelter sign. The story goes (never seen anything official on this, so ready your grain of salt) that it's because of our proximity to Massena, NY and the Eisenhower & Snell Locks. The story goes on to say that the St. Lawrence Seaway is/was considered a huge strategic target (especially during the Cold War). There is a lot of shipping going through there, so it seems plausible.
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