Community Fallout Shelter Supplies

Supplies In Community Fallout Shelters

Fallout Shelter Supplies

During the Community Fallout Shelter program the Office of Civil Defense provided supplies to be stocked in marked community shelters. These supplies were very minimal survival supplies which would have provide shelterees with food, water and sanitation needs for an allotted 2 week shelter stay. The plan was to provide each shelteree with 1 quart of water per day, 700 calories of food per day, sanitation supplies and radiation detection instruments.

Water supplies were stored in metal 17.5 gallon water barrels. Food stocks came packaged in several different forms such as ration crackers, wafers and carbohydrate supplement (hard candy). Sanitation Kits contained various supplies such as toilet paper, cups etc. Of course in a nuclear war you just might need some Medical Kits which were also supplied. And finally, the most interesting of all of the supplies, the Radiation Detection Kits, were provided for shelters with over 50 spaces.

50 Space Shelter Suppy Stack
50 Space Shelter Supply Stock

This is a photo from the National Archives of a stock for a 50 person capacity Fallout Shelter. 10-Water barrels (5 persons each), 1-Sanitation Kit(50 persons each), 1-Medical Kit(50-65 persons each) and one Radiation Detection Kit(one every 50-1000 spaces). 10-Cases Food. Food mixes varied while stocking shelters. Carbohydrate Supplement, Crackers, Biscuits and Wafers were combined in different stocks. I believe the cases in this photo are all biscuits.

Obviously you wouldn't gain any weight at 700 calories a day during your shelter stay. With the minimal stocks that were provided it would have been just enough to stay alive. The Shelter Management Textbook does state that if there was a outbreak of illness let alone the effects of radiation that these supplies would have been severely taxed and supplemental supplies would have to be sought out.

This photo was sent to me by Dave Monteyne who did some digging through the National Archives at College Park, Maryland in November 2004. Thanks Dave! Click the photo to see a larger version.

Reference SM-16.1 Shelter Management Textbook (July 1967).

Table of Fallout Shelter Supplies Purchased As of End Of FY 1966

Fallout Shelter Suppy Table 1966 Stat Report

This table is from the DOD OCD 1966 Annual Statistical Report. It shows the totals of shelter supplies purchased as of the end of FY 1966. I believe that these should be the overall totals of fallout shelter supplies purchased because the DOD OCD 1965 Statistical Report states that no more general shelter supplies were procured in 1965. The totals on this 1966 table are the same as the totals found in the 1965 report except for the addition of the Portable Ventilation Kits (PVKs) and the shelter radiation kits at the bottom of the table. The 1964 and 1965 Statistical Reports have no information on the PVKs so I believe they were a late addition to the shelter supplies. The 1966 report states that "additional kit (PVK) procurement is planned after experience is gained with the above 2400 kits." The shelter radiation kits were the CD V-777-1 kit.

Some More Fallout Shelter Supply Info.

Here is something of interest I have found in my CD documents. Fallout shelter supplies were available for purchase by Federal agencies and State and local governments..

According to the Federal Civil Defense Guide Part D, Chapter 2, Appendix 2 Acquisition And Distribution Of Fallout Shelter Supplies.
Federal agencies, and State and local governments, have requested the Office of Civil Defense to furnish a source from which they may purchase standard fallout shelter supplies for use in stocking shelter facilities not eligible for stocking under the National Fallout Shelter Marking and Stocking Program.

The items listed below are available to Federal agencies, and State and local governments, on a reimbursable basis at prices listed with include cost of transportation from the Defense General Supply Center, Civil Defense Supply Division, Richmond, Va., 23219

Federal Stock No. Description Unit of issue Std. unit price
6545-073-8385 Sanitation Kit IV Each $8.20
6545-073-8384 Medical Kit A Each $16.40
6545-073-8386 RADEF Kit Each $59.00
8110-889-3532 Water Drum Mtl Storage Each $1.90
8920-823-7667 Crackers, 5 Gal. Pound $0.25
8920-823-7665 Biscuits, 5 Gal. Pound $.025

Shelter Supply Inspection Sticker Fallout Shelter Supplies Inspection Sticker

This sticker is on one of my Medical Kit A boxes I got way back when. The City of Dallas kept tabs on their shelter supplies well into the 1970s. I think I have a Sanitation Kit somewhere with one of these on it too. I have never seen any stickers like this other than on supplies found in Dallas.

Click image to see larger.

Excerpt from DCPA Civil Preparedness Guide 1-19 July 1978
I found the paragraph below in the DCPA CPG 1-19 and found it interesting because of it's consise summary of the demise of the fallout shelter stocking effort. The DCPA Circular 76-2 is mentioned. The DCPA 76-2 is a document I have long wanted to locate. Eric Laskowski of the Michigan Civil Defense Museum provided me with a scan of the DCPA 76-2 document so I included it below.

The stocking of fallout shelters began in the early 1960's when DCPA procured 165,000 tons of shelter food. The food and other supplies were granted to the States and localities, and placed in approximately 100,000 fallout shelters around the United States during the period 1962-1970. In 1969, it was decided not to renew efforts for Federal stocking when it became obvious that Congress would no longer appropriate funds for shelter supplies. In 1976, as the result of laboratory and other tests, it was established that there was a high probability that most of the cereal-based rations stored in fallout shelters had became rancid. In view of these facts, DCPA Circular 76-2, Shelter Supplies, dated September 29, 1976, was promulgated which provided the status on the cereal-based food and medicines in shelters. It authorized these stocks to be disposed of but recommended usable supplies in the medical and sanitation kits to be retained in the shelters.

Civil Preparedness Circular No. 76-2

The purpose of this circular is to provide the most recent information of the condition of shelter supplies to assist local governments in making decisions on the use and disposition of supplies.

Shelter supplies consisting of food, medical and sanitation kits, and water containers were procured by the Federal government between 1962 and 1964. These supplies, when issued, became the property of local governments which accepted responsibility for their storage, care, maintenance and inspection.

The specified shelf-life of these supplies was five years which has been surpassed by seven to nine years, and it has been determined that some items are no longer usable.

The medicines in the medical kits have deteriorated badly and should be destroyed. In the event there are still phenobarbital tablets (they should have been disposed per guidance in 1971), you should request quidance regarding disposal of tablets from the Regional Director, Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD), Department of Justice. Special instructions govern their disposition.
Phenobarbitol is a "controlled" substance under the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 1970 and your police department will know or be able to obtain the addresss of the appropriate BNDD Regional office. The bandages and other materials are usable.

In the past, DCPA has recommended that the food supplies remain in place for emergency use as a supplement to other food. However, as a result of recent laboratory and other tests, a high probability exists that all of the cereal-based rations stored have become rancid. The laboratory report indicates that rancid food irritates the stomach and intestinal tract of humans and some animals causing vomiting and/or diarrhea. However, these cereal-based rations are being used by some animal feed processors who mix ground cereal-based rations whith other ingredients into animal feed. Cereal- based rations stored in rusted or otherwise damaged containers are not used by the feed processors. Since the degree of rancidity of cereal-based rations cannot be determined accurately, DCPA recommends that they no longer be considered for human consumption. It is recommended that ceral-based rations no longer be considered as shelter supplies and should be destroyed or disposed of. If processors plan to use such mixtures for animal feed, they should avail themselves of laboratory reports from DCPA.

The sanitation items, as well as the bandages and medical equipment, are good and should be used as deemed appropriate by the local government.

Disposal of food and medicines should be in accordance with State and local law and disposal regulations.

This guidance on disposition does not apply to the Shelter Radiation Detection Kits, CD V-777-1. Any relocation or disposition or these kits should be referred to the State Radiological Inspection, Maintenance and Calibration Facility for appropriate action.

DCPA Circular 74-2, dated January 30, 1974, is hereby supersceded.

To download the complete CPG 1-19 DCPA click here DCPA CPG 1-19 in Adobe Acrobat format.

Shelter Supplies Display With Model
Civil Defense Museum Site Index
Water Barrel Page Sanitation Kit Page Food Ration Page Medical Kit Page Radiation Kit/Instrument Page
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