Community Shelter Supplies
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Civil Defense Community Fallout Shelter Supplies
Supplies In Fallout Shelters
During the 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 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.
It is pretty obvious that 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
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
Some More Fallout Shelter Supply Info.
Here is an interesting item 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.
||Unit of issue
||Std. unit price
||Sanitation Kit IV
||Medical Kit A
||Water Drum Mtl Storage
||Crackers, 5 Gal.
||Biscuits, 5 Gal.
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
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.
SHELTER MEDICAL KITS
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
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.
CEREAL-BASED SHELTER RATIONS
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 randid 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 suppliesand 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.
GUIDANCE ON DISPOSITION OF SHELTER SUPPLIES
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.