In Time of Emergency eBook

Office of Civil Defense
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 73 pages of information about In Time of Emergency.

Remember that fallout particles can be seen, but the rays they give off cannot be seen.  If you see unusual quantities of gritty particles outside (on window ledges, sidewalks, cars, etc.) after an attack, you should assume that they are fallout particles, and therefore stay inside your shelter until you are told it is safe to come out.

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1.  If there is no public fallout shelter near your home and you have decided not to prepare a permanent or preplanned shelter in your basement or yard, make sure that you have on hand now the materials and tools needed to improvise an emergency shelter at home.  These would include shielding material (for an inside shelter), and lumber and a shovel (for an outside shelter).


1.  If you have no better shelter to go to, improvise an emergency shelter at home.

2.  Usually, the best place for an improvised shelter would be in your basement or storm cellar.

3.  If you don’t have a basement or storm cellar, you might be able to improvise a shelter in the crawl space under your house, outside in your yard, or (as a last resort) on the ground floor of your house.  In some places, a boat would provide some fallout protection.


If an enemy attack should occur when you are at home, and you have made no advance shelter preparations, you still might be able to improvise a shelter either inside or outside your house.  In a time of emergency, the radio broadcasts may tell you whether you have time to improvise a shelter or should take cover immediately.

An improvised shelter probably would not give you as much protection as a permanent or a preplanned family shelter, but any protection is better than none, and might save your life.

The best place to improvise a shelter would be the basement or storm cellar, if your home has one.


To improvise a shelter you would need shielding materials such as those mentioned on page 25—­concrete blocks, bricks, sand, etc.  Other things could also be used as shielding material, or to support shielding material, such as: 

—­House doors that have been taken off their hinges (especially heavy outside doors).

—­Dressers and chests (fill the drawers with sand or earth after they are placed in position, so they won’t be too heavy to carry and won’t collapse while being carried).

—­Trunks, boxes and cartons (fill them with sand or earth after they are placed in position).

Project Gutenberg
In Time of Emergency from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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