Community Shelter Supplies
Individual Pages in
Back to Civil Defense Museum Main
This section of the museum features individual pages that cover the supplies
that were stocked in the Community Fallout Shelters. Just click on the supplies
you want to check out in the above picture to go to the respective page that
features those 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.
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
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
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.
Civil Preparedness Circular No. 76-2
To download the complete CPG 1-19 DCPA click here DCPA CPG 1-19 in Adobe Acrobat format.
Fallout Shelter, Packaged Ventilation Kit (PVK)
The Fallout Shelter Packaged Ventilation Kit is something I had always wondered about over my 20+ years of collecting Civil Defense items. I came across a few obscure mentions of PVKs in my piles of CD stuff but had never found any proof if any were ever built, put to use or distributed. Dave Monteyne who did some digging through the National Archives at College Park, Maryland in November 2004 sent me this photo that he found in the archives. I was amazed. After all, there is proof that at least one PVK was built. Thanks Dave!!
PVK's Really Do Exist!
About a week after posting the above photo and information I received an e-mail from Scott Worsham of Madison County EMA. Scott saw the above photo and my mention of wondering if any PVKs really existed and sent me some photos of a couple of PVKs that the Madison County EM office still has! They used these PVKs a couple of years ago when they needed some fans in their Emergency Operations Center. Thanks Scott!! The photos below are the photos Scott sent. Click any photo to see a larger version.
More PVK Photos From Madison County
After posting the photos above Scott Worsham sent some more photos of the containers for the PVKs and some information on how the units can be assembled into a 2 seater PVK. The frames slip fit together and secure with a pin to hold them together. Each pedal has a double chain sprocket and there is another mounting bracket for handlebars behind the seat. Click any photo to see larger version.
More PVK Information.
A week after I recieved the photos and information from the Madison EMA I purchased a booklet on ebay that is part of the Federal Civil Defense Guide. The booklet covers how to put together a Community Shelter Plan (CSP). I couldn't believe it when I got the booklet and found a whole paragraph about PVKs and a definition of PVKs. The two sparse mentions in my other CD booklets aren't more that 2 lines each. Here is the Federal CD Guide info......
PVK- Packaged ventilation kit.- A compact, portable ventilation device that can be electrically or pedal operated, for stocking in belowground shelter areas for use in an emergency to increase the rated capacity and/or habitability of such shelter.
Federal Civil Defense Guide Part D, Chapter 3, Appendix 1. December 1965 Page 101.
Packaged Ventilation Kits (PVK's)
OCD has under development a program to provide PVK's to increase the capacity of presently unventilated areas. When these kits are available, it will be possible to add ventilation spaces to local shelter inventories without incurring costs of the order of magnitude indicated on NFSS (National Fallout Shelter Survey) printouts.
Since one of the major purposes of the CSP (Community Shelter Plan) is to make use of the best protected space available, steps will be taken to carry out the SSS (Small Structures Survey), expanded survey /NFSS updating, and EFPH (Evaluation of Fallout Protection in Homes) in all CSP localities in time to incorporate the results in the Step I, shelter capability allocation plan. In addition, the CSP will provide data ( in Step IV, procedures for developing shelter) on PVK requirements. This will enable localities to requisition and install PVK's when they are available, in the numbers and for the facilities identified by the CSP .
Federal Civil Defense Guide Part D, Chapter 3, Appendix 1. December 1965 Page 5.