Shelters and Survival

August 16, 1961

Report Outline
Revival of Emphasis on Civil Defense
Conflicting Aspects of Shelter Policy
Basic Priorities in Civil Preparedness
Civil Defense in European Countries

Revival of Emphasis on Civil Defense

President KENNEDY's call for a new start in the nation's civil defense program is an integral part of the administration's over-all plan for meeting the current Berlin crisis. The apparent strategy behind the revised civil defense policy—spearheaded by a request for a tripling of federal appropriations for this purpose in fiscal 1962—is to convince Soviet leaders that Americans are ready to risk nuclear war, if necessary, to protect rights of access to West Berlin.

Congress on Aug. 10 granted the full $207,600,000 asked by the administration for a start on a national fallout shelter program. This sum was in addition to $86,550,000 already approved by Congress. The President on Aug. 14 requested another $73,200,000 for food and medical stockpiling programs. Still uncertain is congressional reaction to any long-range program of fallout shelter construction which may be submitted at the next session.

Frank B. Ellis, new director of O.C.D.M., is known to favor a five-year federal-state-local shelter program to cost up to $20 billion, about half of it to be supplied by the federal government. President Kennedy himself has not made a decision on the advisability of such an extensive shelter program. No less in doubt than the reaction of Congress to a national shelter program is the reaction of the general public to current and future exhortations to take individual measures for self-protection. Past experience is not encouraging to advocates of stepped-up civil preparedness. A survey by a House Government Operations subcommittee last year showed that only 1,565 home fallout shelters had been built in the 35 states answering inquiries from the subcommittee.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Weapons of Mass Destruction
Jul. 29, 2016  Modernizing the Nuclear Arsenal
Mar. 08, 2002  Weapons of Mass Destruction
Jan. 31, 1997  Chemical and Biological Weapons
Jun. 24, 1994  Nuclear Arms Cleanup
Jun. 05, 1992  Nuclear Proliferation
Jun. 29, 1990  Obstacles to Bio-Chemical Disarmament
Apr. 22, 1988  The Military Build-Down in the 1990s
May 24, 1987  Euromissile Negotiations
Jul. 11, 1986  Chemical Weapons
Apr. 27, 1984  Reagan's Defense Buildup
Jun. 04, 1982  Civil Defense
Jul. 17, 1981  Controlling Nuclear Proliferation
Jun. 05, 1981  MX Missile Decision
Aug. 15, 1980  The Neutron Bomb and European Defense
Sep. 07, 1979  Atomic Secrecy
Mar. 17, 1978  Nuclear Proliferation
May 27, 1977  Chemical-Biological Warfare
May 13, 1977  Politics of Strategic Arms Negotiations
Nov. 15, 1974  Nuclear Safeguards
Jul. 01, 1970  Nuclear Balance of Terror: 25 Years After Alamogordo
Jun. 18, 1969  Chemical–Biological Weaponry
Jun. 30, 1965  Atomic Proliferation
Mar. 21, 1962  Nuclear Testing Dilemmas
Aug. 16, 1961  Shelters and Survival
Oct. 12, 1959  Chemical-Biological Warfare
May 13, 1959  Nuclear Test Ban
Dec. 04, 1957  Scientific Cooperation and Atlantic Security
May 15, 1957  Changing Defense Concepts
Jul. 03, 1956  Civil Defense, 1956
Nov. 16, 1955  International Arms Deals
Oct. 04, 1954  Industrial Defense
Apr. 15, 1954  National Defense Strategy
Feb. 10, 1954  New Aproaches to Atomic Control
Oct. 10, 1953  Atomic Information
Apr. 11, 1952  Biological Warfare
Oct. 03, 1951  World Arms Race
Feb. 04, 1948  International Control of Atomic Energy
Dec. 06, 1946  International Inspection
Aug. 27, 1943  Gas Warfare
Jul. 24, 1937  The New Race in Armaments
May 05, 1932  Abolition of Aggressive Weapons
Cold War
Emergency Preparedness
U.S. at War: Cold War
War and Conflict