My brother and I dug the hole for it with shovels. We would come home from school and dig for an hour or two every night and as I remember it took us a couple months to get the hole to the necessary twelve foot depth. It had to be that deep because you needed a lot of dirt between the ceiling in the bomb shelter and the surface of the ground in order to protect against the fallout from a possible nuclear blast. Well, that was the theory anyway.
The cold war was in full swing and people were just plain scared. The civil defense sirens would test every Saturday at noon. I have later come to believe this was done mostly for purposes of promoting and proliferating fear. Scared people are much more likely to huddle up like a covey of quail and follow the leader. ( That is not necessarily a smart thing to do. Hitler taught us that.)
Still, having a bomb shelter offered a measure of security others didn't have. This gave us some solace during the nail biting Cuban missile crisis and even when John Kennedy was shot. Such events pale the circumstances of ordinary life and strongly suggest even greater horrific happenings are indeed possible.
The Bomb was the big threat back in those days. Now other additional possibilities seem more feasible.
"What does this have to do with camping," you ask. It is your camping equipment that is important to this discussion because we are talking about survival and your camping gear should be at the heart of your survival plan.
There are many possibilities when it comes to disasters. I dare say there is no place in the country where one of more of the following is not only a possibility but even likely at some point - hurricane, tornado, earthquake, tsunami and wild fires. Additionally, consider what happens when we throw the possibility of man made events into the mix like - terrorism, riots, economic collapse, even war.
Thus one should develop a variety of outdoor skills and stash some acorns but you also need a good survival plan even if only for temporary refuge from a localized disaster. Be sure to look at our new survival plan web page to help you develop a survival mentality and give you some thoughts on integrating your camping equipment into that survival plan.
As the old saying goes, let's hope for the best but plan for the worst.
Go Camping! It's not just for fun it is survival training.