For many Americans who grew up through the mid 20th century, the idea of air-raid drills, the concept of duck-and-cover, and the construction of bomb shelters are familiar memories, however distant. While we aren't seeing a renewal in school-wide air raid drills, across the United States there is a resurgence in the demand for bomb shelters in a big way.
During the mid 20th century there was at different times huge public and governmental concern about bomb blasts and fallout from nuclear bombs dropping on cities. It was quite common during the 1950s and 60s for residents to construct backyard bomb shelters and stock them for the possibility of a nuclear attack coming from the Soviet Union whereas many people had relied on public bomb shelters during WWII. In some countries, like Switzerland, there was such an extensive system of shelters constructed that the entire population could be sheltered in public shelters.
Since the well before the end of the Cold War in 1991, there has been a greatly reduced interest in building and/or maintaining bomb shelters in most countries unless there is active strife still active, at least until fairly recently. There has been a renewed interest, particularly after the September 11th attacks on the United States, for an updated version of the backyard bomb shelter.
While some people might just say that owning your own bomb shelter borders a little on the paranoid, it is important to note that today's shelters aren't only good for surviving nuclear attack.
The shelters that are going up—or down, as the case may be—across America are somewhat similar to the bomb shelters of yesteryear with some very updated features and tend to have a little more finesse than their predecessors. The consumers of today aren't only concerned with having a convenient safe place for in case of an attack, they're often also concerned with having a safe place to go in case of natural disaster, they're worried about economic collapse, they're worried about global pandemic, and they're concerned about the so-called Mayan prediction for the end of the world in 2012.
Whatever the reasons, shelter contractors are doing fabulous business; some companies estimate that their business has increased by at least 50% over the last few years.
The modern shelters range from bullet-proof, steel-reinforced concrete to radar-impervious fibreglass domes to pre-made corrugated steel culverts. They range from the bare essentials to the more comfortable models that include built-in bunk beds, air-filtration, shower, kitchen, and living room.
While it may not be all that likely that you will need a shelter to protect you and your loved ones from the recession or the end of the world, it is more likely that if you live in an area prone to natural disasters such as tornadoes a shelter could buy you at least some peace of mind.
Consider installing a shelter that is appropriate not only for the purpose you most need it for, but also for additional purposes to make it even more valuable just in case you might be in it for additional time or because of a different emergency. It is never a mistake to be prepared for the worst.
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