Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike In These 24 Cold War Fallout Shelters

With North Korea's missiles at the ready — pointless though that may be — we may not be far from another Cold War. With the potential end of civilisation at the hands of a pudgy Dennis Rodman fan looming, there's only one thing that can protect the public: bunkers!

Here are two dozen of the best designs from the last time we had to fret about a nuclear apocalypse.

Top picture: Michael Pereckas

A US Department of Defense publication from 1961 depicts a family building a fallout shelter using sand-filled concrete blocks for roof shielding.

Picture: Hulton Archive/Getty Images


A double dome shelter design recommended by the US Civil defence Office. Special assistant to the Secretary of Defense, Adam Yarmolinsky, demonstrates how the steel igloos are assembled at his Virginia home in April 1962.

Picture: Keystone/Getty Images


Geez, this this swanky illustrated backyard bomb shelter is nicer than my apartment.

Picture: Hulton Archive/Getty Images


Geez, so is this backyard plywood shelter.

Picture: Hulton Archive/Getty Images


For those without the means of building out a full-on bunker, the US DoD recommended a sand-covered lean-to shelter.

Picture: Hulton Archive/Getty Images


A government official sits in a domestic shelter in York, UK, 1981. On his left, a hand-cranked intake air pump. On his right, enough food to last two weeks.

Picture: Central Press/Getty Images


This photo of Phyllis Millet and her daughters was taken in 1980 while the trio sat down to breakfast during a five-day trial of their new bunker.

Picture: Graham Turner/Keystone/Getty Images


Marcel Barbier and his wife Nicole inspect their Herdon Va home's bunker in 2001. Interest in shelters fell off after the Soviet Union collapsed but was rekindled after 9/11.

Picture: Jacqueline Roggenbrodt/AP


Apparently, even the fallout shelters were made of polyester in the 1970s.

Picture: Haditechnika 1973, Zrínyi Katonai Kiadó, Budapest, 1972


Beverly Wysocki and Marie Graskamp check out a shelter with Super Mario Bros-style entrances in 1958.

Picture: AP


This massive steel tube, known as the Goblin (reassuring!), was designed by Takaaki Hashida Kashiwa, Japan in 1996. The cylinder measures 13.5m long and 3.6m in diameter. It is reportedly capable of supporting 15 people for 30 days.

Picture: Katsumi Kasahara/AP


A free-standing, double-hulled steel shelter located under a Ft Wayne, Indiana front yard.

Picture: National Museum of American History


A US DoD pamphlet regarding how to build your own underground concrete fallout shelter.

Picture: jen-the-librarian


A 1960 fallout shelter entrance replete with sirens.

Picture: x-ray delta one/James Vaughan


A backyard entrance to a fallout shelter.

Picture: x-ray delta one/James Vaughan


A nuclear family enjoying their 1950s prefab shelter.

Picture: x-ray delta one/James Vaughan


The Kelsey-Hayes Fallout Shelter.

Picture: SyndProd/LIFE, September 15, 1961


Bunkers could also be constructed in basements using cinder block.

Illustration: LIFE, September 15, 1961


Instructions for building your own Hobbit home/apocalypse shelter.

Illustration: LIFE, September 15, 1961


Shelters could even be built above ground provided that they employ a double-wall design.

Illustration: LIFE, September 15, 1961


An illustration of Adam Yarmolinsky's steel igloo shelter.

Illustration: Department Of Defense/Mike Haeg


A subterranean shelter constructed of corrugated steel.

Illustration: Department Of Defense/Mike Haeg


With enough soil packed around it, even a wooden box makes a wonderful radiation shelter. You hear that, corpses?

Picture: Department Of Defense/Mike Haeg


So why does this fallout shelter have a patio? For Soviet nuclear mutant zombies?

Picture: Popular Mechanics, October 1951

Image research by Attila Nagy.


Comments

    Locked in a bombshelter for weeks, with my family, I think I will take my chances outside with the bombs.

    Fall out shelters: where the living envy the dead.

    When I was a kid I always wanted to live in an underground house.

    But I'm with everyone else it would suck to have to live in a bathroom sized room for weeks on end.

    I always thought that using those big water tanks would make fairly good underground rooms. Hardly nuke proof, but water tight.

    We need vaults ASAP! Does anyone know the phone number for Vault-Tec?

    The man is smoking and the kids look happy

      Nothing like a good smelling pipe in a tight space to facilitate breathing.

    I would want to make a fallout shelter on wheels. A bit pointless building a fallout shelter when radiation would remain for years after. I would wan't to safely move out of the fallout zone.

      Yeah, if there is another cold war the government should just give each family an NBC truck.

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