Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Where Have All The Shelters Gone?

(This is a posting from the original Uncivil Defence, before I retooled. In light of recent weather related catastrophes I have updated it somewhat).

Where have all our Civil Defence Shelters gone and who is responsible for their destruction?

During the Cold War the United States had literally thousands of marked, well stocked Civil Defence Shelters throughout the country. Their purpose was to provide shelter for the citizens of this country in case of nuclear attacks on the United States. They were also there to serve as storm and disaster shelters. Beginning in the 1980's the US government began the systematic dismantling of the Civil Defense system, despite the fact that nuclear war is still a risk even after the fall of the Soviet Union. Individuals also ceased to build their own private shelters, despite the fact that when used as a storm shelter the insurance benefits are quite good.

Why, one must wonder were these shelters decommissioned, their supplies auctioned off or destroyed, despite the fact that the nuclear missiles of foreign powers still exist?

I am always consternated when a severe storm, tornado or hurricane strikes and people have absolutely nowhere to go except to a local school gymnasium. These places are deathtraps of shoddy construction with no supplies or trained personnel and yet, people flock to these places like lambs to the slaughter. Communities spend millions of dollars to install tornado siren systems, only to inform their citizenry that they need to hide in the bathtub. Many localities, (like mine) require new developments spend multiple thousands of dollars to build retention ponds, walking trails and "greenspace" to mollify the ecological lobby. But they won't even ask these developers to build a community emergency shelter.

Look at our recent weather related disasters. If ever the need for a comprehensive program of Civil Defence were shown to be necessary then this past year is it.

Now, as in the past we are in need of a Civil Defence program for our communities. Engaged as we are in a global conflict, assailed by terrorism on our own soil, bombarded by government warnings of possible radiological, biological and chemical attacks, as well as the ever present threats of storm and other natural disaster it only makes sense to re-ignite our Civil Defence programs. People need to have access to training, supplies and equipment. With or without the blessings of the federal, state or local governments we owe it to ourselves, our communities and our families to take steps to insure their safety should disaster strike.

People must become motivated as their parents and grandparents were in order to insure the safety of themselves and their communities. Local authorities need to be informed that old shelter locations must be refurbished, resupplied and reopened. If local authorities refuse then we need to engage our efforts in the private sector. Get our local businesses, churches and community groups involved. If a new Civil Defence program can be implemented without any government interference then that is all the better. Let them come to the private sector Civil Defence when THEY need help. And charge them.

Come and join me as I take a look at those who have made us a less safe place to live.....


No comments: