In this crowded hillside village that straddles Israel’s border with Syria, everyone seems certain that war is on the way. The village, which faces Syria to the northeast and Israel to the southwest, has watched with nervous anticipation as Israel’s military has heightened preparations along the border and Syrian tanks can be seen manoeuvring in the distance. Residents have cleaned out bomb shelters and hospitals have run emergency drills.Sponsored Ads
“You don’t witness as many wars as we do without getting a sense when one is about to land on your doorstep,” said Maryam al-Din, a 78-year-old resident of Majdal Shams. “Ask anyone in the village, anyone in the villages around, and they will tell you that if you put your ear to the ground, you will clearly hear that war is coming to this place.”
Understandably, the atmosphere is increasingly nervous in Israel, as Ruthie Blum of Israel Hayom reports: “When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday that, although much improvement had been made in the preparedness of the homefront, the far greater and more immediate concern to all of us was the Iranian nuclear threat, the public started becoming nervous. In the last two days alone, there has been a sharp increase in the number of people approaching the designated stations to pick up their gas mask kits. And talk of locating or cleaning out bomb shelters — as well as loading up on canned goods and other supplies — is in the air.”
Even ex-Mossad chief who opposes an attack on Iran seems to have given up
According to Yediot, the new talking points read: “Iran and Hizbullah are behind these terror attempts. If this is what Iran is doing now, imagine what it will do if its nuclear arms project reaches the goal.” The tabloid’s story was headlined “Iran’s long arm,” and the subhead read, “Israel to the world: ‘Terror acts show nuclear Iran cannot be allowed.’” The story’s ominous tone meshed perfectly with the talking points.
Israel’s whole body politic – politicians, media, influential public figures and public at large – is now leaning into a war with Iran. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s recently reported opinion that Israel would likely strike between April and June is shared, give or take a month or two, by countless others.
Yet while there is skepticism about the leadership team’s true intentions, there is virtually none being expressed here about the wisdom of going to war. The paucity of dissent is remarkable, not to say depressing, in a country that prides itself on being a “vibrant democracy.”
At the end of last week, the media were talking about which towns had good bomb shelters and air raid sirens and which didn’t. The likelihood that Israel would soon be attacking Iran had begun to sink in. …
… Hitler wanted to own Switzerland.
Taking Switzerland, however, was a fool’s errand. The Swiss topology is not very conducive to invasion by tanks, which were some of Nazi Germany’s stronger assets. On top of that, while Germany would have been able to take Switzerland (although not without suffering significant casualties, as Switzerland’s populace was well armed), Switzerland was prepared to blow up much of its own infrastructure if invaded. So even though Switzerland is wedged between Germany and France, the strategic value of occupying the neutral nation was tiny. But when France surrendered to Germany on June 25, 1940, the strategic value of Switzerland became moot. Momentarily, Hitler’s focus switched to Germany’s neighbors to the southwest, with Germany planning its Switzerland invasion that same day.
Fast forword to today, somebody could just nuke it instead. Although, the Swiss have fallout/bomb shelters for everyone.
“In the next conflict with Gaza, even if it at a much lower intensity than a war, missiles will fall on Gush Dan — for all purposes, inside Tel Aviv,” Vilnai said.
He outlined Israel’s counter-measures, which include missile interceptors, civilian bomb shelters and a deterrent posture signaling readiness to retaliate hard for attacks on the homefront.
Yet Israel remained challenged by its geographical smallness and multiplicity of foes, Vilnai said.
Switzerland, already home to more nuclear bunkers per capita than any other nation, has decided to pad its lead.
Mountainous and politically neutral, Switzerland has more than 300,000 bunkers, enough to shelter all 7.6 million Swiss with one million places to spare. But two decades after the end of the Cold War, the Swiss government says it needs more.
A 1978 law requires every new building to have a bomb shelter, and even as the fears of Armageddon that spurred the original law are now a distant memory, the Swiss have been adding 50,000 new spots a year. As recently as a few months ago, however, it looked like the Swiss were ready to stop digging.
The Cheapie-Cheap Fallout Shelter
This could possibly be one of the most uncomfortable fallout shelters on the planet that actually works.
There’s little room for the penny-pinchers in the underground sheltering market, with construction estimates of up to $400 per square foot, and prefab shelters with $50,000 price tags. “That’s why we came out with the Mini Blast Shelter,” KI4U’s Shane Connor says. “We came out with it so more people could actually see themselves in a shelter.”
Essentially, the Mini Blast Shelter is nothing more than a 12-foot length of galvanized, corrugated road culvert—the same kind a utility uses to build drainage—with a pair of blast-proof entry and exit hatches welded to the top. It’s easily the most affordable prefabricated shelter available. Ready to bury when you buy it, the Mini Blast Shelter requires just an afternoon’s worth of backhoeing before it’s underground and good to go.
The savings come at a cost, though, primarily in comfort. “It’s cramped and it’s uncomfortable,” Connor says. “But when something nuclear happens, and it’s inevitable, it’s better than the alternative,” he adds. “Sheltering is only essential for the first couple of days, and most people can hunker down for two or three days until the worst is past.”
According to industry experts, bomb-shelter tech has changed little in the five decades since World War II. Today’s fallout-shelter offerings show that the industry standard is a far cry from the cheap-and-quick backyard bunker. Today, they’re bigger, stronger and setting one off is guaranteed to leave a crater in your checking account. Here are six we’d like to hole up in until the fallout settles.
The difficulty in trying to survive a nuclear event is that people can’t talk about it. So how can people be expected to save themselves when they can’t even talk about it?
Back in the 50’s and 60’s there were commercials about what to do during a nuclear attack. Now we get nothing. This is a consequence of system feedback. Over time people have gradually influenced one another. A nuclear war is not survivable, so why make any attempt to save oneself? Also, people have gradually lost their fear of nuclear war because they haven’t seen one in their lifetime. This is all bad news for the survival of the American people in the future.
On this blog I have brought up the very real danger of nuclear attack. Again and again I’ve said that you need to seriously prepare for nuclear war. Don’t be a sheep. Do something to save yourself.
Historically, about the time most people have died that directly experienced that the last big crisis (Revolutionary War, Civil War and Depression plus World War II), then the nation become susceptible to a new crisis. We are now susceptible.
Remember the 50’s and 60’s bomb shelters? Guess they weren’t such a bad idea after all.
According to the New York Times, trying to get the information out to the public without seeming alarmist, is a problem that the Obama administration faces.
W. Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said in an interview, “We have to get past the mental block that says it’s too terrible to think about.” “We have to be ready to deal with it” and help people learn how to “best protect themselves.”
Switzerland has fallout shelters for everyone residing within its borders. The coverage is 114 per cent.
“Every inhabitant must have a protected place that can be reached quickly from his place of residence” and “apartment block owners are required to construct and fit out shelters in all new dwellings”, according to articles 45 and 46 of the Swiss Federal Law on Civil Protection.
This is why most buildings constructed since the 1960s (the first regulations on the subject were passed on 4 October 1963) incorporate a fallout shelter.
In 2006, there were 300,000 shelters in Swiss dwellings, institutions and hospitals, as well as 5,100 public shelters, providing protection for a total of 8.6 million individuals – a coverage of 114 per cent.
Air-raid shelters in modern times
Countries that have kept air raid shelters intact and in ready condition include Switzerland and Finland. Many Swiss houses and apartment blocks still have concrete doors around 40 cm thick that are deep in the basement. Inside these shelters, an air supply system can be found. Currently, many people use these shelters as safes (to hold financial documents) or as storage for valuable documents, such as pictures of wedding days, or a child’s school work. In many cases these structures are the most secure part of a house, because of the shelter’s thick concrete ceiling. This ceiling should resist the house collapsing.
The state of Israel requires all buildings to have bomb shelters and all homes possess these safety measures. They are usually employed as game rooms so that the children will be comfortable to enter them at a time of need, and will not be frightened.
Finland has over 40,000 air-raid shelters which can house 3.8 million persons (71% of the population). Private homes rarely have them, but houses over 600 m² are obligated to build them. Fire inspectors check the shelters every 10 years and flaws have to be repaired or corrected as soon as possible. The law requires that inhabitants of apartment blocks can clear the shelters and put them into action in less than 24 hours. Also, the shelters must possess a working phone line connection that must be usable at all times.
Since 1998, Singapore has required all new houses and flats to have a shelter built to certain specifications. The Singapore Civil Defence Force rationalizes building such shelters in highrise buildings by noting that weapon effects tend to be localized, and are unlikely to cause an entire building to collapse.