Thursday, September 1, 2011

Civil defense in Santa Monica circa 1963

Following the end of World War II, tension heightened between the United States and Soviet Union. As the Soviets developed nuclear weapons, U.S. citizens became anxious about the potential for nucelar attacks. Under President Eisenhower, the federal government created the Federal Civil Defense Administration (FCDA), which later became the Office of Civil Defense. Instructive information about building fallout shelters and how to survive a nucelar attack were distributed. Santa Monica created a Civil Defense Adminstration. The 1963 -1964 annual budget included the costs to build eight fallout shelters to protect firefighters from radioactive fallout in the event of attack, two each at fire stations 1, 2, 4, and 5, which would house 80 firefighters as key civil defense personnel. Additonal special funds amounting to $1,895 were included for training for radiological monitoring, communiations and shelter management.

The photograph included shows city workers stocking civilian defense survival supplies. Supplies considered necessary for survival in a fallout shelter, according to the FCDA, included; food, sanitation, medical, water, portable ventilations kits, and shelter radiation kits.