Johnnie St. Vrain: Looking for a bomb shelter

NORAD SHELTERS EDITOR’S NOTE: The 1950’s and 1960’s civil defense shelters were often if not always inappropriate and inadequate protection from nuclear, biological and chemical warfare. More details here. more… Emergency preparednessDear Johnnie: I don’t want to start another destructive round of nuclear paranoia, but I wonder how many bomb shelters were built in Longmont during the ’50s and ’60s. At least one of our friend’s homes has a room equipped for such an event. Are there any public ones as well? — Signed, What Me Worry?Dear Alfred: We both might wonder a long time how many private bomb shelters were built in the 1950s and 1960s, without ever finding out.I did, however, come into the possession of a list of public shelters in Longmont from 1969, thanks to Longmont Museum Curator of Research Erik Mason.”Nearly all are in and around downtown,” Mason said in an email, which included the list as an attachment. “… It doesn’t say whether all the shelters were stocked with supplies — I know the St. Vrain Memorial building was stocked for many years (it’s still a shelter today).”In fact, when it was constructed in 1951, the Memorial Building was intended to be used as a bomb shelter, Peter Perez, an emergency management analyst with the city, told me.”That’s why so many of the sheltering supplies were stored there,” he said.Where’s the “bomb shelter” part of that?”It does have some parts that go underground, but not enough to fit (many) people,” he said.Perez shared this interesting fact about the Memorial Building: During the 2013 flood, when the Memorial Building housed about 140 people who had been displaced, the cots used might have been the ones that were purchased back when the building was built.”Many seem to think so, although we are not 100 percent sure about that,” he wrote in a follow-up email. “They looked to us to be heavy duty wooden military cots, so it fits the era. None of the current staff remember purchasing these cots.”Oh, as to your original question: “Right now, there aren’t really any public bomb shelters,” Perez said.