Originally published at CBS News, December 8, 2001
Fearing nuclear terrorism, Americans are building home fallout shelters in numbers unseen since the peak of the Cold War, sometimes even mortgaging homes to cover costs, say shelter makers and designers.
Some corporations are giving the shelters to top executives as a perk, one dealer said.
Gone are the days when defense experts scoffed and neighbors shook their heads and chuckled.
“They’re treating me less like a crazy woman than they did before,” says Dr. Jane Orient, of Tucson, Ariz., who promotes home shelters as head of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness.
Walton McCarthy, president of shelter builder Radius Defense and Engineering in Northwood, N.H., says he is making almost four times as many of his egg-shaped, fiberglass underground shelters since Sept. 11 — roughly one a day. He is planning a bigger factory.