New York to draw misleading nuclear fallout shelter signs

A yellow nuclear fallout shelter sign is seen hanging on a building in Brooklyn earlier this month.


Even if North Korea whips to concern about its nuclear capabilities, New York City has quietly begun to remove some of the rusting yellow nuclear fallout shelter signs added to thousands of buildings during the Cold War, say a lot of misleading relics that would not be useful in the case of a real attack.

The small metal plates are a remnant of the nuclear arms race between the United States and the former Soviet Union, which prompted President John F. Kennedy for the make of the shelter program in 1961, in cities across America.

Although New Yorkers can barely notice the signs, many remain in the place, a reminder that the threat of nuclear destruction has not disappeared. Indeed, North Korea is developing nuclear tipped missiles that could hit America, while the U.S. maintains a nuclear arsenal of more than 4000 weapons.

If there is ever a nuclear attack in the New York City area, the signs, thousands of that remain, would be best ignored, city officials and disaster management experts told Reuters.

Any survivors in the hope that the instructions for the safety would be most likely to find themselves pounding on closed doors, or to break into areas that are currently used for the laundry rooms and bicycle storage. The maintenance of the shelter system shut down decades ago, according to Reuters.

The city Department of Education wants to remove some of the signs for these shelters from public schools to any confusion.

A fallout shelter sign above the entrance of P. S. 38 in Brooklyn.



Michael Aciman, a department spokesman confirmed to Reuters that a designated fallout shelters are made in the schools of the city are no longer active. He said the department is focused on completing the unscrewing of the signs of school walls, about Jan. 1. City officials say that this is the first concerted effort to remove the signs.

“FEMA has no position on the plates,” Jenny Burke, an agency spokeswoman, wrote in an e-mail to Reuters Tuesday. Although FEMA does not maintain lists of the old shelter locations, she added, “as a part of an ongoing planning, the agency is conducting research for the retrieval of the Office of Civilian Defense records.”

The city is the removal of plan is reportedly a bit strange: on the one Brooklyn street, a sign on a school photographed by Reuters this month was then removed, while another school a few blocks away still had her, but with a screw missing.

Were a nuclear explosion, which far enough away from the explosion center to survive, do well at the head of the lower interior of a standard building, preferably in a windowless basement, to shelter from the radioactive particles outside.

NYC Emergency Management, the agency that runs the city’s disaster preparations, was not involved in the decision, but the staff is pleased to note the signs’ removal. Nancy Silvestri, the agency’s press secretary, said that even once the signs are gone from schools, many stay at apartment buildings and other structures.

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