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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Signs and Flat Stanley, Worthington Ohio

Silly Stanley, it's Saturday not Friday, so this I guess will be less fun? The post scheduled for yesterday's Friday Fun with Flat Stanley got deleted I guess, so this will be a message of safety from Stanley about signs on Saturday. But, the Friday Fun will return this Friday June 18th. Stanley observed this sign while on a recent photo session and wanted to share with you, but couldn't get his picture taken by the sign because it was up to high on the building. Do you know what this is? Do your children know what this is? This particular sign is posted at post office in Worthington Ohio. If you click to enlarge the picture I think you can see capacity 52.

fall out shelter sign

According to Wikipedia, a fallout shelter is an enclosed space specially designed to protect occupants from radioactive debris or fallout resulting from a nuclear explosion. Many such shelters were constructed as civil defense measures during the Cold War.

During a nuclear explosion, matter vaporized in the resulting fireball is exposed to neutrons from the explosion, absorbs them, and becomes radioactive. When this material condenses in the rain, it forms dust and light sandy materials that resembles ground pumice. The fallout emits alpha and beta particles, as well as gamma rays. Much of this highly radioactive material then falls to earth, subjecting anything within the line of sight to radiation, a significant hazard. A fallout shelter is designed to allow its occupants to minimize exposure to harmful fallout until radioactivity has decayed to a safer level.

Now if you're my age and grew up during the Cold War, these signs mean a great deal to you. Do you remember the film clip, "Duck and Cover"? Do you remember practicing drills in school? Kids today don't do that at all. They do practice fire drills. But, do the kids know why we hear a siren on Wednesday at exactly 12 noon?

Now besides these lyrics:

Sign Sign everywhere a sign
Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign

running around in my mind it occurs to me there are signs that kids do need to know about. It's summer, they'll be out and about more then usual. Do they know where the closest block parent lives? Do they know what sign to look for? Do they know how to get help and from whom if you're not around? That was such a big part of the school practice, what to do if you weren't with an adult. The importance of staying calm in an emergency.

The fall out shelter program began in earnest in 1961 with shelters in churches, schools, and other public buildings. What I found interesting after seeing this sign (which peaked my interest); is that Switzerland had a huge network of fallout shelters stocked with essentials enough for the entire population for a full 2 years after an attack back in the Cold War. Other countries too had vast underground networks far different than what we had/have here in The States.

Does your family have a plan for emergencies? Be they a tornado, a fire etc? This seemed like a good reminder to me that being prepared is a good way to be safe.

Thinking of safety while traveling, show the kids were the stairs are, talk about sirens, talk about evacuating calmly should something happen while you're in a hotel in your summer travels.

In case you've missed any of Stanley's Friday Fun, you can catch up here:


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8 comments:

  1. our siren screams out on Monday... thinking it was just practice. Sorry Stanley got "vaporized"!

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  2. They have not run the sirens here in Cleveland and had even taken down just about the signs now.I miss that part of my life when I was growing up.

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  3. I only remember tornado sirens back in Kansas and I don't think they have sirens of any kind out here in Oregon. Hopefully no one will ever need a fallout shelter again.

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  4. Geess storybeader, I didn't realize it was different days in different parts of the country. Thanks for adding that. Vaporized.....lol, nah, he does need to be reglued though and then will be good as normal.

    No sirens in Cleveland Mike, that's awful, I just assumed it was a National thing. Man........what if something happens and they've not checked out the equipment?

    Beaded Tail, I wish you were right, that no one would need these types of structures for safety again; but from what I've read they are becoming more popular again..........not less. For all types of safety, Tornado's, Hurricanes, etc.

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  5. Growing up in Michigan we lived very near a fire station. I want to say they tested the siren on Saturdays. Now we just get the weekly (wednesday) test through the TV.

    Hope Stanley is better soon;)

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  6. I had forgotten about fallout shelters!

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  7. I don't remember fallout shelters either. Isn't that odd? They were certainly during my era

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  8. I never really gave it much thought but it is really important to have a safety plan. I have a small daughter and she should know what to do in case of an ER. Thanks for the tips and thought.

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