Bomb shelters

Wednesday, March 14, 1951

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

8th in the series.

Bill Leonard and Captain E. R. McClark (?), Technical Specialist for the New York State Commission on Civil Defense, answer questions about bomb shelters: there is no state money to designate bomb shelters, the most practical approach for building a bomb shelter is to hire an engineer, closets are not recommended as shelters.

Leonard and Bernard Gilroy, of the Department of Housing and Buildings, discuss the same: not all hallways are suitable as shelters, keep away from glass, use cellar space if available.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71814
Municipal archives id: LT1808

Hosted by:

Bill Leonard


E. R. McClark


More in:

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.


About Plan For Survival

"Maybe you, maybe me.  Death and destruction ... Panic in the streets ..." Not a program for pre-bedtime listening, these recordings examine the impossibility of sufficiently preparing for nuclear winter.

With surprisingly calm moderators, the Plan for Survival series (1950-1951) goes beyond the usual "duck and cover" advisement and into the details of an A-bomb attack, fallout shelters, the Soviet threat, first aid, radiation sickness, and food and water supplies following a nuclear attack. Guests include civilians recounting their survival experiences in wartime, like the missile blitzes in England.

The show was transcribed for the Civil Defense Network, which "linked virtually every radio station in New York State and operates entirely by air. It can function even if regular radio lines are destroyed." Bill Leonard hosts with expert panelists, and most programs consist of a balance of speculation and civil information for New York State in general and New York City in particular.  Intended to be a public service announcement for a new nuclear age, the record of these programs now serves to add perspective to 21st century fears —from suffocating due to sinus congestion to bags left in the subway. It's clear -- death comes from above.


Supported by