I grew up as a child of the cold war. Way back when I was in the fourth or fifth grade we used to do atomic bomb drills. Teachers would lead us all down to the basement; we'd hang out for a while, then we'd tromp back upstairs to class.
I wanted to know what the whole atomic war thing was all about. Somehow I got hold of a civil defense manual on what to do. Soon discovered the school was doing it all wrong. The basement had an above ground wall with windows in it. No way would that block radiation. Where was the food storage? The water storage? Sanitation? The teachers got really annoyed with me and would not answer my questions beyond: don't worry about it.
I figured out that in case of atomic war, I was going to the basement of the fire station. The basement was deeper, heavier built, it had food (government survival crackers and hard candy), water barrels, sanitation and medical supplies. Better yet, it came with Firemen. Those guys looked like they would be a better crew to hang out with in an emergency.
Never could convince my parents to build a bomb shelter. That would have been the coolest club house ever.
As a young kid I experienced the weird disconnect most adults had. They took things seriously enough that we'd have to do these drills on a regular basis, but not seriously enough to do any good in a real emergency. Must have warped my brain.
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