Beneath an ordinary elementary school in Washington DC is a stark reminder of a time when many Americans feared the apocalypse. Barely touched for decades, a Cold War-era fallout shelter, equipped for a nuclear attack, now sits dormant and gathering dust in the basement of the Oyster-Adams school’s cafeteria. The walls of the 80-metre-long underground tunnel are lined with cardboard boxes, containing the remains of rations intended to feed more than 500 people for a fortnight. Packs of stale — but apparently still edible — crackers are piled up near the narrow entrance, alongside large barrels of drinking water. There are basic medical supplies, such as bandages and tongue depressors, as well as metal drums with removable rubber seats that would have served as portable toilets. “This material was designed to sustain life,” said Mike Washvill, a military veteran and volunteer at The Cold War Museum in Warrenton, Virginia. “You had 700 calories per person per day, you had 1 litre of water per day for that two-week period — the most rudimentary of survival supplies. Aside from silver air-conditioning ducts installed in recent years, the shelter was left untouched for nearly six decades, giving a rare glimpse into a… Read full this story
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