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Many public schools like mine (Laurelhurst Elementary) had the iconic yellow and black Fallout Shelter sign posted at the entrances. Supposedly we would all be shepherded into the basement boiler room (oil furnaces heated water that was piped about the building and into cast-iron radiators for heat).

If we all stayed in the boiler room fallout shelter for about 2 weeks (eating wheat crackers?) we would supposedly avoid inhaling the radioactive iodine in nuclear fallout (assuming the building survived any direct blast damage).

Those days were far behind us due to nuclear detente and the 1963 nuclear test ban treaty. Hopefully political leaders of our day will share the historical concern and preclude the need to dust off all the fallout shelter signs - if not, it’s time to start stocking up on wheat crackers and potassium iodine tablets...

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