Organization and Staff
Office of Civil Defense
Once the Department of Defense deemed a building suitable to serve as a fallout shelter, it was marked with signs and stocked with supplies necessary for survival. After that it was up to local authorities to maintain the shelters and recruit qualified leaders to staff them. To aid in this process, the federal government produced many publications and motion pictures to train shelter staffs and depict what life might be like in a fallout shelter. It was in this vein of "shelter living" material that The Office of Civil Defense released Public Shelter Organization and Staff in 1963. The film examines the most effective ways to organize shelter management staff, the shelter itself, and the occupants. In addition to the shelter manager, a number of assistant positions should be filled including the health and sanitation manager, the safety manager, the feeding manager, the bunking manager, the maintenance manager, the communications officer, the information officer and, perhaps most important, the radiological defense officer. Several animated maps are shown demonstrating the best ways to arrange these tasks in shelters of varying sizes. If a management position is vacant, it should be filled by an experienced shelter occupant. Bill Collins demonstrates this onscreen when he recruits Mr. Bernard, a quick-witted man with a thick Brooklyn accent, to serve as the maintenance manager after Bernard effortlessly restores electricity to the shelter.
Public Shelter Organization and Staff may be viewed, in its entirety, HERE.
1. Department of the Army. Index of Motion Pictures and Related Audio-Visual Aids, 1972. 345.
2. Hammes, John A. Shelter Occupancy Studies at the University of Georgia 1965. Office of Civil Defense, July 22, 1965. Acknowledgments.
3. Department of the Army. Index of Motion Pictures and Related Audio-Visual Aids, 1972. 345.