Can the radiation safety of the bomb shelter be improved with tools, materials, and manpower on hand?
As you go through your bomb shelter looking for the places that appear to provide the best shielding from gamma radiation, you should also look for ways to improve the shielding. Look for openings that can be covered up and for places where walls and ceilings can be thickened to cut down gamma penetration.
In the apartment floorplan sketch above, the radiation safety could be improved with a little effort. Earth could be piled up around the outside where the basement wall rises above ground level. All but two or three basement windows could be sealed with boards or with cardboard and plastic and then covered with earth.
The remaining windows may be needed for ventilation and should be baffled rather than sealed. A way to construct a baffle over a basement window to reduce gamma penetration and prevent fallout from entering is shown in the following Figure.
About 40 – 50 man hours of labor would be needed for the improvements in the radiation safety of this bomb shelter. Shovels, picks, and some carpenter’s tools (hammers and saws) and supplies (nails, lumber, plywood, plastic sheeting and gloves) would be needed. People who are not accustomed to manual labor should wear gloves from the start when picking or shoveling earth. Blisters are painful and can develop into serious infections, especially if antibiotics aren’t available.
These efforts could improve the FPF’s of this bomb shelter by factors of four to 10. If the FPF of the safest location were about 25 before these improvements, the FPF could be 100 to 250 afterwards. If the fallout is heavy, this improvement could mean the difference between life and death for the occupants.