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Nuclear fallout shelters scarce around Portland, Ore.

While there is a fallout sign posted outside the University Club on Southwest 6th Avenue, staff there says the shelter no longer exists. (KATU Photo)

With political rhetoric ratcheting up tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, experts are trying to help people prepare for every eventuality, including a nuclear attack.

"The first thing to do is make sure you have an emergency kit and an emergency plan for your home," said Dan Douthit, spokesman for the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management.

"So if the emergency alert system goes off on TV and radio, immediately get indoors," Douthit said.

The prospect of an attack is enough to leave some people on edge.

"Not only does it concern us even though we’re aware, we are not really prepared. We have some water. Almost nobody is really prepared in the way they ought to be, and the city has not really dealt with the problem," said Roger Gertenrich, a Southwest Portland resident.

There are now only remnants of a Cold War-era system of fallout shelters around downtown Portland. A yellow and black fallout shelter sign is still posted outside the University Club on Southwest 6th Avenue -- although staff says the shelter no longer exists.

"I don’t think anywhere on earth is prepared for a nuclear attack, and the best way to avoid having to deal with this is to not use these weapons at all," Douthit said.

The Portland Bureau of Emergency Management has a number of tips for preparing your home and family for an emergency, and FEMA is regularly updating its page dedicated to nuclear blast preparedness.


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