The history of civil defense in America is one of long neglect and avoidance since the Cuban Missile Crisis. “[P]eople just didn’t want to think about it . . . [I]f bomb shelters reduced casualties from, say, 100 million to 50 million, that still means tens of millions of dead,” says Mark, the author of Atomic Skies. Other than rusting yellow-and-black “Fallout Shelter” signs on public buildings, almost nothing remains of American civil defense efforts…. Two factors complicated civil defense from nuclear attack: hazard and numbers. – The National Interest Photo: Jim Killock Creative Commons.