Swiss Home Fallout Shelter

Posted by: Research Director Tags: There is no tags | Categories: Cold War, News, Nuclear War


Switzerland built an extensive network of fallout shelters, not only through extra hardening of government buildings such as schools, but also through a building regulation requiring nuclear shelters in residential buildings since the 1960s (the first legal basis in this sense dates from 4 October 1963). Later, the law ensured that all residential buildings built after 1978 contained a nuclear shelter able to withstand a blast from a 12 megaton explosion at a distance of 700 metres. The Federal Law on the Protection of the Population and Civil Protection still requires that every inhabitant should have a place in a shelter close to where they live.

The Swiss authorities maintained large communal shelters (such as the Sonnenberg Tunnel until 2006) stocked with over four months of food and fuel. The reference Nuclear War Survival Skills declared that, as of 1986, “Switzerland has the best civil defense system, one that already includes blast shelters for over 85% of all its citizens.” As of 2006, there were about 300,000 shelters built in private homes, institutions and hospitals, as well as 5,100 public shelters for a total of 8.6 million places, a level of coverage equal to 114% of the population.

In Switzerland, most residential shelters are no longer stocked with the food and water required for prolonged habitation and a large number have been converted by the owners to other uses (e.g., wine cellars, ski rooms, gyms). But the owner still has the obligation to ensure the maintenance of the shelter.

Typical Home Fallout Shelter

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