Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

With North Korea's missiles at the ready—pointless though that may be—we may not be far from another mini-Cold War. With the potential end of civilization at the hands of a pudgy, late-20s Dennis Rodman fan looming, there's only one thing that can protect the American public: bunkers!

Here are two dozen of the best designs from the last time we had to fret about a nuclear apocalypse.

Top photo: Michael Pereckas

A US Department of Defense publication from 1961 depicts a family building a fallout shelter using sand-filled concrete blocks for roof shielding

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Image: Hulton Archive/Getty Images


A double dome shelter design recommended by the US Civil Defense Office. Special assistant to the Secretary of Defense, Adam Yarmolinsky, demonstrates how the steel igloos are assembled at his Virginia home in April 1962.

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Photo: Keystone/Getty Images


Geez, this this swanky illustrated backyard bomb shelter is nicer than my apartment.

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Image: Hulton Archive/Getty Images


Geez, so is this backyard plywood shelter.

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Image: Hulton Archive/Getty Images


For those without the means of building out a full-on bunker, the US DoD recommended a sand-covered lean-to shelter.

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Image: Hulton Archive/Getty Images


A government official sits in a domestic shelter in York, UK, 1981. On his left, a hand-cranked intake air pump. On his right, enough food to last two weeks.

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Photo: Central Press/Getty Images


This photo of Phyllis Millet and her daughters was taken in 1980 while the trio sat down to breakfast during a five-day trial of their new bunker.

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Photo: Graham Turner/Keystone/Getty Images


Marcel Barbier and his wife Nicole inspect their Herdon Va home's bunker in 2001. Interest in shelters fell off after the Soviet Union collapsed but was rekindled after 9/11.

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Photo: Jacqueline Roggenbrodt/AP


Apparently, even the fallout shelters were made of polyester in the 1970s.

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Photo: Haditechnika 1973, Zrínyi Katonai Kiadó, Budapest, 1972


Beverly Wysocki and Marie Graskamp check out a shelter with Super Mario Bros-style entrances in 1958.

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Photo: AP


This massive steel tube, known as the Goblin (reassuring!), was designed by Takaaki Hashida Kashiwa, Japan in 1996. The cylinder measures 13.5-meter long and 3.6-meter in diameter. It is reportedly capable of supporting 15 people for 30 days.

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Photo: Katsumi Kasahara/AP


A free-standing, double-hulled steel shelter located under a Ft. Wayne, Indiana front yard.

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Photo: National Museum of American History


A US DoD pamphlet regarding how to build your own underground concrete fallout shelter.

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Image: jen-the-librarian


A 1960 fallout shelter entrance replete with sirens.

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Photo: x-ray delta one/James Vaughan


A backyard entrance to a fallout shelter.

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Photo: x-ray delta one/James Vaughan


A nuclear family enjoying their 1950s prefab shelter.

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Photo: x-ray delta one/James Vaughan


The Kelsey-Hayes Fallout Shelter.

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Photo: SyndProd/LIFE, 15 Sep 1961


Bunkers could also be constructed in basements using cinder block.

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Illustration: LIFE, 15 Sep 1961


Instructions for building your own Hobbit home/apacalypse shelter.

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Illustration: LIFE, 15 Sep 1961


Shelters could even be built above ground provided that they employ a double-wall design.

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Illustration: LIFE, 15 Sep 1961


An illustration of Adam Yarmolinsky's steel igloo shelter.

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Illustration: Department Of Defense/Mike Haeg


A subterranean shelter constructed of corrugated steel.

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Illustration: Department Of Defense/Mike Haeg


With enough soil packed around it, even a wooden box makes a wonderful radiation shelter. You hear that, corpses?

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Illustration: Department Of Defense/Mike Haeg


So why does this fallout shelter have a patio? For Soviet nuclear mutant zombies?

Ride Out North Korea's Preemptive Strike in These 24 Cold War Fallout SheltersS

Illustration: Popular Mechanics, Oct 1951


Image research by Attila Nagy