Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Twilight Zone "The Shelter"

Finally found a good copy of it online.

It is truly brilliant. It squeezes a lot of reality into just 40 minutes.

"The Shelter" - Rod Serling's Cold War Classic

Having the same neighbours most likely to ridicule him the first to turn on him and demand entry was a stroke of inspiration. The climax where they work together to get in is so close to the reality it is raw footage from the apocalypse. I experienced similar things during tornado season in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Think about your current setup and ask yourself how vulnerable you'd be to just this situation. This is why your shelter strategy is :

  1. Invisibility - should not be obvious to neighbours it is there.
  2. Fortified - if it can be breached by three guys in a few minutes it's not strong enough.
  3. Overengineered - for all requirements, multiple x 3.
  4. Overstocked - aim for ten years of food, water and power at minimum. It's your base of operations. Fifty years is better.
  5. Redundant - have backups for everything and backups for those backups. 3 spares for everything and always be prepared to go manual when necessary.
  6. Flexible - be able to turn a given space into a bunk, kitchen or workshop when needed.


Ryan David G said...

How long do you think your computer hardware will last in order to run CD-OS? I ask because I live in quite a humid environment and older machines run into problems once they age, and I guess a shelter will be humid depending on how many dehumidifiers one can run. Are you still using those tough sealed terminals or are you thinking of stashing a serious quantity of replacement components?

Your 10/50 year comment got me thinking about this as we've all got so used to upgrading and replacing computers all the time.

Texas Arcane said...

I did a series on my LinkedIn page a couple months back showing what I have learned from my experience in converting a regular computing device into a hardened device that will run many years without maintenance. I had these same problems with humidity in Queensland. A sealed box with silver or gold plated connections will survive in such conditions. A rubber waterproof keyboard for the interface is so cheap now you can pick them up for $2.00 at a discount store.

I have designed CD-OS to run on such simple hardware it is easy to imagine buying a half dozen thin clients or Raspberry PIs and simply replacing the device if it fails.

Kona Commuter said...

I know it was only a TV show but

* No means of self defence

* Very meagre supplies

* No "plan" - they had their 15 min warning and were wasting those valuable minutes

* Wife was going to pieces at the wrong time. Losing the plot can wait until the door is shut

* Neighbours knew all about the shelter


I read that during the Cold War neighbours became a little testy with each other when one would build a shelter and the other would say "I'll just come over to your place" only to be told they won't exactly be welcome. Instead of saying "yeah, I'll build one as well then" they got their panties in a knot. FFS stack your own goddamn rice

Texas Arcane said...


It is quite useful to show how to do it all wrong. For casual preppers it can make them think about real circumstances when it hits the fan. You can't really go half-in like this guy did. You were also right about his wife and family apparently never being drilled for this and cracking up at the wrong time.