"The U.S. Government warned Americans on February 10, 2003, to prepare for a possible attack involving biological, chemical or radiological weapons."
"Officials recommended that citizens stockpile enough food, water and medicine to last at least three days, and have duct tape and plastic sheeting to seal windows and doors. They advised that Americans educate themselves on how to survive a possible attack with a weapon of mass destruction."
"The recommendations, issued by the new Department of Homeland Security, mark the first time the government has issued such stark guidance through the news media." - USA Today, February 11, 2003
Even if the electricity is still on, officials recommend that you turn off all ventilating systems (your heat and air conditioning) and tape up your windows and doors with plastic sheeting and duct tape to keep out radioactive materiel from a "dirty" bomb, as well as biological and chemical agents.
A Chemical/Biological Shelter has to be air tight; and it has to have air filters or self-contained air to support life. You can try to create an air tight room in your house; or, you can add stronger air filters to an airtight fallout shelter for chemical and biological protection.
Chemical or Biological Family Shelter. Terrorists can strike anywhere, and sooner or later a terrorist attack will hit your community. The question is not IF, but WHEN terrorists will set off a nuclear device in the USA or in the Middle East. The fallout from a nuclear explosion or accident in the USA will reach you in minutes, hours or days, depending on your distance from the incident. The fallout from nuclear weapons in the Middle East will reach the USA in seven days.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) does not have chemical or biological shelter plans for you, but they do have FEMA fallout shelter plans from the 60s that will protect you from the radioactive dust from a "dirty bomb."
One of these FEMA fallout shelters would provide a good start to create an air tight shelter. Making a fallout shelter a chemical and biological shelter too is complicated. You need an airtight shelter with an air filtering system that will filter out chemical and biological agents. There is a Swiss certified air filtering system that will do this for about $5,000. Alternatives to this are under development I hope, for few of us can afford a certified NBC shelter. (NBC = Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical).
Fallout Shelter Plans. It is hard to find good fallout shelter plans. There are links to sites that discuss fallout shelter plans in the left column. The basic difference between a tornado shelter and a fallout shelter is the 30 inches of dirt over a fallout shelter, and the U shaped air inlet and outlet that makes the air go up before it enters the shelter. Most fallout or dust from a "dirty bomb" is heavy and will not go up a "U" shaped curved 6 inch air intake pipe, especially if it has a dust filter on it.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Fallout Shelter Plans:
Home Shelter [Adobe PDF, 646KB]
1980 pamphlet shows the design of an under ground shelter offering protection against radioactive fallout, "dirty bombs", nuclear blast, and tornados.
Aboveground Home Shelter [Adobe PDF, 819KB]
This 1980 pamphlet shows the design of an above ground shelter offering protection against radioactive fallout, "dirty bombs", nuclear blast, and tornados.
Community Shelters. Community Shelters do not offer Chemical or Biological Protection. However, the President, and members of Congress, all have well built and well stocked Chemical/Biological/Fallout Shelters ready for them.
Did you ever wonder why the President and members of Congress think they need Chemical/Biological/Fallout shelters ready at a moment's notice, and you don't?
You need to build and stock your own Chemical/Biological Shelter to survive the Seran Gas or Anthrax Spores from a Terrorist or Terrorist Nation attack; or, even a train or truck accident that involves hazardous materiels. If you never need it to save your life from chemical or biological attack or accident you can be thankful. In the mean time, the supplies may carry you through hard times, and you will have peace of mind.