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HOUSTON WHERE THE BOMBS WOULD FALL WICHITA FALLS AMARILLO SHERMAN-DENISON TEXARKANA LUBBOCK ABILENE EL PASO BIG SPRING SAN ANGELO DEL RIO FORT WORTH AUSTIN BEEVILLE SAN ANTONIO LAREDO CORPUS CHRISTI KINGSVILLE Category II The Texas Observer/July 4. 1980 But was that idea any more dubious than relocating twothirds of the American people to the country for a couple of weeks while the world is destroyed? Despite the 1980 version of The Plan, crisis relocation is not without its flaws. Some of the holes, in fact, are big enough to drop a couple of H-bombs through. One of the more salient trouble spots with CRP is time itself. Ayers says a surprise attack is highly unlikely because of the certainty that U.S. Intelligence would warn us within three days in the event the Soviet population had begun to be dispersed. But if a surprise attack did occur, or if U.S. intelligence fumbled as usual and there were less than three days to prepare, crisis relocation would be useless. “Then we resort to community shelter planning,” says Ayers. “And we’re not going to save many lives on that because there are a lot of facilities that will withstand fallout that won’t stand overpressure or fire from the blast.” To say that few lives would be saved by the shelter plan may be understating the point. Civil defense representatives in Austin, Fort Worth, and Houston say there are no adequate shelters in their cities. One civil defense authority ventured to say that none were available in the United States. It is also important to note that questions have been raised over the estimated time it would take the Soviets to evacuate their population. The CIA reports that the Soviets would need a “week or so” to completely evacuate their cities. However, columnist Michael Kilian recently quoted a Pentagon analyst saying that the Soviets could move their population in much less time 48 hours. With blast shelters constructed in major Russian cities, the latter figure seems more plausible. Moreover, military scenarios don’t allow the enemy forewarn The Texas Observer/July 4, 1980 ing of an attack. Surprise -has always been a factor for successful combat. Why should nuclear war be so polite? As Herman Khan points out in his book, On Thermonuclear War, the advantage in a nuclear exchange would go to the country making the first strike. Since military bases are prime targets, they would be the first to go, leaving the victims of a first strike with no means of retaliation. Another problem is the cost of a false alarm. Pentagon experts estimate a false alarm would cost the nation about $90 billion in lost production. Ayers agrees that could be expensive. But what if we don’t evacuate and an attack occurs? Ayers contends that the real danger lies at the White House. “The President of the United States has a limited amount of time to make the evaluation to evacuate or not,” Ayers says. “If he waits too long, we won’t have three days.” * * * Crisis relocation planning is divided into five phases: designation of high-risk areas; ignated host areas, plus the development of information that will be supplied to the public during the emergency; development of “operations plans” in the host areas making the host areas prepared to handle the reception and care of relocated populations; development of operations plans for risk areas \(the vacated education of employees in support facilities necessary for relocation. This last part, Ayers says, involves mainly the work of local officials. 4 JULY 4, 1980