Stanley Kurtz has this piece posted in NRO's The Corner, with this follow up at the same place.
Frankly, I'm not convinced that a replication of the cold war infrastructure is our best national option. Certainly, some degree of preparedness for the immediate, short term period following a nuclear or similarly destructive attack is needed. I am unconvinced that some elephantine, government-run national system is the best option though.
I believe that a greater emphasis on individual capability ought to be encouraged through the tax code and other government mechanisms. Shelters don't maintain themselves, nor do the stochpiled supplies self-rotate to maintain freshness. Individual ownership of the shelter is more likely, if not guaranteed I'm afraid, to encourage maintenance of the total shelter at lesser public expense.
I grew up in the high desert region of Southern California. Earthquake was (and remains) an ever-present possibility and it was a desert; you kept a certain amount of food and water stored as a matter of routine. Perhaps, that youthful experience has colored my expectations, but I think that more of my fellow citizens will survive an attack if they have become conditioned to fend for themselves then if they remain reliant upon government or anyone else for their welfare. Has the lesson of FEMA in the immediate post-Katrina period faded from memory already?
Via Rand Simberg