From Truman to Trump, US presidents have had access to bunkers to ride out a nuclear war. So what happens to the commander-in-chief if a nuclear threat looms?
Almost immediately, President Donald Trump would be whisked to a secure location.
He has a range of places at his disposal. One is located under the White House, a fortified area built in the 1950s. Another is tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
He also has a rudimentary bunker at his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, and one originally used to store bombs at his golf course in West Palm Beach (it’s under the second hole, according to Esquire).
The story of Trump’s bomb shelters reflects the ways Americans have tried to grapple with the prospect of nuclear war over the past several decades.
For some people, the idea of nuclear war is unimaginable. Others make plans.
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The preparations for nuclear winter, or the war’s aftermath, are often elaborate and surprising.
Yet no bunker, however brilliantly it’s assembled, will survive a direct hit.
“There’s no defence against the tremendous blast and heat,” says Kenneth Rose, the author of One Nation Underground: The Fallout Shelter in American Culture.
If the president survives the initial attack, though, a bunker would come in handy. He’d need a place where he could safely lead the nation – even if the rest of the world was on fire.
US officials have made access arrangements for the president and a group of individuals deemed to be at the “top of the food chain”, according to Robert Darling, a Marine who spent part of 9/11 in the White House bunker. He has described who was allowed in.