New York City has committed to pull down the fading signs from buildings, though it hasn’t disclosed a plan when and how they’ll do it. Quartz contacted New York City mayor’s office but didn’t hear back. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which took over OCD’s responsibilities in 1979, tells Quartz that it’s still trying to figure out where the Kennedy-era shelter signs were installed throughout the US.

FEMA spokesperson Jenny Burke writes:

FEMA does not have OCD records showing where the signs were put up. While FEMA does not maintain information on locations previously used as nuclear fallout shelters, as a part of an ongoing planning effort, the agency is conducting research to retrieve Office of Civilian Defense records. FEMA has not looked into removing signage.

Image for article titled As Trump taunts North Korea, Americans are taking the nuclear shelter symbol very literally again
Image: AP Photo/Rachel La Corte

Removing the old signs is also a gesture of transparency. The truth is that no structure can fully protect civilians in the case of a nuclear blast. Even if you’re far enough from an explosion, radioactive dust and ash—or fallout–can still seep into window and door frames. Public safety officials advise that finding the nearest windowless room in a building with solid walls is the best chance at survival.

And while you’re hunkered down, it’s good to monitor your phone updates. So while they may not know exactly where all of those shelter signs are located, New York City’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives Planning unit has at least composed a doomsday text that they hope they’ll never have to deploy: “Nuclear explosion reported. Shelter in basement/center of building, close windows/doors.”

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