Read article - Quotes Harold Swartz, professor of radiology, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, and of Community and Family Medicine, in an article about how fears of nuclear fallout during the Cold War led some Upper Valley residents to reinforce their homes with fallout shelters. Swartz notes that beyond the impact zones, most survivors of a nuclear attack would be fine in the shelter of their own basements. "Almost any structure will give you more protection than you would have if you were outside," says Swartz. "Time is very much on your side. The fallout will disperse. It will blow somewhere with the wind. The radioactivity decreases very quickly with time—48, 72 hours. And unless there were an unusual weather pattern if a bomb were to hit New York or Boston, the chances of getting a lot of life-threatening fallout is not real high in the Upper Valley."