A recent article I stumbled across on National Geographic's Web site
discusses how a long forgotten about, fully stocked bomb shelter from
the Cold War era was discovered beneath the Brooklyn Bridge.
Meant to help New Yorkers survive a nuclear attack, the shelter still
contained food and water, some of which was dated 1957 and 1962.
Over time, people forgot the shelter existed, but there it awaited set
and ready to go for a nuclear holocaust that never occurred.
When I was going to school at the University Of South Florida in Tampa,
Florida, some friends and I discovered a similarly stocked bomb shelter
under one of the dormitory buildings. It contained metal tins full of
crackers, chemical toilets, cans of water, and antibiotics that had
expired in the late 60's. The stuff was stacked to the roof of a
10 foot ceiling and looked like it hadn't been visited by anyone other
than thousands of cockroaches for years.
Millions of dollars were probably spent for similar civil defense
shelters around the country in the hopes of protecting civilians in
case of a nuclear war. They were planned for, paid for, and created -
ultimately to be forgotten. Shelters which could have been kept
updated, modernized, and modified for other uses turn into treasure
troves of archaeology. Today we look at these shelters and wonder how
people back then ever thought they'd survive a nuclear war in them.
Long forgotten bomb shelters like these can remind IT professionals
about the importance of keeping disaster recovery plans up to date. You
can't just create a disaster planning and recovery process and set it
aside. You have to keep revisiting it on a regular basis, updating it
to meet current needs. If you don't your plan becomes a wasted
investment and won't help you when disaster does strike. Instead years
down the road will stumble across your plan in a dusty file cabinet
drawer or somewhere on an old hard drive and marvel that you thought it
would actually work.