When it became clear to all that the Soviets had the bomb - and Washington was the target - the egg-heads in D.C. decided it was time to disperse various government offices to the suburbs:
"Given any warning at all, the National Security Resources Board now seems confident it can preserve at least a skeleton Government. But as for the run-of-the-mine Federal employee, he'll have to take his chances amid the irradiated rubble..."
This article concerns the observations of a Japanese diplomat who was privileged to tour a Chinese Army base. He spoke at length about all that he saw during his tour and used his surveillance, mixed with his general knowledge of China, to understand what their general capabilities would be in the event of war. When asked what was most impressive about the Chinses military, the diplomat replied:
"The mining. They explained that the antipersonnel mine is their most unusual weapon, developed primarily to sap the enemy's morale."
This article from February, 1950 goes on in some detail explaining why Americans should not be worried in the least about the fact that the Soviets now have atomic capability because the U.S. military has bigger and far more destructive bombs.
"A hydrogen bomb could cause damage almost without limit. The Nagasaki plutonium bomb affected an area of 10 square miles. The new weapon could destroy an area of 100, or 1,000 square miles."
Attached is an article about Val Peterson (1903 – 1983), who had been appointed by President Eisenhower to serve as the director of the Federal Civil Defense Administration between 1953 through 1957. Peterson is remembered as the Washington functionary who mobilized graphic designers, copywriters, cartoonists and filmmakers in an effort to shock America's youth out of their complacency and recognize that nuclear warfare was a genuine possibility.
"America has always depended on its youth. The Atomic Age of nuclear weapons has not changed this - it has intensified it".
Following the close of the Second World War the national security crowd in Washington decided that the time had come to erect a crash pad where the nation could park their eggheads. They called this place the Rand Corporation and the brainiacs employed within were instructed to think deeply about all matters Soviet - and play A LOT of war games - and game they did! By the time the Cold War had assumed room temperature, those gamers at Rand were credited for having dreamed up most of the era's most cockamamie schemes concerning nuclear warfare- such as MAD (mutual-assured destruction) and the "Doomsday" tactic. When President Eisenhower warned of "the military industrial complex", many folks believe that these were the guys he was talking about...