In 1957 Dubuque was not one of the cities "hit" by hypothetical atomic bombs during Operation Alert. This was fortunate because the city did not have a Civil Defense director or a working disaster plan.
In Operation Alert, Iowa Civil Defense headquarters in Des Moines received a call that enemy plane were sighted over Alaska. State headquarters phoned other cities in the state. At 11:15 a.m. sirens began blasting away and remained going for ten minutes. When it was learned that Dubuque was not "hit," the city was to assume a support role. City manager Laverne Schiltz opened a letter at 1:00 p.m. which told him of "Dubuque's fate." (1)
1. "Alert 'Bombs' Miss Dubuque," Telegraph Herald, September 12, 1957, p. 1