Six Steps to Survival

The family is the mainspring of civil defense. Get your family to work as a team in preparing for emergencies - whether from enemy attack or local disaster.

Take the Red Cross First Aid and Home Nursing courses. Keep a first aid kit handy and well stocked. Remember, in case of a major disaster, doctors and nurses will have their hands full elsewhere.

Store enough emergency food and water to sustain you family for a week. Keep this supply in your home shelter, and rotate or replace regularly to keep fresh. A flashlight, a battery operated radio, a can opener, first aid supplies, and emergency cooking and sanitation facilities should be kept there, too.

Teach your whole family civil defense self-protection measures. Learn your local air raid warning signals; where to tune for CONELRAD emergency instructions via radio; how to find the best refuge if your are caught without warning; and how to fight home fires.

Your civil defense director will be glad to furnish you with complete information.

Sirens, whistles, horns, or other similar devices will warn you in case enemy attack is threatened. Memorize your local signals so you will know what to do instinctively.

The ALERT SIGNAL is a steady blast of three to five minutes' duration. In most target areas, the signal will indicate evacuation. In most nontarget areas, the signal will mean that civil defense forces are to mobilize.

In BOTH CASES, you will get further instructions over the CONELRAD emergency radio channels (640 to 1240) and by all other possible means of communication.

The TAKE COVER SIGNAL is a wailing tone, or a series of short blasts, of three minutes' duration.

When you hear this, it indicates that attack is imminent and you must take. .the best available refuge or shelter. Stay there until civil defense authorities tell you it is safe to come out.

Keep tuned to the CONELRAD frequencies.

At the first indication of enemy bombers approaching the United States, all television and FM radio stations will go off the air. All standard (AM) stations will likewise go silent. The CONELRAD stations, 640 or 1240, are your surest and fastest means of getting emergency civil defense information and instructions. Mark those 'numbers on your radio set - Now!

The best protection against atomic or hydrogen bombs is - Don't be there! particularly in the absence of specially designed shelters. In major cities, this means preattack evacuation.

When you hear the alert signal, do not use your telephone. Instructions will be broadcast over your CONELRAD frequency following the ALERT SIGNAL.

You will be told what evacuation route to take. Take enough suitable clothing and emergency food supplies with you. Obey the directions of civil defense wardens, police, and auxiliary police along the route. Keep calm. Panic will endanger lives - including your own.

Do not attempt to reach other members of your family if you happen to be in different sections of the city when the sirens go. School authorities are trained to care for your children. Registration centers will be established at the reception areas so that families can be reunited when the danger is over.

Start now to make a family evacuation plan. Decide what food and clothing to bring. Decide where you will meet afterward if you get separated. Assign responsibilities.

Here are three reasons why everyone should construct a home shelter:

1. In a sneak attack, or where there is insufficient warning for evacuation, any refuge or shelter is better than none.

2. if you live far enough outside a target area to be relatively safe from blast and fire, there still may be radioactive fallout from the bomb cloud.

Any home, no matter how remote from a probable target for enemy bombers, may be in the path of radioactive fallout.

3. Home shelters are also good safety insurance against tornadoes and other types of natural disasters.

An outdoor shelter covered by at least three feet of earth provides good protection against radioactive fallout.

Adequate shelter against blast and initial radiation requires the construction of specially designed shelters. Contact your local civil defense for further information.

Whenever possible, store your emergency food supply, first aid kit, and other essentials in the shelter.

If you are in a fallout zone, you may have to stay in your shelter for some time until radioactivity on the outside dies away. Civil defense authorities will notify you when to come out.

If you think you have some of the radioactive dust on you, take no chance-remove your outer clothing and bathe exposed parts immediately, using strong soap if possible.

When atomic or hydrogen bombs are exploded close to the ground, they suck up into the mushroom cloud millions of tons of atomized earth and other material. This material becomes highly radioactive.

Some of the radioactive particles will spill out in the immediate area of the explosion, but others may be carried by the upper winds for many miles. Sooner or later they settle to earth. This is called fallout.

Small amounts of radiation may cause little harm. When radiation is present in concentrated amounts, such as are created by ground bursts of nuclear weapons, that radioactive fallout can cause serious injury or death to those who remain without adequate protective cover.

Your civil defense officials, in consultation with the Weather Bureau, will keep you posted on the direction of possible radioactive fallout, should an attack occur, and tell you what to do.


The best way to survive the hazards of radioactive fallout, or any other threat an enemy may use against us, is to be prepared-know the facts-learn what to do, now!

(Reprinted January 1957) GPO 829951