Air Raid Instructions For The Home

Federal Civil Defense Administration

With this entry, we break from Atomic Theater's tradition of examining full length civil defense films and instead feature the one-minute long Air Raid Instructions for The Home.  This live-action short, dubbed a "picturization" of previously published advice, was released by The Federal Civil Defense Administration in April of 1952.  It is part of the Take Cover series which consists of a four-minute motion picture detailing general how to protect yourself from an enemy atomic attack and five one-minute reels about how to seek shelter in specific locations, such as the office, at school or at the home. (1)  Designed to air on television or ahead of feature presentations in movie theaters, the series was released alongside Survival Under Atomic Attack, the federal government's first official civil defense film.  Air Raid Instructions for The Home consists entirely of two settings, an industrial roof with a steam whistle and a quaint dining room with a middle-class family seated for a meal.  When the whistle lets go with an attack mode (the difference in siren tones is explained by an authoritative narrator) the family rushes to shelter.  When a surprise attack occurs and the only warning the family receives is a blinding flash of light, they take action quickly.  Father leaps from the table onto the floor.  Mother wraps herself around her son and pulls him into a corner.  Daughter ducks and covers behind a book case.  Seconds later, a large picture window blows in and dust and plaster collapse from the ceiling.  By knowing the proper warning signs and what steps to take, this family survives.

Air Raid Instructions for The Home may be viewed, in its entirety, HERE.

1. For Your Information.  Civil Defense Films Available Without Charge.  Federal Civil Defense Administration.  June 1953.  2.