You Can Survive the Atomic Bomb!

How to Survive an Atomic BombHow to Survive an Atomic Bomb

My generation was taught to hide under our school desk in order to dodge “the Bomb”.  Every school kid practiced civil defense drills, just like a fire drill. Evidently your average school desk is resistant to atomic rays.

This book contains lots of helpful advice, from wearing a hat to prevent radiation to calculating the body count from the bomb’s epicenter. Even with some grisly death counts, the author assures us that “authorities” will still be in charge and that nuclear war is survivable. So pack your Geiger counter and hat so you can be ready when “the big one” comes.

Hiding under my desk,



How to Survive an Atomic Bomb

Percentages of bomb casualties

Where to go in the basement

car on the street

If it happens

furrow in plowed field

Civil defense groups


    1. From the text: “a good, thick covering will protect you from the radioactivity of the bomb” (in answer to a question about atomic rays). I think this is what Mary was making fun of.

    2. “Duck and cover.” We just practiced going under our desks because the teacher said we had to. If she explained the reason, it didn’t stick.

    1. Alternately, sit in a chair, put your head between your legs, and kiss your butt goodbye.

  1. I while back I came across a booklet that was delivered to every house in the early 1960s about survival tactics. My favorite part was how you could build a basement rec room/bomb shelter. Practical and fun at the same time!

  2. Love the last picture: “Civil Defense Jobs Open to Men and Women.’. So gloriously sexist! Lol!

    1. Men and women can both be Air Raid Wardens and can both join “Medical Teams”. Even better, only women are allowed to do “Car-Driving”. Well, maybe there’s a hidden men-only category for “Truck-Driving”.

  3. Ooh, I own this one! I have a little collection of Atomic Survival books. The hat picture – showing how a properly dressed man shields his face from the explosion – is one of my favorites, although I think this is also one that describes how ‘bread wrapped in paper is perfectly safe after The Bomb’.

  4. Well, in 1950 a nuclear war was still surviveable on account of there not being enough bombs yet to destroy everything….

    1. That, plus they were still kiloton-sized A-bombs dropped from planes (which can be shot down). Megaton-sized H-bombs and ICBMs were still some years in the future.

  5. “This book may save your life…”
    Sure it will…
    If you’re still alive, you can burn the book for fuel for a fire to cook on and keep warm…

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