You Can Survive Atomic Bombing!

you can survive atomic bombin

Atomic Bombing
How to Protect Yourself
Davis, Ed
Science Service

My generation was told that we could hide from nuclear holocaust from underneath our school desk. Fortunately, I never had the opportunity to see this safety tip in action. The absurdity of this material never ceases to amaze me. Take a quick minute to look at some of these pages. I really should have put the whole book up! I particularly like the advice about spying on your neighbors. Do it for America.



man on a stretcher

falling debris

citizen duties




  1. Rescue worker lesson #1: construct a stretcher from singed post-holocaust debris–after waiting for the heat and blast wave to pass over you, of course!

  2. Rescue worker lesson #2: always wear a suit and tie. It shows you are a reliable person.

    Or, more appropriately: Holy dog-doodles, Batman! What is this s–t?!!

  3. Uninjured people who may have come into contact with radioactive materials should thoroughly scrub themselves – with the radioactive water….

  4. p104: “Remember that in the post-apocalyptic anarchy following following an atomic bombing, you may be scapegoated by hellish mutant offspring and stoned to death. Use caution!”

  5. I love the fact that the rescue worker not only survived the atomic blast, but he kept his hat on the whole time.

  6. This book is available in its entirety from OpenLibrary – it’s entirely awesome!

    In the future, can you run the ISBN’s and titles against and OpenLibrary and post links for those who want to check these treasures out from the ninth circle of library hell?

  7. Actually, the part about seeing a flash and then hiding under a desk would have been useful for Russian meteor watchers to know. Instead, most people were hurt when they ran to windows to see what the big flash was. Cold War paranoia could come in handy…

  8. “If you think your neighbor has “radical” views – that’s none of your or the FBI’s business”

    Surprizingly level-headed.

  9. Two comments: First, to Dana (above) — actually, one of the teachers in Russia had the kids climb under the desks in the old “nuclear attack defense position,” which I thought was pretty smart of her. It kept flying glass off the kids.
    Second — It seems rather ironic that Hoover would talk about trying to avoid “witch hunts,” when that certainly was what was going on and only expanded under Joseph McCarthy’s persuasion. (And am I the only person here old enough to remember the old television show, “I Led Three Lives?” The protagonist worked as a spy for the U. S. and a counter-spy for the U.S.S.R., as well as a middle-class American citizen with a family and white picket fence.)

  10. I love “LIFE WILL GO ON”. NO IT WILL NOT. You have two choices – die quickly or die slowly. Scrunching up into a ball for ten seconds will not change this rather unpleasant fact. I would go with die quickly, it would be less painful. That said, this book is a brilliant primary resource, and ought to be kept for historical reasons.

  11. I’m reminded of a satirical book, “Flipsville/Squaresville,” by Stan & Jan Berenstain, that explained adults to teens and vice versa. One of the distinguishing characteristics of grown-ups was “Blaming everything on Atomic Bomb Testing”:
    “Boy, sure is hot out today!”
    “All on account of those atomic bomb tests, I tell you…”
    “Man, look at that heavy snow!”
    “It’s those atom bomb tests!”
    “Milk turned sour…”
    “Atom bomb!”
    “Car won’t start…”
    “Atom bomb….”
    “Cat had KITTENS!”
    “Atom bomb….”

  12. Actually, I quite like the information on spying on one’s neighbors:

    “Avoid reporting suspicious gossip or idle rumors”
    Lurker’s comment viz other people’s radical opinions being none of your business.
    “By drawing conclusions based on insufficient evidence, grave injustices might be done to innocent persons.”

    Granted, noweadays, no-one cares about saboteurs and spies, it’s all crimes against the environment or the ideological sin du jour, but this book’s brand of commonsensical advice would be a pleasant change.

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