Friday, August 18, 2017

Protect and Survive

I know that the threat of a nuclear exchange between North Korea and the US has receded now, I thought that, just in case Trump stokes things up again, I'd give you some idea of what to do if nukes are inbound to the UK.  I know that these public information films commissioned by the UK government in the eighties were designed to reassure people that a nuclear strike was survivable, but they fail miserably. Even veteran radio DJ Alan 'Fluff' Freeman can't disguise the fact that the advice they give is pretty useless.  Hiding in your house's 'safe area' (which, if you'd followed the advice of previous broadcasts, would have consisted of a 'shelter' constructed from internal doors taken off of their hinges and propped against the wall), would only have any chance of helping you survive if you lived many miles from the actual blast.  (Of course, you could have tried the Indiana Jones method of surviving a nuclear blast by hiding in a fridge, but other public safety films were always telling you not to hide in fridges as you'd suffocate). 

As for their advice on surviving a nuclear blast if caught in the open - forget it, you'd bee doomed.  As for those warning sirens, well, when I was a kid back in the early seventies, in the town I grew up in, they used to test the alert siren every Tuesday morning.  You could hear it all over the town and, once you were old enough to understand what it signified, you were scared shitless every time it sounded.  I can't remember when they stopped the weekly drill, it might have been the late seventies or even the early eighties.  It certainly went on long enough for my younger brother (who was born in 1972) to remember it.  Whenever it was, that sound still disturbs me whenever I hear it.  At this distance in time, it seems incredible that the authorities obviously thought the possibility of nuclear war real enough as late as the seventies that they sanctioned such drills - I know that my home town wasn't unique in carrying out these weekly tests.  By the eighties they obviously thought that 'Fluff' Freeman telling you to hide in a ditch if the bomb went off was a more effective use of resources.

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