I own a phonograph record titled “If the Bomb Falls.”
Subtitled “A Recorded Guide to Survival,” the record was produced by the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization in the early 1960s and offered suggestions on how to survive a nuclear attack on the U.S. Those of us who were around in that Cold War era lived with an omnipresent fear that missiles could come raining down at any time.
As you might expect, the narrator on the record speaks in ominous tones. Dig that shelter, stock it properly and cross your fingers. Many Americans did just that. We were all instructed that when the bombs started falling, we’d tune to our Conelrad stations at 640 or 1240 on our AM dials and await further news.
While the record painted a bleak picture of our futures, I was always grateful that they didn’t title it “When the Bomb Falls.”
I thought of the record last week as fires were consuming huge portions of Southern California. Many people fled their homes with little or no advance warning. Some lost everything to the flames; others fared better. I grieve for those whose family heirlooms and mementos were vaporized. I also wonder what I would do if I was faced with a similar situation.
While many of our important family papers and documents are stored in a fireproof safe or in an off-site safety deposit box, many similar items are on display throughout the house. It’s impractical to think we could save much with, say, 5 minutes warning, but we could do better if we had a plan.
What are you doing to safeguard your valuable items in case of a disaster? April Hauck over at doyouQ? has some thoughts on the subject. Becky Wiseman suggests in this Kinexxions post that you might want to work on a “bug out box” if you don’t already have one. You can also go here to check out some excellent tips on how to prepare a family disaster kit.
Photo: Cover of "If the Bomb Falls" (Tops, 1961)