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WWII Air Raid Warning Instructions Card

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The most important part of civilian defense was air raid protection, and by November of 1941, all the states and thousands of towns and cities had set up defense councils, and local air raid wardens and auxiliary firemen were appointed. An early Office of Civil Defense (OCD) publication, "What to do in an Air Raid," proclaimed that "the safest place in an air raid was in the home." The pamphlet advised Americans to "stay away from windows and crouch under stout tables" for protection. This is an Air Raid Instructions Card, carried by Americans in their cars, telling them what to do in the event of the sounding of an air raid warning. They are instructed to pull to the side of the road and stop; leave lanes and intersections open for emergency vehicles; shut off the motor and lights and open the windows; get out and take shelter if good shelter is nearby, otherwise crouch down in the vehicle; and resume travel on the All Clear signal. It also tells them what radio station to tune to for more information.


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