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Friday, July 1, 2011

Alert Today Alive Tomorrow

I was flipping through the channels looking for a good western the other day and I spotted this movie listed. The title caught my attention so I looked at the guide and found that this was a Civil Defense (CD) movie made in 1956. The main crux of the movie was to get the people fired up to volunteer for either the CD or Red Cross so they would be ready to help out when the H bomb hit.

I watched it twice, missing a lot the first time through. Like I missed the part about “pressing into service” any one of several items that the government might need to use. Ham radios were one of the items mentioned. I hear confiscated when they say pressed into service.

The film was shot in Reading, Pennsylvania and showed some of the locals going through various phases of training. First Aid was pushed. The projected figures from the film stated they wanted 3000 people out of every one hundred thousand trained competently in FA. They were training motor bike clubs to be messengers and Auxiliary Police. Fire suppression was also a big concern; the most civilian casualties in WW2 came from fires caused by bombing.

Most of what the film covered was a lot of the same items covered in the modern CERT classes. When I lived in the city I took CERT and later became a CERT instructor. It is good training and helps you stay more self-reliant in the event of a catastrophe.

Jay Bonafield produced the film for the RKO-Pathe company and it was only a little over a half hour long. If it shows back up on your Turner Classic Movies you might want to watch it and see how far prepping has progresses since 1956. I originally thought it might have bomb shelter building and that sort of stuff but still it was interesting to see some of the roots of making some of us more prepared.


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