Civil Defence Information Bulletin

Civil Defence Information Bulletin

Civil Defence Information Bulletin were a series of seven public information films dealing with civil defence measures individuals and families could take in the event of a nuclear attack on Great Britain. They produced for the Home Office and the Scottish Home and Health Department by RHR Productions United Kingdom in 1964. The writer was Nicolas Alwyn and the producer Ronald H. Riley. The films are in black and white.

In the event of an international crisis, these films were to be broadcast by all television networks in the U.K., in much the same manner as the Protect and Survive films were to be broadcast in the 1980s. It refers to Civil Defence Handbook No. 10, entitled "Advising the Householder on Protection against Nuclear Attack."

The Films

Topics included in the films include:

  • The effects of nuclear weapons: heat, shock wave, and fallout
  • Measures to mitigate the effects of the initial heat and blast
  • Preparing a fallout room
  • Supplies to stock and how to arrange them
  • Attack warning signals: Red, attack imminent; Grey, fallout expected within the hour; Black, fallout expected immediately; all-clear
  • Immediate steps to protect oneself during the initial heat and blast, with actions similar to the U.S. Civil Defence film Duck and Cover
  • Steps to take immediately after a blast but before fallout arrives
  • Steps to take after fallout clears
  • How to prepare for evacuation

Note: the grey warning was discontinued after 1968.

The series is currently viewable on YouTube. The films themselves are as follows:

Peter Watkins' 1965 documentary The War Game speculated on the practical implications of trying to follow the instructions with inadequate time before an attack.

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