Old Nuclear PSAs You May Find Interesting

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By the author of The Faithful Prepper.

There are a LOT of nuclear strike articles being written at the moment. A LOT. I guess just given the nature of our current times, I’ve had a morbid interest in looking over older nuclear PSAs (public service announcements). It’s part of the reason I started to look further into that old British PSA Protect and Survive.

There are a lot of these old PSAs when you start to look into them, and they’re rather dark but still pretty interesting. Here are a few of them that I found interesting that you may as well.

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This 1965 PSA on Civil Defense

I think that this is the most disturbing out of all the ones I’ve found so far. Bizarre paper mache-style marionettes are used to tell people what they are supposed to do to stay safe. I still haven’t figured out how they got that puppet on strings to blink.

The whole scenario is rather nightmarish, has something of a Howdy Doody vibe, and they cover a lot of material. I’m not sure I would be willing to follow the advice to get my cows to cover before I get myself to cover. I have a bit more value than an animal does, though I do understand the importance of protecting food sources.

I am interested in finding the booklets “Your Livestock Can Survive Fallout” and “Your Family Survival Plan” that the PSA advertises. They do recommend a 14-day supply of food as well, which coincides with Cresson Kearny’s statements that you’ll have to spend at least two weeks in any type of fallout shelter before you can even think to begin to go out for short periods of time.

 

A Day Called X

I’m not exactly sure if this was supposed to be a PSA or what. It’s something of a combination of an old film noir detective movie combined with Andy Griffith, maybe? Andy Griffith minus the happiness, I suppose. You get a Twilight Zone ending too. So, this video is a mishmash of everything 1950s TV had to offer.

The whole video plays out as a story with enemy bombers being spotted over Canada on their way to the US (Portland, if I remember correctly). A narrator helps to move the script along as the people run about, trying to be as prepared as possible for whatever is coming. It’s a longer video that doesn’t really bring a lot of closure (did the bomb hit or not?), but it is pretty entertaining.

 

Protection in the Nuclear Age 

A 1979 cartoon-type slideshow with some generic nuclear survival advice. You may find it more interesting than I did.

Protect and Survive 

From 1975, this is the video accompaniment to that pamphlet that I had written about before. I think this is probably the most serious-looking PSA out of any of the ones on this list. There are some pretty eerie sound effects to show the British people what they need to be listening for, what I don’t think is great advice, and I think the cartoon atmosphere just kind of lends itself to the spooky atmosphere here.

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New York City PSA

You’ve probably already seen this one, as it made headlines just about a month ago when New York City pumped it out. You have a lady in front of a green screen telling people they need to close their windows if they think a nuclear attack is coming and all kinds of other nuke-related advice.

It’s not the green screen that makes this one so concerning. It’s the timing.

Survival Under Atomic Attack 

This one is from 1951 and has something of a Gone With the Wind type of vibe. There are actual actors portraying what it is that you’re supposed to do in the event of an attack, and from what I can tell, it looks like there’s actual footage of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Japan. It looks like there’s some actual aftermath footage here as well.

Self-Preservation in an Atomic Attack 

From 1950, this one has a John Wayne western type of atmosphere with it. The audio throughout the entire thing is absolutely terrible as well, so be forewarned.

Fallout: When and How to Protect Yourself

This 1959 PSA looks like a Hannah Barbara cartoon. You can definitely pick up some Jetson vibes here. I can’t tell if that’s actual nuke footage involved in the video or not, though. I did enjoy the advice of settling down “and make the best of it” when you have to retreat to a fallout shelter to not be cooked to a crisp, as well as the advice of “don’t be discouraged.”

That, combined with the little smiling cartoon family as they prepare to survive a nuclear attack, was a nice touch. I’m also not so sure that a raincoat is a good way of protecting one from radiation. Alpha particles I could see, but gamma radiation? The ol’ raincoat isn’t going to do much for you there.

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Are there other old nuclear PSAs you have found? 

What have you found to be the eeriest, the most entertaining, and the most bizarre? Let us know in the comment section below.

About Aden

Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

Aden Tate

Aden Tate

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  • There is a lot of people telling in Reddit (I guess after the last NYC PSA) that “getting into a bunker only would make their agony last longer”.
    Jeez.
    Lemming effect?

  • Does make sense to shelter your livestock first because they CANNOT protect themselves, even if they have a good walk-in shelter. Radiation is invisible, soundless, odor-free. If you have livestock, chances are you are rural, with the time to secure them.

  • I’m old enough to remember the drills we had in our Elementary school, in the event of a Nuclear Strike.
    Having lived in the shadow of Cheyenne Mountain (NORAD Command), for most of my life, I came to terms with the reality of a strike on this prime target. The chances of getting a safe distance away are almost nonexistent, and I don’t really want to be around to watch the aftermath. So if and when it comes, I’ll go outside and flip the incoming warheads double birds.

  • I don’t think we could find much protection as civil defence shelters were decommissioned. I live in a very small town that had at least 2 shelters that I know of. Officials need to recommission them with the state of world today. Russia built shelters for their populations but not our government.

  • Just read a report that CBS news has been given exclusive access to the 101st Airborne Division, deployed to Romania for the first time in Europe since WWII, conducting training exercises. They are about 3 miles from the Romania/Ukraine border.

    “It’s not just about defending NATO territory,” correspondent @charliecbs reports. “They’re fully prepared to cross over into Ukrainian territory”

    “We’re ready to defend every inch of NATO soil,” Brigadier General John Lubas told CBS News. “We bring a unique capability, from our air assault capability… We’re a light infantry force, but again, we bring that mobility with us for our aircraft and air assaults,” he said.

    War correspondent Charlie D’Agata observed in capturing the rare footage that “It’s not just about defending NATO territory,” but that “They’re fully prepared to cross over into Ukrainian territory” – he said speaking of the Army airborne forces.

    Journalist Glenn Greenwald makes this observation,
    “It’s always a bad sign when the US military starts embedding the largest media corporations to enable exciting war shots for the evening network news. Biden has done literally everything to make the US a belligerent in the war in Ukraine short of deploying full battalions there.”

  • When I was a kid in the early/mid 60s, we did “duck and cover” drills under the desk at school. I also remember that in addition to fire drills, we had “air raid” drills.

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