Preparing for the inevitable…

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Cold War Ephemera from the Archives

“There is room for YOU in Calgary Civil Defence – where you can learn to be of use to yourself; your loved ones; your neighbours; your city and your country”

Civil Defence in Action, City of Calgary (1960s)

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Would you be  prepared for a nuclear fallout resulting from a Cold War? Check out these recommendations from our archives:

  1. Before the fallout comes, take some farm and garden produce into the house.
  2. Wash your hands well after handling animals that were exposed to fallout.
  3. You could pile earth against buildings, if you have a bulldozer.
  4. You may have to bury animals that die of radiation sickness.
  5. Stay in some form of protected accommodation until the radiation intensity has dropped to the point where it is safe for us to resume a more normal pattern of living.
  6. During a blast – seek protection in the basement lying down near a wall, under a table, or close to some exit in case of fire. The fallout shelter is for after the explosion.
  7. Last person into shelter places toilet and garbage cans in passageway (For the first 48 hours, you will not be allowed to go outside, so blocking the passageway will not matter).
  8. Bring coveralls, rubber boots, rubber gloves for adults. To be used in venturing outside even after instructions have been given that this is safe for short periods.
  9. ALSO – 1 pair of wool socks (per person) are an essential item for your emergency pack

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In retrospect, things we thought were great ideas don’t always turn out that way!  But during the time period people believe these ideas are cutting edge and useful. Nothing exemplifies this phenomenon better than the Cold War documents we have in our collection here at the Firefighters Museum of Calgary. In a time of paranoia and fear, people will turn to any information that might make them feel more prepared and safe. 

-Marissa

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