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  • Laci Barry Post

Keep Cool, Stay Home, Put Out the Lights...

Updated: Dec 29, 2020

During World War II, any city within 300 miles of the Atlantic, Pacific, or Gulf Coast was in danger of an enemy air raid. Cities in these areas performed regular bomb drills, and the government put out information to help civilians in case of an attack. Some of this information could still be used today when confronted with a crisis! This is a shortened list from the December 1941 Anniston Star.

What to do in an Air Raid

1. Keep Cool.

Above all, keep cool. Don’t lose your head. Do not crowd the streets, avoid chaos, prevent disorder and havoc. You can fool the enemy. It is easy. Know your air-raid warning. In general, it is short blasts or rising and falling pitch, on whistles or horns. The “all clear” is a steady tone for 2 minutes.

2. Stay Home.

The safest place in an air raid is at home. If you are away from home, get under cover in the nearest shelter. Avoid crowded places. The enemy wants you to run out into the streets, create a mob, start a panic. Don’t do it! Choose one member of the family to be the home air-raid warden – who will remember all the rules and what to do. Mother makes the best.

3. Put out Lights.

Whether or not black-out is ordered, don’t show more light than is necessary. If planes come over, put out or cover all lights at once – don’t wait for the black-out order. The light that can’t be seen will never guide a Jap. Remember a candle light may be seen for miles from the air.

"Jacksonville had a new air raid warden, and Victoria was adamant that they participate in Clyde Ponder’s inaugural drill. Ever since a report came out in the Anniston News that Birmingham, Alabama was a suspected German target, as well as any city within 300 miles of the coastline, Jacksonville began performing its own regular air raid alerts.

Songbird, Chapter 7

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