The BBC's nuclear attack radio script

Brian G Turner

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The BBC website, reporting on the death of radio newsreader, Peter Donaldson, publish - and include an audio excerpt - of the radio announcement the BBC would make in the event of a nuclear war:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-34711497

Chilling.

This is the Wartime Broadcasting Service. This country has been attacked with nuclear weapons. Communications have been severely disrupted, and the number of casualties and the extent of the damage are not yet known. We shall bring you further information as soon as possible. Meanwhile, stay tuned to this wavelength, stay calm and stay in your own homes.

Remember there is nothing to be gained by trying to get away. By leaving your homes you could be exposing yourselves to greater danger. If you leave, you may find yourself without food, without water, without accommodation and without protection. Radioactive fall-out, which follows a nuclear explosion, is many times more dangerous if you are directly exposed to it in the open. Roofs and walls offer substantial protection. The safest place is indoors.

Make sure gas and other fuel supplies are turned off and that all fires are extinguished. If mains water is available, this can be used for fire-fighting. You should also refill all your containers for drinking water after the fires have been put out, because the mains water supply may not be available for very long. Water must not be used for flushing lavatories: until you are told that lavatories may be used again, other toilet arrangements must be made. Use your water only for essential drinking and cooking purposes. Water means life. Don't waste it.

Make your food stocks last: ration your supply, because it may have to last for 14 days or more. If you have fresh food in the house, use this first to avoid wasting it: food in tins will keep. If you live in an area where a fall-out warning has been given, stay in your fall-out room until you are told it is safe to come out. When the immediate danger has passed the sirens will sound a steady note. The "all clear" message will also be given on this wavelength. If you leave the fall-out room to go to the lavatory or replenish food or water supplies, do not remain outside the room for a minute longer than is necessary.

Do not, in any circumstances, go outside the house. Radioactive fall-out can kill. You cannot see it or feel it, but it is there. If you go outside, you will bring danger to your family and you may die. Stay in your fall-out room until you are told it is safe to come out or you hear the "all clear" on the sirens.

Here are the main points again: Stay in your own homes, and if you live in an area where a fall-out warning has been given stay in your fall-out room, until you are told it is safe to come out. The message that the immediate danger has passed will be given by the sirens and repeated on this wavelength. Make sure that the gas and all fuel supplies are turned off and that all fires are extinguished. Water must be rationed, and used only for essential drinking and cooking purposes. It must not be used for flushing lavatories. Ration your food supply: it may have to last for 14 days or more.

We shall repeat this broadcast in two hours' time. Stay tuned to this wavelength, but switch your radios off now to save your batteries until we come on the air again. That is the end of this broadcast.
 
Do people believe now?
a) It won't happen
Or
b) The reality would be so bad that any preparation or procedures are irrelevant

The Swiss still believe in fall out shelters.
The Israelis still believe in conventional bomb and fall out shelters (for Atomic, Chemical or Biological).
 
I think that is probably reasonable advice to survive the fallout, but if you live in a major city you won't be around to hear it. We've had a thread discussion on this before concerning survival but I can't remember if it was better or worse than I had previously thought/feared. One thing I would say is what happens after that? We couldn't eat lamb after Chernobyl and that is over 1400 miles away. You couldn't eat Brazil nuts after the sixties weapons tests. Followed by a nuclear winter due to the dust in the atmosphere. There will be hunger and starvation on a scale we have never seen.
 
There will be hunger and starvation on a scale we have never seen.
Yes.
The Lamb and Brazil nuts though was a precaution. The increase in cancers would have been hardly noticeable. In contrast you are talking about ARS, "walking ghost syndrome" for many people and death within days to a month. But the majority of people might starve if there was a Nuclear Winter (no-one knows for sure how much stuff has to be set off to cause that).
 

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