August 2, 1965: Individual and Family Survival Class

  • Published
  • Air Force Flight Test Center

An “Individual and Family Survival” course was conducted at the Edwards Air Force Base Theater by the California Civil Defense Adult Educational staff to kick off Civil Defense Week at the Air Force Flight Test Center.

From the height of the Cold War, the course explained the dangers of nuclear weapons and fallout effects in simple, easy to understand terms. It further explained the role of local community shelters for civil defense, and, gave clear examples of how home shelters were improvised. Overall this course provided a great introduction to the basics of nuclear survival.  It served as a basic home reference for personal preparedness.”…“it can be a key to your survival. Your knowledge, interest and actions can help your family and your community meet emergencies, whether they result from an enemy attack or natural disaster.” Section of the course included:

  • The Civil Defense Program

  • Warnings and Communications

  • Modern Weapons and Radioactive Fallout

  • Community Shelters

  • Individual and Family Preparedness for Shelter Living

  • Home Shelters and Construction

  • Emergence from Shelters and Rehabilitation

  • Local Civil Defense

  • Survival on the Farm


The purpose of the course was to help save lives if a nuclear attack should ever come to America. In January 1962 the Department of Defense issued basic survival information under the title Fallout Protection: What To Know and Do About Nuclear Attack. This course elaborated upon and encourages discussion of the vital matters presented in the basic work. The expected outcome of the course was to have a more effective family planning to meet emergency situations and an understanding cooperation with community disaster plans.

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