After the first Hiroshima atomic bombing in Japan, one Hiroshima policeman went to Nagasaki to teach police about ducking after the atomic flash. As a result of this timely warning, not a single Nagasaki policeman died in Nagasaki’s atomic blast
“Duck and Cover is a suggested method of personal protection against the effects of a nuclear explosion, which the United States government taught to generations of United States school children from the early 1950s until the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s. It was intended to protect them in the event of both an unexpected nuclear attack, which, they were told, might come at any time without warning (although with the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System, and the Pinetree Line of the era, a successful surprise attack was becoming less likely) and in the event sufficient warning is given. Under the conditions of a surprise attack, immediately after they saw a flash they had to stop what they were doing and get on the ground under some cover—such as a table, or at least next to a wall—and assume a prone like position, lying face-down and covering their exposed skin and back of their heads with their clothes, or if no excess clothes such as a coat was available, to cover the back of their heads with their hands. Similar instructions were given in 1964 in the United Kingdom by Civil Defence Information Bulletin No. 5. and, in the 1980s, by the Protect and Survive series. Under the conditions where sufficient warning is given, they were told to find the nearest fallout shelter, or if one could not be found, any well built building to stay and shelter in.
Proponents of duck and cover argue that thousands could be saved through following the advice’s precautions, without which, for example, people would instead run to windows to find the source of the bright nuclear weapon flash. During which time the slower moving blast wave would soon arrive causing a window glass implosion, shredding onlookers.
According to the 1946 book Hiroshima, in the days between the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings in Japan, one Hiroshima policeman went to Nagasaki to teach police about ducking after the atomic flash. As a result of this timely warning, not a single Nagasaki policeman died in the initial blast. This allowed more surviving Nagasaki police to organize relief efforts than in Hiroshima. Unfortunately, the general population was not warned of the heat/blast danger following an atomic flash because of the bomb’s unknown nature. Many people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki died while searching the skies for the source of the brilliant flash.
When people are indoors, running to windows to investigate the source of bright flashes in the sky still remains a common inquisitive human response to experiencing a flash, although the advice to duck and cover is over half a century old, ballistic glass lacerations caused the majority of the 1000 human injuries following the Chelyabinsk meteor air burst of February 15, 2013. This natural human behavior was also observed amongst people in the vicinity of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and therefore a human behavior advised against in Duck and Cover advice, and in the film of the same name.
Similar to duck and cover is the advice to “”Drop, Cover and Hold On”” which is taught in areas prone to earthquakes. Schools in some tornado-prone areas of the United States also practice tornado drills that involve children squatting and covering the backs of their heads”