Traffic in an emergency

Wednesday, June 13, 1951

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

The 21st program in the series. Bill Leonard introduces Kazamir A. Kenzwick (?), assistant deputy director for operations and training of the New York State Civil Defense Commission, who talks about the state's plan for dealing with traffic in an emergency.

Full dress rehearsals in the city showed deficiencies in their preparations.

Following a bomb attack, all movement in and out of the city is forbidden. Civil defense routes will be controlled to ensure movement of safety vehicles.

Train, road, and water traffic will be controlled in the event of an attack. We will employ all moving vehicles.

Leonard talks to deputy commissioner T.T. Wylie (?), of the department of traffic of New York City, about local plans for emergency traffic. Wylie answers specific questions from the radio audience.

Emergency Taxi Corps operates as part of the air warden service. Messenger service, ambulance service.

After a bombing, all traffic is prohibited. Sign up for civil defense, both where you live and where you work.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71584
Municipal archives id: LT1831

Hosted by:

Bill Leonard


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About Plan For Survival

"Maybe you, maybe me.  Death and destruction ... Panic in the streets ..." Not a program for pre-bedtime listening, these recordings examine the impossibility of sufficiently preparing for nuclear winter.

With surprisingly calm moderators, the Plan for Survival series (1950-1951) goes beyond the usual "duck and cover" advisement and into the details of an A-bomb attack, fallout shelters, the Soviet threat, first aid, radiation sickness, and food and water supplies following a nuclear attack. Guests include civilians recounting their survival experiences in wartime, like the missile blitzes in England.

The show was transcribed for the Civil Defense Network, which "linked virtually every radio station in New York State and operates entirely by air. It can function even if regular radio lines are destroyed." Bill Leonard hosts with expert panelists, and most programs consist of a balance of speculation and civil information for New York State in general and New York City in particular.  Intended to be a public service announcement for a new nuclear age, the record of these programs now serves to add perspective to 21st century fears —from suffocating due to sinus congestion to bags left in the subway. It's clear -- death comes from above.


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