Transportation in Civil Defense

Tuesday, April 10, 1951

Lt. Gen. C.R. Huebner of the State Civil Defense Commission and Arthur Wallander (r), civil defense chief of NYC, with photo of projected results of an atomic bomb attack on NYC, Nov 28, 1951. (Photo by Walter Kelleher/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

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

Arthur W. Wallander, city director of civil defense, and Col. Sidney H. Bingham, chairman of the board of transportation of the City of New York.

The period immediately after an attack is the hardest to plan for, due to panic and disorganization. They are trying to meet those needs they can predict by creating an operations manual. Medical emergency services have the toughest job, will mobilize up to 400 teams if there is an attack. Emergency departments, including police and fire departments, are sharing their preparations.

Arrangements for providing gasoline to vehicles will not be made by them; this should be taken care of by those departments supplying the vehicles. Oil companies will provide tank trunks in the fields, will pool equipment. Provisions for emergency repairs.

Ships, boats, and railroads will be used.

Car owners should not park on streets designated on primary and secondary routes.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71589
Municipal archives id: LT1815

Hosted by:

Tommy Cowan


Arthur W. Wallander


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About Report on Civil Defense

From public welfare to firefighting to water safety, this program updates the public about disaster preparedness.

From 1950 to 1952, Arthur J. Wallander, Civil Defense Director for New York City, interviewed the heads of city departments about the steps their departments had taken to meet the needs of the city's civil defense system.

These programs provide an interesting vantage point on beliefs and fears about what many assumed were imminent attacks.  While providing exhaustive details about the municipal systems, they also ask the implicit question, what is your plan in the case of nuclear attack? 


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