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A 1950's US Public information film which advised children to Duck and Cover when the atomic bomb went off. Not quite as insane as it sounds. Those caught on the outskirts of a nuclear blast have a reasonable chance of surviving the initial blast. Their chances are improved by "curling up tight and covering your face and the back of your neck" when they see the flash of light from the atomic bomb.

This is all quite nicely explained in the 1970s book 'Beneath the City Streets' (sorry Author and ISBN unknown) which was a breakdown of as much of the british civil defence structure as the author could work out. It includes a rather good explanation of why people responsible for civil defence appear insane (including an explanation of why they would be happier if we didn't publish maps with London or any major cities on them). And an overview of how to prepare for a nuclear blast, along with a discussion on how various tactics used in nuclear civil defence. A recommended read if you're into that sort of thing (see also: 'War of the Flea' which should be read if you want to understand the philosophy of terrorism and guerilla tactics better). --Edith

http://www.subbrit.org.uk/rsg/books.html#beneath says
By Peter Laurie
This is the book that started it all. First published in 1970, Peter Laurie revealed a great deal about mysterious concrete bunkers, radio towers, food buffer depots and dispersed centres of government. It inspired many other researchers to follow. Although revised in 1972, 1979 and 1983, it is now quite dated, and with the luxury of hindsight we know that some of its conjecture was inaccurate. It remains of considerable interest not only for its content but also for the methods of research it opened up.
1983 edition published by Granada. ISBN 0586050558 .

[When in trouble, when in doubt - run in circles, scream and shout.] [Panic and dealing with it.]

I just loaded the statistical software S-Plus, and received the following startup tip:

When an earthquake strikes, take cover under a desk or in a doorway.  Try to avoid areas near windows or heavy objects that might topple, and above all, do not panic.

This struck me as a bit odd, especially as the startup tips are usually things like "The F6 key toggles the cursor between the upper and lower panes of the script window." Nice to know they care, I suppose. -ViciousFish
Yes, a few software packages with startup tips used to include that kind of thing in them.  One popular one was "Never run with scissors", as I recall.  Can't remember what program it was, but it was borderline notorious for that startup tip at the time.  --AlexChurchill
Google suggests the program was Microsoft/Word.
''Should it worry me that my thoughts ran "if surely, or perhaps they meant to put 'whenever' and when the earthquake hits you should put your response on the stack."  I'm blaming it on the time.  Evil CATAM.

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