Precise instructions for surviving a nuclear attack, as stapled to the back of a classroom door in a rural Wyoming high school circa 1955

In the event that the Soviet Aggressors of Europe and Asia should launch an attack on the United States of America the likelihood that a stray intercontinental ballistic missile will touch down on our school or its surrounding farmlands may be slim, but is nonetheless a prospect we should all fear and one for which we must be prepared.

Please read the following instructions carefully.

Should you hear the air raid siren, do not panic. The siren is simply there to notify you that you may have only nine more minutes to live. As soon as you hear the alarm, place your books inside your desk and pull out your surgical mask. Place your mask on your face by wrapping the arms around your ears. These masks are a precautionary measure, and should be worn at all times to filter any radiation and alpha particles from the contaminated air you will be breathing in eight minutes time. Once your mask is on your face, leave your desk and form a line by the classroom door in an orderly fashion. Wait there for your teacher to put on her gas mask. She then will lead you to the basement of the school. Follow your teacher in a straight line as she leads you out of the classroom and down the hallway toward the staircase. Try not to speak. Your voices will only add to the confusion. If you are the final student to exit the classroom, be sure to close the door behind you. If the windows of your classroom should be blown out by the shockwave that will follow the initial nuclear blast, the closed door will help to minimize any radio-active dust and debris from entering into the depths of the school.

Once your class reaches the basement your teacher will direct you into the boiler room. The boiler room is the lowest point of the school and likely to be the only room left intact once the bombs drop. Huddle close around the furnace and wait for the sound of the blast. The blast should be followed shortly by the deafening roar of the shockwave.

If, after the shockwave, you and your classmates are still alive, then congratulations are in order for you have probably just outlived your parents and anyone else you may have known.

Following the shockwave you may start to notice changes in the appearance of your classmates. Do not be afraid. They are simply mutating into their post apocalyptic forms. So are you. These mutations are side effects of the nuclear fallout that has been seeping through the asbestos based tiling in the floor, ceiling, and walls of the boiler room.

Over the next thirty days you and your classmates will continue to mutate at an alarming pace. On the thirtieth day after the blast your teacher will let you out of the boiler room and lead you back above ground. On this day, buses will likely be cancelled and there is little doubt that your parents will not be picking you up after school.

All students will be responsible for finding their own way home.

– The Principal

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