What to Do in an Air Raid

A study of this map will show you that the Chicago area, a vast industrial city, vitally important to war production, is as near to enemy bases as New York City, Detroit or Boston. Chicago is nearer the enemy than Washington and the bomber route over Greenland and Canada is less well protected. Chicago is only a few hours flying time from Nazi bases in Norway. Yes, it can happen here. Preparedness is the only reasonable, sensible attitude to take! Chicagoland must be ready!

All along State Street, the heart of Chicago's Loop, retailers have organized to protect their customers, employes and facilities. From top executives right through the organizations, employes have banded toghether in a great common effort to defend Chicago. Night and day they've planned and studied and drilled - and now they're ready - geared for action if the enemy heads this way.

Here's the way one great Chicago store - Marshall Field & Company - has organized for defense. Its employe-volunteer organization, 3605 strong, has been drilling for months to prepare itself for the protection of its customers and personnel in any emergency. Another 905 employes have volunteered for training in Marsahall Field & Co.'s suburban stores.

Marshall Field & Company Store Defense Setup

650 employes are completing the Red Cross first aid course
1305 are training as store air raid wardens
660 are training as fire fighters
550 are training for emergency communications service
150 are training to safeguard facilities
200 are training as rescue squads and demolition crew workers

Each member of this volunteer organization is identified by a badge showing what defense service he or she will perform. Marshall Field & Company is proud of these capable employes and grateful to them for the tremendous amount of volunteer work they have done.

Fire and Protection Equipment

The Fire Division is completely equipped with buckets for sand and water, fire extinguishers, pike poles, shovels, asbestos helmets and gloves, axes, searchlights, lanterns and rope. These are kept in cabinets strategically placed in our downtown and suburban stores. The fire squads know how to put out fires - how to handle their equipment, how to use a tarpaulin, how to pry open a window without shattering the glass, how various chemicals react on certain bombs.

Five Emergency Defense trucks, manned by Protection and Repair squads, are completely equipped with tools, heavy duty jacks, flashlights, asbestos hoods and gloves, respirators, rope, fire extinguishers, and tarpaulins - ready to come to the resuce of any persons entangled in debris, ready to make quick repairs.

Rapid Evacuation

The 1,305 air raid wardens have received extensive training in the evacuation of the Marshall Field & Company customers and personnel when the air raid signal sounds. The wardens immediately go to their assigned posts, from where they direct all persons to shelter areas. The Air Raid Warning System allows for a five-minute interval between the sounding of the alarm and the arrival of enemy planes. This, Marshall Field & Company drills have shown, is sufficient time for an orderly evacuation of its customers and personnel to shelter areas.

Loud Speaker System

From the control room in the Main Store instructions and reports may be broadcast to every corner of the two buildings through the scores of outlets which have been installed. Thus, if necessary, instantaneous action can be taken in any part of the store. This loud speaking system is also a means of providing musical entertainment during a raid.

Just One of Many

This gives you a picture of how one great Loop store, Marshall Field & Company, is preparing for whatever may come. The other State Street stores are also active in preparing for the protection of customers and personnel.


What to Do in an Air Raid, Official Bulletin, Office of Civilian Defense, Chicago Metropolitan Area, August 1942.