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Black-out practice, 1940 (Puerto Rico,)

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


San Juan, Puerto Rico.
       of       , 1940,


1. a.       The City of San Juan is going to have a black-out practice on
the         of        , 1940, from        to         .
b. At the alarm signal all lights in every street, home and other
establishments, will go out, or windows shall be covered in a way so as to
xxx give an aspect of complete darkness to all buildings. All lights
in every ship in the bay xxx will put out also.
c. At the second signal of xxx alarm, all lights can be put on again and xxx black curtains taken off windows.

2. a. During the period of this black-out, the Insular Police, under the direction of the District Chief, will xxx take the following precautions to:
(1)       Protect the properties of the citizens of San Juan.
(2)       Have all the drivers of vehicles within the city to stop traffic and put out lights.
(3)       Help to advise the public of the approximation of time for the xxx black-out, asking them to cooperate putting out all lights in their homes and establishments.
(4)       Control traffic in the entrances to the city, where drivers will be asked to xxx stop traffic and turn out lights for the duration, of the black-out.
b.       The Reserve Officers who live in San Juan will be utilized, with
their approval, to help the civic and military authorities in the way thought best by this Administration and by the Reserve Department.
c.       The firemen, under the direction of the Chief of Firemen, will look out for zones assigned to them xxx so as to help keep order and to try not to have any fires.
d.       The Boy Scouts Troops, under the direction of the xxx Boy Scouts Masters, will be organized in patrols of no less than two boys in each, to patrol xxx near homes and xxx to:
(1)       Announce to the public the hour of the black-out.
(2)       See that all homes and establishments have put out lights during the black-out.
(3)       Cooperate with the Insular Police and Firemen.
e.       The members of the American Legion, under the direction xxx of the Commanders of Posts will be organized in such a way so as to help the Insular Police efficiently in the loyal xxx fulfillment of their obligations during the period of the black-out.
The Commander of the 27th Pursuit Squadron of Borinquen Airfield, will take all necessary means to prove the complete black-out of the zone from the air, and he will inform of the results to the City Manager and the Military
Department of Puerto Rico.
f. Every and each of the members belonging to the organizations mentioned above will use a piece of white cloth or handkerchief around the left leg as a means of identification in the darkness. This handkerchief will
be tied exactly under the knee.

The signal of alarm to begin the black-out will be (it is suggested) To put out lights six times and blowing the fire alarm.
The signal to xxx finish the black-out xxx (it is suggested):Turn on lights on the streets at the blow of the fire alarm.

Any violation of the requisites of this plan of black-out will be referred to the Mayor of this City.

City Manager.


Fernando J. Geigel

Washington County Free Library

This is a translation from the Office of the City Manager, Fernando Geigel, as to defensive protocol and instructions for practice "Black Out Drill." Preparations were made should Puerto Rico come under attack, as was feared in 1940.


Collection Location:
Western Maryland Room, Washington County Free Library

United States. Army, Biography; World War, 1939-1945, United States; Hartle, Russell P.

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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