The Civilian Defense organization of Oak Bluffs, headed by Dr. Francis C. Buckley reports that the partial blackout held in that town Sunday night, during the bitter cold and with traveling conditions for air raid wardens anything but ideal, was markedly successful. The degree of cooperation shown was gratifying to the officials and the committee feels that the town should be congratulated upon its first effort. Only in five households was it found that the residents had failed to understand the requirements, or were unaware that a test was to be made. No accidents of any kind, attributable to the test, occurred, so far as is known.

Sunday night's trial was held between the hours of 9 and 10 p.m., and as previously announced called only for the blackout of homes. Street lights were left on and motorists were not required to proceed in the dark or with hooded lights. By special arrangement the two drugstores remained lighted and kept their neon signs alight.

The committee wishes to be made clear that in the event of an actual raid, conditions will be quite different. All homes and business establishments must be dark, and no one will be allowed on the streets, in a car or on foot, unless he has a special pass, stating his official position in the air raid protection organization. The drugstores will be dark at such times, also, but will be permitted to operate with hooded flashlights, to dispense emergency drugs or other medical supplies.


Four Groups Cover Town


Four parties of wardens left the report center for blackout inspection shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday, traveling pre-arranged routes, and covering the entire town. By this means, nearly every house was individually inspected and in the few cases where lights were showing, the occupants were interviewed. All week the wardens had been out patrolling, visiting nearly every home and advising householders about blackouts in general and the test in particular. No matter how unfavorable the weather, they have pursued their duties with commendable loyalty and interest, according to the committee, which feels that they deserve much credit for their unselfish work.

Antone P. Mederios, chief air raid warden, expressed himself as well pleased with their efforts and the public response. There is a shortage of wardens in the town at the present time and it is hopes that more of the responsible residents of the community will enroll for this work.

The next partial blackout is planned for some evening between Feb. 8 and 15. Further than this, no details as to the day, hour, or duration of the blackout will be made public. The signal for the blackout will be rapid tolling of the bell of Trinity Methodist Church, and, possibly, of the school bell as well. All services should report to their stations at once and houses should be darkened promptly.

The wardens may have a thirty to sixty minute notice of the signal, or what is known as a confidential “yellow warning.” They will then promptly patrol, although in this case, as in the first test, street lights and automobiles will not be affected, and the blackout will not be compulsory. The signal that the test is over will be a slow tolling of the same bells. In the event of a real raid, the fire siren will sound instead of the bells.

As the first blackout was run for only an hour, most residents simply put out the lights in their homes. More and more people are taking it seriously, however, the committee reports, and are providing themselves with various types of blackout materials. The type of material, its efficient use, and the choice of a room or rooms to blackout are problems that should be solved by the warden in the district. Much time and money can be wasted by assuming that the problem can be treated without special training.

The authorities are at present urging the public to avoid buying any blackout material unless the warden considers it advisable. Articles already in the house, such as blankets, cardboard, and other opaque goods will satisfy at present. More blackout tests will follow and they will be of longer duration. Arrangements should be made to enjoy a pleasant evening at home at nearly normal pursuits. The Oak Bluffs committee has even invented a new kind of entertainment called “the blackout party” which it hopes to put into practice at an early date.