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Four Minute Warning

Four Minute Warning

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If you live in an area where a fall-out warning has been given, stay in your fall-out room until you are told it is safe to come out. When the immediate danger has passed the sirens will sound a steady note. The "all clear" message will also be given on this wavelength. If you leave the fall-out room to go to the lavatory or replenish food or water supplies, do not remain outside the room for a minute longer than is necessary.

We shall be on the air every hour, on the hour. Stay tuned to this wavelength, but switch your radios off now to save your batteries. That is the end of this broadcast. Linked into the system were the twenty-five Royal Observer Corps (ROC) group controls, also with direct links to the carrier control points. In the event of subsequent radioactive fallout, local fallout warnings could be generated from the group controls on a very localised basis over the same carrier wave system.

The song is based on the Four-minute warning, a public alert system conceived by the British government during the Cold War (1953–1992), which was based on the estimated time it would take an ICBM from detection to reach its target. Owen's lyrics, on one level, depict people in denial of their own demise and the political circumstances that cause it. On the other, it gives the listener the impression of the shattered dreams of a group of people caught up in a nuclear strike on an unnamed British city. They also give a snapshot of the society through the people Owen portrays, while at the same time narrating the period between the UKWMO issuing a warning and the impact in real time (Owen's song is slightly over four minutes long). This is done with a countdown in the lyrics akin to Crass's song They've got a bomb, which appears on their album The Feeding of the 5000. Each time the chorus is repeated, one minute is removed from the countdown. The lyrics near the end of the song provocatively ask the listener what would they do if such a warning was given, provoking listeners to empathise with the characters. The Chorus is an allusion to Peter Donaldson's warning message. Water must not be used for flushing lavatories: until you are told that lavatories may be used again, other toilet arrangements must be made. Use your water only for essential drinking and cooking purposes. Water means life. Don't waste it. Four Minute Warning" is the first single released from Take That band member Mark Owen's second solo studio album, In Your Own Time. The single was released on 4 August 2003 as his first single on Island Records, after he was dropped from RCA in September 1997. The single peaked at number four on the UK Singles Chart, making it his third UK top-ten single. It has sold over 80,000 copies in the United Kingdom. The song also reached number 37 in Ireland and number 52 in the Netherlands. Four Minute Warning (UK CD single liner notes). Mark Owen. Island Records, Universal Records. 2003. MCSTD 40329, 980 963-4. {{ cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) ( link)

The national warning system saw many changes over the years. During the 1960s and 1970s, much of the local authority civil defence planning in the United Kingdom became outdated, although the WB400/WB600 warning system was maintained and kept serviceable along with updating of ROC instrumentation and communications. The system's main problem was that many of the telephone lines it needed had to be manually switched in times of pre-war tension by Post Office telephone engineers. The links were not hardened against the effects of EMP. In the late 1970s and early 1980s heightened fears and tensions led to a resumption of contingency planning and the upgrading of many systems. The outdated WB400/WB600 systems were replaced with brand new WB1400 equipment, communications links were made permanent and hardened against EMP disruption.Do not, in any circumstances, go outside the house. Radioactive fall-out can kill. You cannot see it or feel it, but it is there. If you go outside, you will bring danger to your family and you may die. Stay in your fall-out room until you are told it is safe to come out or you hear the "all clear" on the sirens. If you leave, you may find yourself without food, without water, without accommodation and without protection. Radioactive fall-out, which follows a nuclear explosion, is many times more dangerous if you are directly exposed to it in the open. Roofs and walls offer substantial protection. The safest place is indoors. Make sure gas and other fuel supplies are turned off and that all fires are extinguished. If mains water is available, this can be used for fire-fighting. You should also refill all your containers for drinking water after the fires have been put out, because the mains water supply may not be available for very long.

Inc, Nielsen Business Media (23 August 2003). "Billboard"– via Internet Archive. {{ cite magazine}}: |last= has generic name ( help); Cite magazine requires |magazine= ( help) Here are the main points again: Stay in your own homes, and if you live in an area where a fall-out warning has been given stay in your fall-out room, until you are told it is safe to come out. The message that the immediate danger has passed will be given by the sirens and repeated on this wavelength. Make sure that the gas and all fuel supplies are turned off and that all fires are extinguished. Water must be rationed, and used only for essential drinking and cooking purposes. It must not be used for flushing lavatories. Ration your food supply—it may have to last for 14 days or more. Main articles: United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Organisation and Royal Observer Corps WB1401 warning receiver This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Four Minute Warning (European CD single liner notes). Mark Owen. Island Records, Universal Records. 2003. 981060-5. {{ cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) ( link) Watch: New Singing Lesson Videos Can Make Anyone A Great Singer Four minutes left to go, is this the end, then? Additionally the government retains an ability to break into television and radio broadcasts for the purpose of alerting the general public [ citation needed] and has legal power to take over editorial control of the BBC during a national emergency under the BBC Charter and the Broadcasting Act 1980. Find sources: "Four-minute warning"– news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR ( March 2008) ( Learn how and when to remove this template message)

The national siren system originating from World War II had a secondary role of "general warning", particularly for imminent flooding. Following the end of the Cold War, a telephone-based system was thought to be more appropriate for national warnings and less expensive to maintain. Remember there is nothing to be gained by trying to get away. By leaving your homes you could be exposing yourself to greater danger.

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