The baby boom generation may recall the famous “duck-and-cover” videos that taught schoolchildren what to do during the Cold War in the event of a nuclear attack. One is a cartoon of Burt the Turtle hiding in his shell to shield himself from the threat. “We must be ready for a new danger – the atomic bomb,” the voice-over instructs. “… If you are not ready and do not know what to do, it could hurt you in different ways.”

A video released in November by Alabama homeland security officials joins a genre of slickly produced online movies that the next generation of Americans will grow to remember. Now, however, the videos teach citizens how to spot terrorists and respond to active shooters.

Below are some of the best examples of this new generation of duck-and-cover videos, starting with Alabama’s video and its startlingly lifelike shootings.
 

G.W. Schulz is a reporter for Reveal, covering security, privacy, technology and criminal justice. Since joining The Center for Investigative Reporting in 2008, he's reported stories for NPR, KQED, Wired.com, The Dallas Morning News, the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, Mother Jones and more. Prior to that, he wrote for the San Francisco Bay Guardian and was an early contributor to The Chauncey Bailey Project, which won a Tom Renner Award from Investigative Reporters and Editors in 2008. Schulz also has won awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association and the Society of Professional Journalists’ Northern California Chapter. He graduated from the University of Kansas and is based in Austin, Texas.