Civil Defense Planning for Nuclear War

  • J. Leaning
Conference paper


Civil defense for natural and technological disasters has a long and respected history in the United States. Yet, aside from a brief flare of interest in the 1950s and early 1960s, civil defense for nuclear war has not, until recently, attracted much attention. During the late 1970s, the federal disaster management bureaucracies were consolidated into the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which was charged with disaster planning for all peacetime and “attack-related” emergencies. Since that time, in addition to other planning activities, FEMA has actively promoted civil defense for nuclear war. As the major public advocate of the notion that with adequate evacuation and shelther a full-scale nuclear war is “survivable, ” FEMA is now finding itself embroiled in controversy around the country, as local communities contest the feasibility of crisis relocation planning (CRP) and challenge the concept of survival in the context of nuclear war.


Typhoid Fever Federal Emergency Management Agency Civil Defense Disaster Planning Official Estimate 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin, Heidelberg 1985

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  • J. Leaning

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