What is Civil Defense and why don’t we have it?

Thoughts, suggestions, and advice on what to do if the unthinkable happens.
User avatar
Drumboy44
DWS Staff
DWS Staff
Posts: 3454
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2015 4:29 pm
Contact:

Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:23 am

Image

It can be hard to parse out the many reasons and policy shifts that gradually moved us from “civil defense” to “emergency management” but today the term “civil defense” has fallen into disuse. Is there a difference? Strictly speaking, perhaps not as the definition and principles of emergency management cover many of the elements of making a community resilient (e.g., civil defense). According to FEMA, the vision is that “emergency management seeks to promote safer, less vulnerable communities with the capacity to cope with hazards and disasters.” The mission is that “Emergency Management protects communities by coordinating and integrating all activities necessary to build, sustain, and improve the capability to mitigate against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from threatened or actual natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or other man-made disasters.”

Civil defense is defined variously as the organization and training of civilians for the protection of lives and property during and after an attack, sabotage or natural disaster. (See Merriam-Webster, Dictionary.com and Collins English Dictionary.)

Arguably, everything in the definition of civil defense can be extrapolated deep within in the mission and vision of emergency management – but are we doing it? Specifically, are we organizing and training civilians to play key roles in a community’s survival?

http://michaelmabee.info/civil-defense- ... e-have-it/
" man fears time, but time fears the pyramids "

User avatar
RiffRaff
DEFCON Data Analyst
DEFCON Data Analyst
Posts: 2159
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:09 pm
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, US
Contact:

Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:23 pm

Drumboy44 wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:23 am
Image

It can be hard to parse out the many reasons and policy shifts that gradually moved us from “civil defense” to “emergency management” but today the term “civil defense” has fallen into disuse. Is there a difference? Strictly speaking, perhaps not as the definition and principles of emergency management cover many of the elements of making a community resilient (e.g., civil defense). According to FEMA, the vision is that “emergency management seeks to promote safer, less vulnerable communities with the capacity to cope with hazards and disasters.” The mission is that “Emergency Management protects communities by coordinating and integrating all activities necessary to build, sustain, and improve the capability to mitigate against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from threatened or actual natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or other man-made disasters.”

Civil defense is defined variously as the organization and training of civilians for the protection of lives and property during and after an attack, sabotage or natural disaster. (See Merriam-Webster, Dictionary.com and Collins English Dictionary.)

Arguably, everything in the definition of civil defense can be extrapolated deep within in the mission and vision of emergency management – but are we doing it? Specifically, are we organizing and training civilians to play key roles in a community’s survival?

http://michaelmabee.info/civil-defense- ... e-have-it/
In my opinion, American leaders figured out very quickly that with the 5 to 20 MT warheads that were prevalent in the 50s and 60s, Civil Defense was a waste of funding. Fallout shelters are not blast shelters, and any civilians able to reach a fallout shelter in time would merely be roasted alive in the shelter from the thermal pulse or asphyxiated when the oxygen was sucked out of the shelter by the resulting firestorm.

Civil Defense was about educating and preparing the public for a nuclear war. Emergency Management is more about educating and preparing first responders for responding to multiple types of disaster scenarios, and - if necessary - controlling the public after a large-scale nationwide event.

Our local EMA is very proactive on providing educational seminars to the public about a variety of disasters they can easily prepare for, but attendance is usually sparse because of the "it can't happen to me" attitude that seems to be the common thread of a majority of Americans. And our funding for such things is minimal, meaning most seminars are presented by unpaid volunteers who simply believe passionately in what they're doing. I would say 90% of the population just doesn't give a shit about being prepared for a disaster, even for 72 hours. As far as I'm concerned, this is merely the natural selection process at work.

Part of the reason I am so involved in our local EMA is pure selfishness on my part - I want to be sure my wife and I are able to take care of ourselves in the event of a national or global SHTF scenario. Yes, we enjoy being one of the trained teams that goes into a tornado damage zone conducting SAR operations alongside the local first responders. And we're the first to check on our neighbors during power outages or other localized, temporary situations. But if the S ever truly does HTF, our training and supplies are for our own survival. That might sound cold blooded, but there is nothing preventing our neighbors from obtaining the same training and supplies that we have.

In short, Civil Defense was proactive. Emergency Management is reactive. That will make a huge difference in body count. And not in a good way.
"It's in your nature to destroy yourselves." - Terminator 2: Judgment Day

User avatar
DirtyDevil69
Power poster 1
Power poster 1
Posts: 2502
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:25 pm

Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:24 pm

I am more of a Militia kind of guy. While Civil defense makes sense, i think the Arming and training of Militias is a better way to keep our people safe.
The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.
~ General George S. Patton- WW2
Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful)
~ U.S. Marines

User avatar
RiffRaff
DEFCON Data Analyst
DEFCON Data Analyst
Posts: 2159
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:09 pm
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, US
Contact:

Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:34 pm

DirtyDevil69 wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:24 pm
I am more of a Militia kind of guy. While Civil defense makes sense, i think the Arming and training of Militias is a better way to keep our people safe.
Yes, if you're talking about an invasion or occupation of foreign troops. Absolutely. But if you're talking about the nuclear option, I'm afraid armed, trained militias won't accomplish much.
"It's in your nature to destroy yourselves." - Terminator 2: Judgment Day

User avatar
DirtyDevil69
Power poster 1
Power poster 1
Posts: 2502
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:25 pm

Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:39 pm

RiffRaff wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:34 pm
DirtyDevil69 wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:24 pm
I am more of a Militia kind of guy. While Civil defense makes sense, i think the Arming and training of Militias is a better way to keep our people safe.
Yes, if you're talking about an invasion or occupation of foreign troops. Absolutely. But if you're talking about the nuclear option, I'm afraid armed, trained militias won't accomplish much.
When it comes to the nuclear option, nothing will accomplish much. Man kinds survival depends on Nukes not being used, even if its a tactical strike, it will escalate with the other side making "tactical strikes" and than attacking eachothers homeland with "Tactical strikes". I dont like to account nuclear weapons into much of what i plan on, because it wont be any use. (except when it comes to survival)
The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.
~ General George S. Patton- WW2
Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful)
~ U.S. Marines

User avatar
RiffRaff
DEFCON Data Analyst
DEFCON Data Analyst
Posts: 2159
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:09 pm
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, US
Contact:

Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:33 pm

DirtyDevil69 wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:39 pm
RiffRaff wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:34 pm
DirtyDevil69 wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:24 pm
I am more of a Militia kind of guy. While Civil defense makes sense, i think the Arming and training of Militias is a better way to keep our people safe.
Yes, if you're talking about an invasion or occupation of foreign troops. Absolutely. But if you're talking about the nuclear option, I'm afraid armed, trained militias won't accomplish much.
When it comes to the nuclear option, nothing will accomplish much. Man kinds survival depends on Nukes not being used, even if its a tactical strike, it will escalate with the other side making "tactical strikes" and than attacking eachothers homeland with "Tactical strikes". I dont like to account nuclear weapons into much of what i plan on, because it wont be any use. (except when it comes to survival)
If it is an all-out global exchange of every nuclear weapon on the planet, with detonations on every continent except Antarctica, I would agree with you that most preparations would be insufficient, shy of a buried bunker with supplies for five years or so. However, there is no shortage of nuclear scenarios where it is a limited conflict, with anything from a single warhead to a few dozen total. THAT scenario is survivable, unless you happen to be unlucky and sitting near one of them when they go off. So I think you're being a little short-sighted by not taking a limited nuclear war into consideration. Just a thought.
"It's in your nature to destroy yourselves." - Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Post Reply