In the good old days, not so long ago, getting information on civil defense preparedness was very difficult because there were no great perceived disasters that people needed to be prepared for.

This wasn’t always true. During the World Wars and during the Cold War, civil defense preparedness was on everyone’s mind. Education about what to do in an attack was taught in our schools, written about in the newspapers and on the news

channels and talked about in local forums. Civil preparedness and defense was on everyone’s minds, especially in the early days of the atomic Cold War where a large percentage of the population was afraid that the Soviet Union could launch a nuclear missile attack at a moments notice. And this level of education (minus the paranoia part) was probably a very good primer for everyone to be aware of.

Currently, we also live under several very real threats. We had 9/11 and several major hurricaines in recent years. With respect to the hurricaines, the areas that are in the bulls-eye target zone get good education every year through special newspaper segments, handouts at the supermarket and lots of information and on radio stations. But there is really no education out there on what to do in case of a terrorist attack or other type of man made disaster like a chemical plant fire (and we’ve seen a few of them in the past few years.)

The proactiveness of the governemnt to educate us in these matters seems to have died in the 1960s and if it weren’t for the almost univeral availability of the internet, you would be very hard pressed to find any useful civil defense materials anywhere in your community. For those who are interested, FEMA does have a section on their website that covers all sorts of disasters, both natural and manmade. The list includes:

  • Dam Failure
  • Earthquake
  • Fire or Wildfire
  • Flood
  • Hazardous Material
  • Heat
  • Hurricane
  • Landslide
  • Nuclear Explosion
  • Terrorism
  • Thunderstorm
  • Tornado
  • Tsunami
  • Volcano
  • Wildfire
  • Winter Storm

Each section goes into great detail on what to do before, during and after each type of disaster and it makes for good background reading if you feel a need to be prepared for some sort of unanticipated natural or manmade disaster sometime in your future.

You can get full details at FEMAs website.

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