Civil Defense:

Are Federal, State, and Local Governments Prepared for Nuclear Attack?

LCD-76-464: Published: Aug 8, 1977. Publicly Released: Aug 8, 1977.

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Civil Defense in the United States is shared among all levels of government and needs to be better planned and coordinated. Although progress has been made in setting priorities, more should be done to assure survival and recovery following a nuclear attack.

The United States lacks a comprehensive civil defense policy, and civil defense in the United States has not been a high-priority or high-dollar program. This is partially attributable to the Federal Civil Defense Act which made federal, state, and local governments jointly responsible for civil defense.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: The Administrator of General Services should direct the Federal Preparedness Agency to more closely coordinate with the Defense Civil Preparedness Agency in civil defense planning. Emphasis should be given to the identification and completion of all Federal Regional Centers and of Federal agencies' plans for using the centers. The Secretary of Defense should direct the Defense Civil Preparedness Agency to: review State emergency operating plans for nuclear attack more thoroughly before providing financial assistance and spot check local plans to be sure that they meet each community's needs; eliminate inconsistencies in plans for immediate-response use of shelters; place more emphasis on relocation planning based upon the total geographical area as opposed to evacuation of cities within the area; and encourage communities to participate in the onsite assistance program by emphasizing the benefits that can result and follow up on the status of onsite assistance recommendations. Congress should enact legislation which would allow graduated Federal funding according to an area's expected risk, population, and national civil preparedness needs.


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