TACDA: Children and Civil Defense

Bruce Curley of The American Civil Defense Association talks about Children and Civil Defense (pdf). Excerpt below.

We teach children from their youth to help them have a long, healthy, and prosperous life. Yet the subject of civil defense, essential to those goals, is completely neglected by public, private and home schools every day.This article will seek to help fill that gap and provide information for parents (and grandparents) in some of the core areas of civil defense so you can educate your children. Greater exploration of these topics is available by visiting the websites or reading the books suggested here.

Brief Definition of Civil Defense

Civil defense includes all the tasks undertaken to ensure the safety of citizens and to protect them from attack (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) as well as from the negative impacts of natural disasters. At the very core of civil defense is the protection of children. In the United States, this is mostly done by unpaid volunteers in support of front-line emergency personnel with oversight by the government.

Civil defense for children has been practiced from the beginning of time, but here we will briefly analyze civil defense from the end of World War II until today. I will then offer several ways to help children with various aspects of good civil defense planning, supplies, and tactics.

From the end of World War II through the 1950’sand 1960’s, the emphasis was on training children on how to “duck and cover” or find shelter from incoming nuclear weapons.

There was also an emphasis on building shelters,often in the basement or backyard. Fallout shelters were being built because nuclear war was considered a good possibility at the time and shelters were one way to reduce the loss of life should the unthinkable happen.

The Duck and Cover film that was widely shown to children in the 1950’s and 1960’s can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWH4tWkZpPU.

A history of fallout shelters can be viewed here: History Brief: For Family Fallout Shelters, see the History Brief at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLoiQ9pZjfk.

Today there are many YouTube videos mocking these efforts, viewing them as laughable because the nuclear war they prepared for never happened, and the shelters and supplies gathered were never needed to save anyone.

I disagree with these uninformed assessments. Given the international tensions at the time and how close we came to nuclear war those preparations were prudent. I personally know a Marine who was in Guantanamo Bay and another who was in Florida ready to deploy during the Cuban Missile Crisis and both assure me we were one call away from a nuclear war at that time.

Moreover, preparing to deal with known contingencies has been essential to human survival for thousands of years. And before laughing too hard, consider that citizens back then knew the threats, and took measures to prepare to meet and overcome them. How many citizens now can say the same today? Witness the panic buyin gas Hurricane Florence approaches as evidence of our current preparation for threats.

The Elite Engage in Civil Defense. So Should You.

As proof, the Carnegie Corporation just gave a huge sum of money to a junior professor named Alex Wellerstein at the Stevens Institute of Technology to“reinvent” civil defense. See the article at http://blog.nuclearsecrecy.com/2017/07/13/the-reinvent-ing-civil-defense-project/ and https://reinventingcivildefense.org/.

Alex Wellerstein’s Nuclear Secrecy Blog(http://blog.nuclearsecrecy.com/) explores, in a highly cerebral and academic way, the history, reality, threat, potential use, impact and survival possibility of nukes.

Professor Wellerstein also created the NUKEMAP to help determine if you are in the blast zone should nuclear weapons rain down on your domicile. I actually entered my address in the NUKEMAP years ago to make sure my family would be outside the blast zones of Baltimore and Washington, D.C. when I moved to Mt. Airy.

I am not sure you can get more elite than the Carnegie Foundation. If they are spending large sums of money to analyze and promote (reinvent) civil defense, should not the average American also promote civil defense?

Moreover, the elites have built, and are building,multiple civil defense communities to ensure they survive a nuclear exchange. See here (https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/prepper-oasis-luxury-survivalist-community/), and here (https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimdobson/2016/10/07/exclusive-look-inside-the-worlds-largest-underground-survival-community-5000-people-575-bunkers/?sh=47f4f0116e48).

And the elite of the elite, Silicon Valley billionaires,have their survival communities ready, and if this is not a contemporary civil defense project, I don’t know what is: (https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/silicon-valley-billionaires-buy-underground-bunkers-apocalypse-california-a7545126.html).

On the natural disaster side, enter #naturaldisaster in an Instagram or Twitter search engine. You will be able to view thousands of videos of natural disasters.

They happen somewhere on the earth every hour.You only know of the ones that affect you directly or that the media chooses to report, but they occur continuously on this dynamic, living, erupting planet.

So, natural disasters happen. Nuclear war has happened and will likely happen again.

Let’s prepare. And live. And triumph. And be great at it!

Here are a few ways you can prepare yourself, your children and grandchildren in civil defense without spending hundreds of thousands in funding from the Carnegie Foundation to do so. Just use your family budget in a wise and prudent way. I have listed a few ideas below:

Developing a Plan

Kylene and Jonathan Jones, in The Provident Prepper: Common Sense Guide to Emergency Preparedness, Self-Reliance and Provident Living, have written a book that comprehensively deals with civil defense.

For example, Chapter 2 called, Preparing Children to Thrive in a Disaster, present in Plain English the best thing you can do for your children, and their practical steps in this civil defense guide book will assist you.

Chapter 4, Family Emergency Plan: We Can Make It Together,details how to create a family emergency plan. They are clear about what I’ve observed for years:this is a parental responsibility that will pay off when the event happens, and it is a thankless task like many thankless parental tasks. See https://theprovidentprepper.org…(continues)

Raw Story: Cold War-style Preparedness Could Help Fight Future Pandemics

There is an article over on Raw Story about how local preparedness could be a more effective way of dealing with disasters and pandemics rather than a reliance on top-down response. Who woulda thunk?

Cold War-style preparedness could help fight future pandemics

A key group of allies is missing in the U.S. effort to face the coronavirus pandemic: the American people.

In the wake of World War II and during the Cold War, the U.S. was the world’s best at planning and preparing for mobilizing the citizenry to take action in an emergency. In those days, the anticipated emergency was a nuclear attack on the U.S., likely resulting in a loss of national leadership that required local governments and members of the public to step up.

Every American was asked to help prepare for that possibility, storing extra supplies, planning to communicate with family members and developing survival skills.

A poster from 1941 urged all Americans to contribute to community preparedness for emergencies.
Government Printing Office, 1941/Library of Congress

Eventually, this type of “civil defenseplanning grew to incorporate responses to other extreme events, such as hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.

Over the latter half of the 20th century, the U.S. civil defense effort encouraged all Americans to be prepared to respond actively to a national emergency.

In recent years, however, Americans’ expectations have shifted from being ready to respond to passively waiting for help from a centralized, bureaucratic federal effort – usually led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency…

…Small organizations are able to adapt: Many have quickly shifted to fill the immediate need. Small wineries, microbreweries and distilleries are making hand sanitizer. Garment and uniform companies are making masks. Schools are using 3D printers to produce face shields.

These examples demonstrate that small-scale approaches can be effective in producing big results. In contrast, larger organizations are more bureaucratic and slower to respond. These inverse economies of scale mirror civil defense efforts: Many working collectively but independently are sometimes more effective than a larger centralized effort.

When facing an unexpected crisis, some amount of disorganization is probably inevitable. But other countries, such as Estonia, Sweden, Finland, Nigeria and Australia, actively work to engage all citizens in disaster preparedness, first aid training and other efforts that give people clear and productive tasks to accomplish.

Following their example – and indeed the United States’ own history – could help create a system of federal oversight and coordination complemented by prepared and trained local responders. That could better prepare the public to pull together as a collective civic community when disaster next strikes.

Click here to read the entire article at Raw Story.

The American Civil Defense Assoc.: Radiation Issues

The American Civil Defense Association recently posted a blog post about Radiation Issues reposted from their Journal of Civil Defense after many readers had questions regarding North Korea.

The explosion of a nuclear bomb in the city.

 

The nuclear threat from North Korea has prompted many callers during the past few weeks, asking about the effects and attenuation of radiation.  There is a great deal of misinformation about radiation from fallout. The following old rule of thumb for shelter design still holds true. NBC shelters should have four feet of dirt cover, or three feet of concrete cover to give a minimum PF level of 1,000 from fallout. If a “rainout” should occur, or if the sheltered area is within 1.5 miles of a potential primary target, the shelter will require a minimum of eight to ten feet of cover. Shelter entrances require careful engineering, as most of the radiation exposure will come from these entrance areas.

I recently reviewed a series of articles about Nuclear Weapons Effects, written by Carsten Haaland, of the Oak Ridge national Laboratory. The entire series of articles can be found in our Journal of Civil Defense published in 1990. Some of you may be fortunate enough to still possess these journal articles. I have re-typed, in part, the section on ‘Fallout’ and ‘Rainout’ for this current article.

 FALLOUT FROM NUCLEAR DETONATIONS

Carsten M. Haaland, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

 What is Fallout?

Fallout is the radioactive dust that comes back to earth as a result of a nuclear explosion at the surface of the earth, or at an altitude low enough for the fireball to engulf solid materials. Fallout dust may look like sand, ash or crystals, depending on the kind of material engulfed by the fireball. If the material engulfed is ordinary earth or sand the fallout will look like sand, but if the engulfed material contains calcium to the extent found in concrete buildings or coral, the fallout may look like ashes. Large dense particles will descend faster than very small particles. For this reason, fallout particles several hundred miles downwind from a nuclear surface burst will be very small, somewhat like particles in atmospheric pollution, and the nuclear radiation from the fallout will be greatly reduced.

The danger of fallout arises from the intense and highly penetrating nuclear radiation emitted from it, which produces a potentially lethal hazard to people in the vicinity unless they have protection. Large areas, covering hundreds to thousands of square miles, depending on the yield and number of surface detonations, can be poisoned with fallout such that radiation from the contaminated area is hazardous or lethal to an unprotected person passing through or dwelling in the area, for periods of days to weeks after the detonations.

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