Federal Civil Defense Administration Annual Report for 1955   [open pdf - 16MB]

"The close of 1954 found the Federal Civil Defense Administration engaged in revamping its basic concepts, policies, and techniques of defense. The advent of the thermonuclear weapon, with its terrifically augmented power of destruction and dangerous fallout, capable of reaching hundreds of miles from a target area, brought virtually the entire country into the civil defense picture and called for wholesale revision of Federal, State, and local civil defense planning. The year 1955 was mainly given to this task. At the close of it the Administrator summarized the Agency's position and progress as follows: Some of the important components of the national security policy of the United States are: skillful diplomacy, a high degree of military preparedness, and a civil defense program for every segment of our population, from the residents of the Capital City to the citizens of the smallest township. The civil defense role in national security planning is indispensable. In this age of terrible new weapons, a major deterrent to a potential aggressor will be precisely those programs that this Nation develops to defend its population. It seems logical that an enemy's temptation to attack the United States will shrink in proportion to the advance measures the Nation adopts to keep the greater part of its population alive during and after an attack. The FCDA is working to develop a civil defense program so capable of protecting millions of people in time of danger that it will also help to convince a potential aggressor of the futility of attempting to destroy the Nation."

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United States Emergency Management Institute: http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/edu/
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