"In keeping with President Nixon's desire to make the Federal Government more responsive to the needs of State and local governments, the Defense Civil Preparedness Agency (DCPA) program takes into account all of the hazards and dangers which confront the Nation's population today. Local government is the keystone of civil preparedness. The Federal and State governments provide guidance and assistance to municipal and county governments in this readiness effort. The objective at all levels is to develop the capability to protect life and property in any type of disaster. In furthering that objective, the 'dual-use' concept long advocated by the Defense Civil Preparedness Agency is applied wherever possible. This is the concept of developing emergency systems useful both in the everyday routine of government as well as during emergencies; and of being useful both during peacetime or in event of war. Current program changes include: Enhancement of State and local capability to cope with attacks and other disasters, reorientation of the program to emphasize, wherever possible, available protection from nuclear weapon effects and natural disasters, and shifting of some ongoing programs to systems that would only be implemented in a crisis in order to reduce peacetime costs and avoid rapid obsolescence."
United States Emergency Management Institute: http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/edu/