What is Civil Defense?
There is not a modern American definition of “civil defense” that works for our current all-hazards threat environment. For many, the term hearkens back to the cold war era preparing for a nuclear missile attack from the old Soviet Union. There are many new threats, in addition to a nuclear attack, that should be on our list of local, regional and national threats, but are not. We created the following definition using inspiration from multiple definitions found during our research that is more appropriate for today and the threats we face as a community and nation:
Civil Defense is the system of civilians and civilian government authorities within cities and counties partnering in protective measures and emergency relief activities conducted by community members for their own safety and protection in case of severe natural or man-made disasters and catastrophic events, including:
protecting families, neighborhoods, and communities,
training members in disaster preparedness, response and recovery measures,
maintaining Continuity of Community by preserving safety, security and constitutional governmental functions and, restoration and protection of critical infrastructure.