Talk:Civil defense

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Article Merge[edit]

Note: see also section "Civil defense vs. Emergency management" for this discussion below...

Should this article be merged with Civil protection? Both concepts of shielding the population seem to interconnect, though one could argue that CP is more accident-oriented versus CD's managing threats caused by warfare, terrorism and the like. Both articles would benefit from more contributions. Ideas?Scoo 13:06, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Support I completely agree with you, "civil protection" seems to be little more than an alternative term for civil defense. The two articles describe them as if they are exactly the same. I'll propose it. Since civil defense is the more common term and also the more developed article, I'll suggest protection be merged with this article--Wikiwriter706 00:53, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Support I too agree with the proposed merge. However, Civil Protection is just as common as Civil Defense in Europe. Civil Protection has been used increaslingly post-WW2 to distance the organisation from the military. In addition, civil defense/defence has the spelling issue. I am however happy as long as the articles are merged. --rxnd ( t | | c ) 13:29, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
Support. This article is mainly about the Cold War Civil Defense against nuclear attack. There already is an article United States civil defense Pustelnik (talk) 02:38, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Comment: I agree with you that they should be merged, regardless of what term. I do think civil defense is the better term, despite the spelling issue. I'm not especially familiar with the term civil protection, but civil defense seems to be a broader term. 17 Wikipedia pages link to civil protection, almost 100 link to civil defense. Google has 1.5 million more hits for "civil defense" then "civil protection" (and many more for civil defence).--Wikiwriter706 18:41, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Alternative Spelling[edit]

Just want to note that Civil Defence is still in common usage in many countries today, without the war focus. When I have the time, I will do some work on this. Both this page, and emergency preparedness should have main elements combined into the term Emergency Management.

Article too America-centric.![edit]

The article is too much USA centric, which is NPOV. The truest classical civil defence system was in the soviet bloc, where it was more like a militia organization. America spent very little on CD compared to the commies. In fact USA tried to argue in SALT talks that CD in WARPAC was a kind of strategic weapon itself and so get CD banned, because USA did not want to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on underground shelters for the population. In the eastern bloc CD was mandatory study in secondary school and most storied stone buildings had their basement provided with CD accessories (steel doors, air hoses and connectors for filter drums, airlock loungues, etc). In America most houses are wood, nuke flash would burn them up. The commie underground railway stations were all big bunkers with blast doors, compressors, etc. Public transport was structured for quick evacuation of cities. CD was under military command effecitvely. It was claimed because of eastern bloc CD, soviets would emerge as "winners" after a total thermonuclear war. Of course it is impossible to test this now...

This is true, the article is much too Anglo-American, though I doubt it isnt NPOV. Alot of Soviet CD besides the "usual" stuff like KI and Prussian Blue stockpiles, basic education and shelters were either a state secret which the Russian Federation to this day is protecting, or its a rumor that isnt confirmed, like the rail system mentioned above, so it would be rather difficult to cover the Soviet Bloc's CD plans with actual evidence to back up the rumors which everyone who studies civil defense knows to be true. So I dont think its an argument about NPOV so much as lack of hard evidence to support statements about the Communist Bloc's CD plans. Though this can in reality be said about American CD as well because the cold-war era Emergency Plans Book was reclassified as Secret (though without a known UKUSA Codeword like SPOKE or UMBRA) about a year after it was declassified in the late 90's.


I found this article looking for what the prohibited civil defence symbol looks like that the Canadian law states is prohibited for use as a trademark. It was described as a blue triangle on an orange field, and said to be an internationally protected symbol according to the Geneva Convention (similar to the red cross/crescent/diamond/lion and sun). This is quite apparently not the symbol shown on this page though, and doesn't appear to be anywhere at all. --Puellanivis 23:16, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Mustard Gas is Not a "Nerve Gas"[edit]

Although this whole article is crap, and needs to be redone, I made a minor edit under the Chemicals sub-section of Threat Assesment that gave mustard gas as an example of a nerve gas. Mustard gas is a vesicant, i.e. blistering agent, and has no direct effects on the nervous system, rather it causes ubiquitous cellular death do to its reactions with guanine (a base of DNA, and therfore vital to the proper functioning of all cells), which is the cause of the blistering.

Swiss Civil Protection[edit]

The Swiss have had effective civil defense for decades. The Federal Office of Civil Protection is in charge of Switzerland's shelter network, which has blast and radiation shelters for 95% of the population. Blast doors and all. With the Soviet threat being less, the shelters are being kept on standby, but they're still there.

Every year, on the first Wednesday in February, all 8,500 sirens in Switzerland are tested, sounding the General Alarm.

They're ready.

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This article is in serious need of a rewrite. Anyone reading this would think reading the page that it is only about WMD's and nuclear war. Whilst that is where CD was born, the modern version of CD/CP and emergency management takes an all-hazards approach. This article therefore needs more information regarding the range of events that CD is designed to deal with - floods, earthquakes, tornados, cyclones, transportation accidents, volcanic eruptions etc. --Rediguananz 05:34, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Civil Defence Logo & Republic Of Ireland civil Defence Structure.

As someone already mentioned the logo is a protected international symbol under the Geneva Convention and is only autherised on Uniforms,Civil Defence vehicals,offical paper work and offical websites, although each country has its own national logo which is displayed alongside the international logo on uniforms etc. The Irish Republics logo is a Gold Harp ringed with Shamrock and the Words Civil Defence on the Bottom and Cosaint Shibhialta(Civil Defence in Gaelic) on the top coulerd gold, on a green and black background this is also inscribed onto the Dress uniforms Buttons and Beret Badge and Civil Defence Officers Peaked Cap Badge. The International logo is Displayed on all working Uniforms eg the Auxillary fire services Helmet Badge, Rescue units hard Hats and the wardens helmets. Welfare Personell usually wear the Number 2 uniform of black poloshirt with International logo and navy trousers with a navy Jumper With civil defence in Gold on the left Breast and it can be worn with or without the Beret. This uniform is dress for all other personell including officers if attending non emergency duties ie public events or national exercises. Other uniforms include the Number 3 Uniform which is a Yellow Boiler suit coverd with a high vis Coat and hard hat issued to all personell and used for duties and training exercises. Fire gear: Issued to auxillary fire service personell only and only worn when attending fires,training or exercises any other duties AFS personell wear either uniforms 1 2 or 3 depending on the nature of the duty.Number 1 Uniforms are issued to all personell and consist of Navy Tunic with gold buttons,Navy trousers,Black Combat Boots,White lanyard,White shirt ,Black Tie and Black Beret, Officers wear a Peaked cap with gold Laurel Branches on the peak all other personell including assistant officers and instructors and unit leaders wear The Black Beret but with rank markings on the eppulettes of the tunic and/or Jumper, these are gold bars depicting the instructors seniorority, Assistant officers and officers Have gold Stars With Bars denoting seniorority,this uniform is worn for National events eg St Patricks day, Gaurds of honour, and any other formal occasions,Number 2 uniform with a white shirt and tie under the jumper is also accepted for formal occasions that are not of high importantance eg Team Photographs and other duties. The only member of each countys Civil Defence Organisation to be retained on a full salary is the officer Who is usually a senior member of the Town or County Council all other staff including Instructors are retained on a part time and Voluntry Basis and have other jobs and work on a weekly basis attending Classes and training. 15:47, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

article offense[edit]

It does seem as though much of this article is misspelt.

Please do note this article:

< >;

< >.

Thank You.

[[ hopiakuta | [[ [[%c2%a1]] [[%c2%bf]] [[ %7e%7e%7e%7e ]] -]] 22:31, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Members of Civil Defense WW 2?[edit]

Civil defense vs. Emergency management[edit]

I diagree that this article needs an all-hazards rewrite. I believe this article makes sufficient reference to the "modern" discipline of Emergency Management. From a USA perspective, the CD program is a historical program. We may want to move discussion about other nations (currently using the term Civil Defense to describe their modern all-hazards programs) to the Emergency Management article, and make this article more specifically about Cold-War era nuclear survival programs world-wide. Thoughts? Parradoxx 17:52, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

No. Just because the US has stopped using the term Civil Defense does not mean the Wikipedia article should reflect US usage. It should be about civil defence from a worldwide perspective. Any recent US civil defence content is already at other articles. If the US-specific historical content becomes too much - it is that which should be split from this article. zoney talk 20:15, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
In fact, the US historical content is split (see United States civil defense). I'm not suggesting to make a pro-US adjustment, and I'm sorry it sounded that way. I am suggesting (in opposition to User:Rediguananz' suggestion above for an all-hazards rewrite) that the article Emergency Management already contains information about modern, all-hazards strategies, regardless of nation. Nations such as Singapore which name their fire brigade/emergency responders 'Civil Defence Force' are already cited in the Firefighting worldwide article. The bulk of this article discusses cold-war era General War survival strategies.
I'm suggesting that there are already articles which exist on included topics (like modern emergency management, emergency responders, etc) which would benefit from added perspective of other nations, rather than hodge-podging all of those subjects into this one article, and diminishing the General War survival strategies. Most nations had a Cold-War/General War survival strategy. Most nations have, in light of new research and the shifting of world-tensions, developed more comprehensive strategies as well. (Granted, SOME nations have always had a comprehensive strategy.. That should be included in the emergency management article).
I hope its clear that I'm discussing concepts, not just terms. If the terms are at issue, then perhaps we need more disambiguation. Did I clear up the misunderstanding? Or dig a deeper hole?? --Parradoxx 00:18, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Since the end of the Cold War the concept has been replaced by a more general intent to protect the civilian population in times of peace as well as in times of war. I hope my short amendment to the beginning of the article explains this adequately. The article itself can stand as long as it concentrates on Civil Defence which, as I write in my ammendment, is now largely a historical term. The article as it currently stands still moves confusedly from Civil Defence to emergency management themes, but I don't know where we should put these parts of the article. Kevin Ehaver 08:37, 27 June 2007 (UTC)


I am a graphic designer and find the discussion on this page, as well as the references in the article, to the various CD logos fascinating! However as a reader I find the occasional in-dwelling of the topic throughout the article distracting to the overall flow. I suggest creating an "Insignia" section and moving the pertinent information there. Any objections? Parradoxx 17:59, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Article lacks criticisms[edit]

In the United States, in any case, Civil Defense has been criticized since the 1950s and is practically lampooned today (see e.g. [1]), yet you'd never get any impression from this article that it was controversial, especially in a nuclear-war context. There were many quite prominent people—as well as many quite ordinary people—who thought that Civil Defense was just a way for the government to try and cover up the big threat of nuclear war, and that many of the promises of Civil Defense were empty and hollow (especially since adequate funding and maintenance for all of the many things required were not provided, and much of the financial burden was just shifted onto individuals). Anyway—all I'm saying is that perhaps there should be some small section on criticisms of Civil Defense, and maybe some of the "Civil defense will save millions of lives!" line can be made a bit more neutral ("Advocates of civil defense claim...), etc. At the moment the article is not very neutral according to Wikipedia's NPOV standards, as it does not represent a significant historical point of view and presents only one side of the story. (Note that I am not myself taking any particular side—I think the criticisms of CD are often far off the mark and result from a misunderstanding of what CD was meant to be about, i.e. it was obviously not going to save people at the epicenter of a nuclear blast, but was intended for those outside of the immediate sphere of destruction for whom a little preparation would help a lot with blast effects). -- (talk) 02:29, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

I have to agree with the comment above; this article is essentially about civil defence in the United States rather than civil defence seen globally. Even if this article was meant to be above civil defence in the larger context of the nuclear armed states, it avoids any serious criticism of civil defence. For example the United Kingdom effectively abandoned civil defence in 1968 with the disbandment of the Civil Defence Corps as the government implicitly acknowledged there could be no defence from nuclear attack. The British had at least tacitly acknowledged this since 1957 when Duncan Sandys published a defence whitepaper on the issue. when the UK revived Civil Defence under Thatcher in 1979, there is numerable evidence to show that this idea of civil defence became beligerant as part of a wider strategy to fight and win a nuclear war. Some very serious minds, such as Carl Sagan have frequently dismissed Civil Defence as irrelevent in the face of nuclear weapons. Gitfinger (talk) 12:16, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Not anymore!! We are, unfortunately, repeating the same error in "homeland security". This should be as effective in protecting us from terrorists fron Saudi Arabia as CONELRAD was in preventing Soviet bombers from homing in on US rock and roll stations. I suspect that the airport X-ray procedures will join the "duck and cover" campaigns on the 1950's in the ranks of governmental public relations boondoggles.Pustelnik (talk) 21:25, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Total war[edit]

I removed the remark in the introduction that "It (Civil defense) can be compared to total war". That is comparing apples and oranges. I agree that concepts of total war, as far as they may exist today, will probably incorporate the respective countries civil defense network. But civil defense in itself, as defined in and protected by the Geneva conventions, is not about waging war, but protecting the population in the case of a war. So while there clearly is an relationship between war and civil defense, the above mentioned equalisation seems wildly inappropriate. -- 790  20:40, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

It's a fair remark however numerous UK government papers did closely ally civil defence as being something to "enhance" her nuclear deterrent. Whilst I agree that civil defence is not about waging war there were some countries, like the UK, that viewed CD as being an inherent part of their defence policy and through that enhanced their capability to wage war. Gitfinger (talk) 10:48, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Civil Defense[edit]

This article seemed incomplete from the perspective of the use of homeland guards in the Civil War, even for that matter taking only 300 Spartans to war at Thermopylae, leaving the rest of Sparta protected and battle ready. Population protection was noted as being more important than any other economic consideration in the face of the veritable certainty of mass starvation, Rwanda style, when too much population ends up overtaxing and then collapsing the resource and distribution profile of the available infrastructure. Further research will show that in fact and even in popular literature, civil defense was of paramount, and actually INCREASING, importance during WWI and WWII, when defending military targets and populations against, especially, air raids.

It is also inaccurate to say that civil defense was neglected during the Cold War. Stockpiles of goods are still on public display at Mammoth Cave National Park, and a reporter sampled (much to her disappointment) 50 year old crackers found in the New York subway system just a couple of years ago on a national morning news show. Evidently, nobody told her that crackers contain a good deal of shortening, which eventually goes rancid on its own and tastes like barf.

Further, to suggest that biological and chemical warfare were neglected is to ignore the history of the CDC, the writing of the Andromeda Strain, and that Adolf Hitler was permanently injured by a mustard gas attack in WWI. In fact, the Mongols were known to catapult diseased carcasses and smallpox infected detritus over town walls to intentionally spread disease. Sarin was actually developed by the Third Reich, but was thankfully never used in combat or atop a V-2. Burning and burying infected or contaminated materials is one of the earliest forms of civil defense.

I recommend this article be pulled. (talk) 03:46, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Current Usage[edit]

Despite what "The National Emergency Management Association" might say it is just not true that the name and logo have been "officially retired". The name and logo, continue to be used by Hawaii State Civil Defense [2] and Guam Homeland Security/Office of Civil Defense [3]. I have added this into the article but I think this needs to be addresses further. LCpl (talk) 19:57, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Bad speling, gramr too[edit]

( That's a joke, folks. ) This article is full of bad spelling and bad grammar, and needs serious copyediting. If no one else takes it I'll put it on my list. --Thnidu, Member WP:GOCE (talk) 05:39, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Fuckin' Ridiculous[edit]

Just on Merkin C.D.; Does anyone else remember the tidy yard versus untidy yard video? It showed two houses next to each other, one with a t...& one with an u..., some smoke, smoke clears, u. house razed to the ground, t. house untouched. Obvious bullshit. But fucking good comedy. (talk) 19:03, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Do not add such things to articles unless you can provide the specific film, and ideally, secondary sources that discuss it. ʍw 01:16, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

Removed refimprove template/tag[edit]

I've removed template:refimprove from the top of the article. This tag had been in place for 7.5 years. The article has 27 citations, 28 external links, and numerous interlinks to other articles. Those templates are not meant to be a permanent decoration at the top of articles. If further citations are needed, please use an inline tag instead, such as {{cn}}. Etamni | ✉   13:24, 11 December 2015 (UTC)