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June 10, 1950

CIVIL DEFENSE A CIVILIAN RESPONSIBILITY

JAMA. 1950;143(6):556. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910410042011

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Abstract

Opinion has been expressed in some instances that civil defense preparations are entirely the responsibility of the military. This was a cause for concern at a recent meeting of the Council on National Emergency Medical Service. Representatives of the Department of Defense and the National Security Resources Board emphasized that the primary responsibility for civilian defense must be assumed by civil government, that in time of war the Armed Forces must be free to concentrate on their primary missions of repelling attack and carrying the war to the enemy. Since civilians must perform the necessary civil defense functions, they should be responsible, at all levels of government, for the required planning and preparations. Effective community action during a wartime disaster will depend largely on this peacetime development of a sense of community responsibility for self preservation.

Concern was also expressed at the lack of general realization that civil defense preparations

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