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April 7, 1956


JAMA. 1956;160(14):1215-1218. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02960490029008

• Thermonuclear weapons are fully capable of destroying large cities. Dispersion is the only real protection against these weapons. By proper planning for evacuation and protective shelters, a few hours of warning may suffice to reduce the number of casualties by half.

The early phase is marked by confusion and delay, since most of the radiological defense personnel will be volunteers. During this phase the normally active protective services—law enforcement, fire, utilities, and engineering services—must be active in radiation-detection and communication; meanwhile the complete over-all state civil defense plans go into effect, with the integration of all the various groups.

The radiological training program has assisted in training medical personnel in monitoring functions, training radiological laboratory technicians, and training instructors for volunteer and servicemonitoring groups. More than 450 instructors and 6,000 monitors have been trained. Sixteen mobile laboratories have been designed and purchased, and 105 trailers, each for the use of a monitoring squad of 20 persons, have been equipped with radiological apparatus. Maintenance has been satisfactory.