Civil defense (Civil defence), (see spelling differences) or civil protection is an effort to protect the citizens of a state (generally non-combatants) from military attack. It uses the principles of emergency operations: prevention, mitigation, preparation, response, or emergency evacuation, and recovery. Programmes of this sort were initially discussed at least as early as the 1920s and were implemented in many countries, but only became widespread in the USA after the threat of nuclear weapons was realised.
Since the end of the Cold War, the focus of civil defense has largely shifted from military attack to emergencies and disasters in general. The new concept is described by a number of terms, each of which has its own specific shade of meaning, such as crisis management, emergency management, emergency preparedness, contingency planning, emergency services, and civil protection.
In some countries, civil defense is seen as a key part of "total defense". For example in Sweden, the Swedish word totalförsvar refers to the commitment of a wide range of resources of the nation to its defense - including to civil protection.
Famous quotes containing the words civil and/or defense:
“The principle of majority rule is the mildest form in which the force of numbers can be exercised. It is a pacific substitute for civil war in which the opposing armies are counted and the victory is awarded to the larger before any blood is shed. Except in the sacred tests of democracy and in the incantations of the orators, we hardly take the trouble to pretend that the rule of the majority is not at bottom a rule of force.”
—Walter Lippmann (18891974)
“Of all my Russian books, The Defense contains and diffuses the greatest warmthMwhich may seem odd seeing how supremely abstract chess is supposed to be.”
—Vladimir Nabokov (18991977)