PASSIVE DEFENSE: Prentiss defined Passive Defense as activities undertaken by civilian authorities to protect the population, industrial base, and jurisdictions from air attack through negative measures designed to:

 

(1) Reduce the impact of air attack on jurisdictions.

 

(2) Maintain civilian morale to prevent impacts on national war efforts.

 

(3) Prevent the further disruption of the life of the population.

 

Prentiss clearly states that Passive Defense measures were the responsibility of state and local government, although he saw a role for federal government in assisting states and localities through general of planning, the integration of Active Defense and Passive Defense measures, support for training, and technical advice.

 

Measures that Prentiss listed as components of in Passive Defense included:

 

(1) Organizing and training the civilian population to increase understanding of the character of air attacks and provide useful skills for dealing with them. The end result would have been prevention of panic and a more orderly response to such events.

 

(2) Warning systems to allow the population to seek shelter.

 

(3) Provision of shelters capable of protecting the population from chemical, high explosive, and incendiary devices.

 

(4) Planning for evacuation of non-essential persons, including women and children, from large urban centers likely to be attacked.

 

(5) Maintenance of lifeline services, including water, electric power, food distribution, transportation, and communications.

 

(6) Protecting key public buildings and industrial plants from high explosive or incendiary weapons.

 

(7) Control of lighting and blackouts.

 

(8) Medical treatment and first aid for casualties of attacks.

 

Prentiss believed that Passive Defense achieved two important goals the reduction of the damage incurred in air attacks and the reduction of the value of attacks on the civilian population as a military strategy.

 

Prentiss, Augustin M., Civil Air Defense, New York, NY, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1941.

 

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