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Series Information
(Civil Defense Records)

Series Description

Organized Civil Defense activities began in Baltimore during December 1941 with the creation of the Baltimore Committee on Civilian Defense. The purpose of the committee was to plan for the safety of Baltimore residents in case of enemy attack. To carry out this plan the committee had four divisions: planning, public relations, enrollment, and training. Its projects included running test blackouts and enrolling and training air wardens, auxiliary police and firemen, fire watchers, medical corps, messengers, and decontamination squads. The committee also maintained a warning center to receive from the U.S. Army filter centers information about possible enemy attacks. Surviving records relate only to the public relations functions of the committee.

Four years later, the state government enacted the Maryland Civil Defense Act, which called for the establishment of state and local civil defense agencies. The prime responsibility of these agencies was to prepare continuing plans to cope with emergency situations resulting from man-made or natural disasters. Maryland state and local governments originally coordinated their renewed civil defense activities with comparable functions of the federal government and private organizations.

The municipality created the Baltimore Civil Defense Organization in 1951 under the provisions of the state civil defense act. Initial activities of the organization centered around preparations for atomic attack. Planning areas included fire control, rescue and medical services, transportation, communication, shelters, and the provision of emergency food and water supplies. The organization also devised an elaborate system to train volunteers for use in the event of an emergency. To educate the public about civil defense concepts, the organization conducted an extensive public campaign.

In 1963 the municipal government sharply reduced the budget and operational scope of civil defense organizations in Baltimore. The Civil Defense Organization was abolished and its functions transferred to the fire department.

Municipal authorities relieved the fire department of this responsibility in 1968 by establishing the Office of Disaster Control and Civil Defense. The primary responsibility of the new agency was to develop an operational survival plan to provide for a continuation of municipal services in the event of a nuclear attack or natural disaster.

For additional information, see ords. 658 (1941), 42 (1963), and 128 (1968).

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Found 14 total items for this series.
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DateSeries NameDescriptionMSA Citation
  Details1941-1945Baltimore Committee on Civilian Defense, Public Relations Division Files

The files of Raymond S. Tompkins, Director of Public Relations. They include correspondence, press releases, official publications, publication requests, lectures, monthly reports, and subject files on all aspects of the division's and committee's work.

A file folder listing is available at the Baltimore City Archives.

  Details1950-1978Office of Disaster Control and Civil Defense, Administrative Files

Correspondence, reports, minutes, press releases, and printed material relating to all areas of civil defense activities in Baltimore. Included are records produced by the Baltimore Civil Defense Organization (1951-63); Civil Defense Division of the Baltimore City Fire Department (1964-68); and the Office of Disaster Control and Civil Defense (1968-78).

A file folder listing is available at the Baltimore City Archives.

  Details1951-1961Civil Defense Inventory Records

This listing outlines the supplies and equipment maintained by Civil Defense personnel during the period January 1, 1951 to June 30, 1961. The card for each type of material provides the requisition number and date, its cost, a brief description of the item, and an indication of its storage location. Examples of the fire hose, chlorinators, sirens, horns, clocks, radios, receivers, transmitters, crystals, and mobile communication centers. The inventory also lists supplies maintained in the various shelters located throughout the city.

Available on microfilm only.

  Details1955Civil Defense, Basic Course Instructor's GuideThis guide was published by the Federal Civil Defense Administration to assist instructors teaching the basic civil defense course. Information includes the function, organization, and operations of the civil defense system; defense and protection against atomic attack; firefighting and rescue work; defense against biological and chemical attack; and selection and placement in a civil defense job.BRG38-4
  Details1956Civil Defense Plan of Baltimore City Natural Disaster AnnexThis plan served as the general over-all plan for organizing the resources of the City of Baltimore for relief in any emergency resulting from natural causes. Topics include mobilization procedure; detailed plan of operations; communications and control centers; the call-up system; personnel staff rosters; storage of equipment; and maps.BRG38-5
  Details1956Urban Area Civil Defense Analysis Project BaluranThis was a study done to measure the vulnerability of the Baltimore target complex in case of nuclear attack. Topics include population, land use, building density, railroad facilities, utilities, communications, industry, schools, fire stations, water supply, government administration, civil defense installations, topography, weather conditions, military responsibilities, and manpower. Various charts and maps are also included.BRG38-6
  Details1956Office Service ManualThis manual was produced to aid the civil defense officer in carrying out his or her duties. Topics included are the organization of a district headquarters; command; staff and personnel; layout and information flow; the duties and functions of command personnel; district, area, and sector coordinators; civil defense officers and their duties; police communication; first aid; rescue; and firefighting. Various maps and charts are also included.BRG38-7
  Details1958Annual ReportAnnual report submitted to Mayor Thomas D'Alesandro, Jr. highlighting the activities of the Civil Defense Organization of Baltimore City for 1958.BRG38-8
  Details1960Staff Procedures and ResponsibilitiesThis booklet was published as a guide for use by district coordinators and/or staff members of each civil defense district within the City of Baltimore. Topics include personnel management, intelligence, plans and operations, and logistics.BRG38-9
  Details1960Operatiions ManualThis manual was produced to aid civil defense personnel in case of nuclear attack or natural disaster. Topics include alerting procedure under enemy attack conditions, emergency snow plan, emergency procedure in case of siren malfunctions, transportation of radioactive materials, medical plan for natural disasters, and natural disaster plans.BRG38-10
  Details1961Service Reports on Operation AlertReports concerning a simulated nuclear attack on the United States which occurred on April 28, 1961. The federal government, in order to reevaluate its non-military defense capabilities at federal, state, and local levels each year, provided for an annual test exercise (Operation Alert). The Baltimore City government was responsible for the conduct of the non-military defense activities within the geographical limits of the city.BRG38-11
  Details1962Commercial Radio Facilities Survey, State of MarylandSurvey of radio communication systems within the State of Maryland to be used in the event of a national emergency. Radio systems in public safety, transportation, industry, common carriers, maritime, and broadcasting are highlighted.BRG38-12
  Details1968Civil Disoder and Relief ReportReport issued by the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Disaster Control and Civil Defense concerning the April 1968 riots which occurred in the city.BRG38-13
  Details Sign Installation BooksField books showing where in the city civil defense signs were installed.BRG38-14
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