The History of The American Civil Defense Association
TACDA was formed in the early 1960s in response to our nation’s reliance on atomic weaponry as a centerpiece of foreign policy following World War II. During the Cold War, many feared a nuclear strike from the Soviet Union. In an attempt to protect American civilians, a civil defense campaign emphasizing the use of fallout shelters commenced. In response to the Soviet’s first atomic explosion and the Korean War, the Federal Civil Defense Administration was started in 1951. American citizens now had to imagine a new kind of war, and it was the Federal Civil Defense Administration’s job to encourage citizens to adapt to their nuclear present and future. Some doubted that physical protection from a nuclear explosion would be effective. Therefore, the Federal Civil Defense Administration received a small budget, and was involved in only limited construction of shelters and the publishing of publicity materials.
In 1958, a report indicating the Soviet Union was nearing the nuclear arsenal held by the U.S. forced civil defense to be a priority. Spending increased. The Federal Civil Defense Administration became the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization under President John F. Kennedy, who believed in and advocated civil defense.
The Cuban Missile Crisis, in October of 1962, resulted in a rapid, three-month program to improve civil defense.
After the administration of President Kennedy abruptly ended, civil defense was once again regarded as unimportant or wasteful and not funded adequately by our government.
The American Civil Defense Association was organized in 1962 by several individuals that recognized our country’s continued need for civil defense and the importance of personal emergency and disaster preparedness.
TACDA is a non-profit, non-political, 501(c)3 organization supported largely by our members, and not the Federal Government.
The TACDA Mission
The mission of The American Civil Defense Association (TACDA) is to provide education, products and resources that empower American Citizens with a comprehensive understanding of reasonable preparedness strategies and techniques; promoting a self-reliant, pro-active approach to protecting themselves, their families and their communities in the event of nuclear, biological, chemical or other man-made and natural disasters.