About The American Civil Defense Association

“In the most dangerous situation we have chosen the most dangerous of courses…We have chosen not to face our danger!”

Dr. Edward Teller (1908-2003)
Father of the Hydrogen Bomb

Perhaps one of the most common misconceptions among Americans is that if a major wide-scale nuclear, biological or chemical disaster strikes, chances of survival would be extremely low.

In reality, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Many will survive, and most will not be prepared.

There are many dangerous threats that do exist. However, for each threat, there are practical preparedness solutions that exist, as well.

The History of The American Civil Defense Association

TACDA was formed in the early 1960′s in response to our nations reliance on atomic weaponry as a centerpiece of foreign policy following World War II, up to and including the onset of the Cold War.  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 primarily by our members, the American public, 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 manmade and natural disasters.

The TACDA Board of Directors

With decades of experience in the fields of Civil Defense, Engineering, Medicine, Education, and the Military, the TACDA Board of Directors devote their time and efforts to increasing the awareness of Civil Defense issues in the United States and around the world.

Meet the TACDA Board of Directors

Goals and Objectives

TACDA currently has three (3) main areas in which we focus our attention and efforts. These include:

  • Education and Information- We strive to alert our members about existing dangers and potential threats relating to both manmade and natural disasters and emergencies.  These include, but are not limited to, nuclear, chemical, biological and pandemic threats, national security and defense issues and developments, domestic terrorism issues, natural and environmental threats, as well as current and relevant events abroad.  TACDA’s main methods of alerting our members and the public to such issues are through the continual development of our web site, including the TACDA Academy, and through the quarterly distribution of the Journal of Civil Defense, the official publication of The American Civil Defense Association.
  • Products and Services – In addition to providing our members with information on valid threats and practical preparedness solutions, we also work hard to assist them in equipping themselves for preparedness against all types of natural and manmade disasters and emergency situations.  TACDA provides access to preparedness supplies and products that will help enable our members to prepare physically, psychologically, and emotionally for natural and manmade disasters. Visit the TACDA Store for more information about the products and supplies available to you and your family.
  • Local and National Resources – TACDA provides opportunities for our members to locate groups and organizations that share their interest and expertise related to disaster and emergency preparedness.  Although TACDA does not directly endorse nor support these groups, we understand people want to get together with other like-minded people that share their same interests, concerns and beliefs – not only on the web, but face-to-face as well. For more information on local and national resources, visit our Resources and Links area.

TACDA Membership

TACDA’s member base is currently comprised of individuals and families from all walks of life, all sharing the common goal of preparing themselves, their families, and their communities against natural and manmade disasters.

TACDA is supported, in part, by the annual contributions of our members. The minimum, tax-deductible contribution for a TACDA Membership is only $36.  For more information, we invite you to visit the TACDA Membership page, and we thank you for supporting TACDA.