Story: Civil defence

Response to nuclear warfare

During the 1950s civil defence focused on the threat of nuclear warfare, and this remained a concern in 1963, when this handbook of advice to householders was published. As these extracts show, people were advised to shelter from nuclear radiation in their basements, and to wash thoroughly to remove traces of radioactive dust.

Using this item

Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick, 'Civil defence - Evolution of organised civil defence', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 28 June 2022)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 1 May 2020