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1660-001 1 of 2

DIVISION OF EMERGENCY PLANNING AND OPERATIONS/

DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL DEFENSE

Legislation facilitating preparations for emergencies or disasters resulting from possible enemy attacks, sabotage, or other hostile action was passed on both the national and State levels in the years immediately following World War II. The General Assembly in Delaware created a Department of Civil Defense in 1951 as a response to the fears of potential enemy invasion. The Department’s primary functions were to prepare for and carry out any necessary functions; to coordinate all State civil defense operations; and to render any required mutual aid to political subdivisions within the State, to other States, or to the federal government.1

In conjunction with the creation of the Department, a Civil Defense Advisory Council was established to advise the Governor and Department Director on any matters relating to the protection of the local citizenry. All personnel who served in any capacity within the Department or in its local branches had to sign an oath of loyalty to defend the Constitutions of both the State and United States.2

With the 1970 reorganization of State government, the Department of Civil Defense Advisory Council lost their independent status and were placed within the Department of Public Safety. The agency continues to exist today as the Division of Emergency Planning and Operations within the Department of Public Safety. Its responsibilities remain essentially the same but have been broadened to include emergencies resulting from natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, or fires.3

1660-001 2 of 2

DIVISION OF EMERGENCY PLANNING AND OPERATIONS/

DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL DEFENSE

1 48 DL, ch. 189.

2 Ibid.

3 57 DL, ch. 382.

sle/June 13, 1989