Civil Defense is defined as “plans or activities organized by civilians and civilian authorities for the protection of civilian population and property in times of such disasters or emergencies as war or floods.” The United States has had some form of a Civil Defense program since the formation of the Office of Civilian Defense in 1941. Since then, the focus, size, scope, and visibility of the program has ebbed and flowed with the changing geopolitical tides.
Tied to developments in strategic nuclear weapons, missiles, and even spy satellites – it endured name changes to “Civil Preparedness” and later “Emergency Management.” Throughout this time, thousands of men and women (both paid employees and volunteers) at the federal, state, and local government dedicated themselves to the goal of protecting the public against catastrophe.
The Pima County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) facilitates, coordinates and calibrates the County’s response to threats using an all-hazards approach with our jurisdictional and whole community partners. OEM works behind the scenes to meet the needs of the Incident Commander, with the ultimate goal of restoring normality to our citizens after an incident.