Federal Emergency Plan D / Presidential Emergency Action Documents (PEADs)

Federal Emergency Plan D / Presidential Emergency Action Documents (PEADs)


Federal Emergency Plan D-Minus was a plan developed by the United States in the 1950s to guide the federal government in the immediate aftermath of a catastrophic nuclear attack.  Plan D-Minus was part of the National Plan for Emergency Preparedness, which also included Mobilization Plan C (providing direction for federal planning in the three weeks prior to a global nuclear war).

Federal Emergency Plan D-Minus was designed for activation in the aftermath of either an anticipated or surprise attack of a “devastating” nature. It envisioned a scenario based on what was described as a major attack against the mainland United States involving the near-simultaneous, or closely sequential, detonation of several hundred nuclear warheads.

Plan D-Minus assumed a nuclear attack against the continental United States resulting in 48 million immediate fatalities and a significant number of non-fatal casualties. Primary government command and control facilities, such as the White House and the Pentagon, would be destroyed and emergency relocation facilities would be rendered minimally operable as a result of physical damage and the effects of radiation sickness on staff. At the same time, nothing but critical communications would survive and even those would be crippled due to action by enemy saboteurs. Industrial and agricultural production would be severely disrupted, society would fragment into local gangs, and the financial system would completely collapse.

Immediately following an attack under D-Minus conditions, the National Security Council’s Office of Emergency Planning would initiate and then decentralize its primary post-attack programs, including anti-hoarding and resource conservation measures, to those state and local governments that remained functioning. Meanwhile, emergency federal departments responsible for the most critical aspects of recovery would be formed and staffed from the “Executive Reserve,” a 1,700-person group of public sector employees who had previously received specialized management training. Heads of emergency departments were private sector subject-matter specialists who had been chosen in advance. A series of pre-drafted executive orders would be immediately signed by the President of the United States authorizing extraordinary measures, including preventative detention of persons on the FBI Security Index and suspension of publication of the Federal Register.

Document Archive

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Documents – Release #1 – [38 Pages, 22.9MB]

Additional documents have been requested and will be added here when available.