In the innocent era, when single megaton nukes were considered dangerous, the U.S. government had plans in place to recover from a devastating nuclear attack that would make life in the world of The Walking Dead look utopian. “Federal Emergency Plan D-Minus,” developed in the 1950s, was the U.S. government’s nuclear “911” protocol; step-by-step instructions that would be taken following the detonation of “several hundred” nuclear warheads in the United States. Plan D-Minus envisioned a D-Day “plus one” in which a third of the U.S. population had been killed, gangs and militias roamed the countryside, agriculture had reverted to subsistence levels, industrial production had collapsed, and even the government’s own bunkers and emergency facilities had been wiped out.
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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.