Executive Order

Executive Order  No. 242: Massachusetts Comprehensive Emergency Management Program and denouncement of crisis relocation planning in case of nuclear war

Date: 06/28/1984
Issuer: Michael S. Dukakis
Mass Register: No. 423
Revoking: Executive Order 31

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, every community across the Commonwealth is exposed to multiple hazards, all of which have the potential to disrupt the community, damage property and cause loss of life; and

WHEREAS, such emergencies come in many categories: technological and man-made hazards caused by the production, transportation, use and disposal of chemicals, radioactive materials and fuels; urban fires; nuclear power plant accidents; natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, drought, blizzards, extreme cold, and sea surges; internal disturbances such as riots, demonstrations, prison breaks, strikes leading to violence or lack of human services, acts of terrorism; energy and material shortages from weather, strikes, price wars, labor problems and resource scarcity; and finally, the ultimate emergency, attack by a hostile power, whether nuclear, conventional, terrorist, chemical or an attack accomplished through biological warfare; and

WHEREAS, from time to time circumstances require that we reevaluate the direction and goals of agency programs, including close examination of the nature of evacuation plans being developed under Executive Order 31 and dealing solely with the threat of nuclear war; and

WHEREAS, the decreased warning time of nuclear attack makes evacuation impracticable; and

WHEREAS, evidence and analyses establish that there are no safe havens from a potential nuclear attack, since rural areas could be hit by design or by error, and even so-called "limited attacks" confined to military or economic targets could contaminate vast areas of the country with hazardous levels of radiation; and

WHEREAS, nuclear weapons do exist and until they are eliminated could affect the population of the Commonwealth in the form of limited or full scale enemy attack, terrorist activities, accidental launch or detonation; and

WHEREAS, the existing and potential strength of nuclear weapons is such that nuclear war can neither be won nor survived, it can only be prevented; and

WHEREAS, the only effective defense against the horrors of nuclear weapons lies in their elimination and in the prevention of nuclear war or attacks; and

WHEREAS, emergency planning should concentrate on broad ranges of hazards, with particular emphasis on those catastrophes for which planning can provide realistic opportunity for mitigating impact.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, MICHAEL S. DUKAKIS, Governor of the Commonwealth acting in the authority of Acts of 1950, Chapter 639, as amended, and in particular Sections 4, 6, 7, 8, 16, and 20 thereof, and all other authority vested in me by law, hereby rescind Executive Order No. 31 of 1956 and order as follows:

  1. Henceforth, the Commonwealth will continue to develop the concept of Comprehensive Emergency Management to deal with major disasters or emergencies in the Commonwealth, with the qualification that the Commonwealth shall not engage in crisis relocation planning in preparation for nuclear war.
  2. The purpose of Comprehensive Emergency Management is to develop a comprehensive emergency management program which seeks to mitigate the effects of a hazard, to prepare for measures to be taken which will preserve life and minimize damage, to respond during emergencies and reduce the impact of the emergency, and to establish a recovery system to channel financing and other resources in order to restore the governance and other essential functions of the community.
  3. A Comprehensive Emergency Management Program will identify public and private resources and direct and encourage the application of such resources in the most productive manner, in order to coordinate disaster activities.
  4. The Commonwealth shall seek to ensure the safety of its citizens by pursuit of policies reflecting a serious commitment to prevention of nuclear war. Such policies shall include education of citizens concerning the real nature of nuclear war and efforts to influence national policy towards negotiation of an end to the nuclear arms race
  5. No funds shall be expended by the Commonwealth for crisis relocation planning for nuclear war.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 28th day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred and nine.



Commonwealth of Massachusetts



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