In a space habitat all kind of disasters can occur. These unfortunate events could be small or big, but in all instances an adequate response is required to save lives and to protect health. In order to handle such situations properly, an organization is necessary and therefore we propose the establishment of civil defense forces in each space settlement.
The main functions of the civil defense forces should be:
- to provide emergency medical services;
- fire fighting;
- handling hazardous materials (hazmat);
- to conduct search-and-rescue actions.
Hazardous materials are substance which pose a direct threat to health and live. They include inflammable, radioactive, explosive and toxic materials. In many countries bomb disposal services are provided by the military. With the increased use of homemade explosive by terrorists, it would be reasonable to put bomb disposal under the responsibility of the civil defense force.
In extreme cases, the civil defense force should be responsible for the orderly evacuation of the population.
Because the occurrence of disasters is both infrequent and unpredictable, a full-time professional force should be supported by well-trained volunteers. In order to guarantee that there will be a sufficient number of trained volunteers, it would be an idea to have young people spend their conscription in the civil defense force.