Senior Leaders:
Information for Radiation Emergencies

General Information

  • Issues for medical planning and response to a mass casualty radiation incident will vary with
    • Nature, severity, cause, and location of the radiation incident
    • Agency in which the Leader is operating and its own rules and regulations
    • Leadership role of the official
  • Medical practice, standards of care, available assets, Concept of Operations, and liability issues are complex and each practitioner should consult with experts in his/her venue and organization.
  • 2017 – 2022 Health Care and Preparedness and Response Capabilities (PDF - 795 KB) (HHS/ASPR, November 2016)
    • HHS/ASPR recognizes that there is shared authority and accountability for the health care delivery system's readiness that rests with private organizations, government agencies, and Emergency Support Function-8 (ESF-8, Public Health and Medical Services) lead agencies.
    • Given the many public and private entities that must come together to ensure community preparedness, HCCs serve an important communication and coordination role within their respective jurisdiction(s).

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Practical Guidance

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Communications Strategies

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Assessment of State and Local Laws Regarding Management of Persons During Radiation Incidents

  • Public Health Preparedness: Examination of Legal Language Authorizing Responses to Incidents Involving Contamination with Radioactive Material (PDF - 670 KB) (HHS/CDC/RSB and CDC/ATSDR; CDC/Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support; Legal Preparendess Project: collaboration between CDC and NACCHO), May 2014)
    • Designed to answer 2 questions: Do states and select jurisdictions...
      • "Possess the authority to decontaminate persons contaminated with radioactive material?"
      • "Have the authority to restrict the movement of persons contaminated with radioactive material? (e.g. quarantine)"
    • Goals
      • "Identify and categorize the current landscape of laws that may be available to decontaminate and restrict personal movement of persons contaminated or potentially contaminated with radioactivity"
      • "Foster collaboration among stakeholders to enhance preparedness and response"
    • Conducted a legal assessment of all fifty states, New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.
      • Text, maps and tables show comparisons among these jurisdictions

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Emergency Declaration Authorities Across all States and DC

  • Links to legal authorizations for each of the 50 states and DC (The Network for Public Health Law)
    • Table provides state statutory and regulatory authorities for emergency declarations in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia including
      • Emergency declarations, public health emergency declarations, and other types of declarations that may relate to the public's health.

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Selected References



GAO Reports on Radiological and Nuclear Preparedness

US Military

See Related Information on REMM: