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US Cities Are Not Medically Prepared for A Nuclear Detonation

The United States is not prepared to deal with an attack by a terrorist group using an improvised nuclear device, the author says. It should get prepared, because the risk is real even if the probability is low, and doing so could save a great many lives. The author explores the potential impact of a 10–15-kt improvised nuclear device set off in New York City. The initial blast would kill between 75,000 and 100,000 people in seconds. Another 100,000–200,000 people would be injured, many of them dying within weeks or months, some with burns, others with impact injuries, and some with acute radiation syndrome. The demands on the medical system would be vast and overwhelming, all the more so because the bomb would have destroyed much of the capacity to respond. Current planning efforts are not sufficient to manage the carnage.

National Engagement Period: NIMS Resource Management Supplemental Guidance and Tools

FEMA’s National Integration Center is soliciting feedback on draft documents designed to strengthen the resource management component of the National Incident Management System (NIMS):

  • The NIMS Guideline for the National Qualification System describes the components of a qualification and certification system, defines a process for certifying the qualifications of incident personnel, describes how to stand up and implement a peer review process, and provides an introduction to the process of credentialing personnel.
  • The NIMS Job Titles/Position Qualifications define minimum qualifications criteria for personnel serving in defined deployable incident positions.
  • The NIMS Position Task Books identify the competencies, behaviors, and tasks that personnel should demonstrate to become qualified for a defined incident position.
  • The NIMS Guideline for Mutual Aid is designed to help unify mutual aid efforts by providing stakeholders with common practices and processes for use in mutual aid planning.
  • The updated NIMS Guideline for the Credentialing of Personnel provides standards and guidance for credentialing incident personnel nationwide.
  • The NIMS Resource Typing Definitions provide the minimum qualifications for personnel, teams, and equipment.

This national engagement period will conclude at 5:00 pm EDT on June 9, 2017. National engagement provides interested parties with an opportunity to comment on the draft documents to ensure the final products reflect the collective expertise and experience of the whole community.

To review the draft of the NIMS Resource Management supplemental guidance and tools, visit the NIMS national engagement web page. To provide comments on the drafts, complete the feedback form and submit it to FEMA-NIMS@fema.dhs.gov.

Radiation Basics Resources Available

As an amendment to the “Radiation Basics for Public Health, Emergency Management, and First Responders” session at the 2017 Preparedness Summit, please see the two resources available here:

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