Resources » CRC SimPLER: A Simulation Program for Leveraging and Evaluating Resources

CRC SimPLER: A Simulation Program for Leveraging and Evaluating Resources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is pleased to announce the release of CRC SimPLER, a free, publicly available, online tool to help state and local emergency and public health planners prepare for setting up community reception centers (CRCs) to monitor people following a large-scale radiation emergency. CRC SimPLER enables planners to estimate their throughput based on currently available resources. Planners can also determine where additional resources would be most beneficial to optimize their response goals. You can access the CRC SimPLER at

CRC SimPLER helps radiation emergency planners understand their current capacity, potential bottlenecks, and additional resource needs when planning for population monitoring during response to a radiation emergency. It focuses on typical or anticipated activities that are needed to conduct population monitoring, which include but are not limited to providing services such as basic first aid, contamination screening, decontamination, registration, and mental health counseling. CRC SimPLER helps planners assess their current population monitoring capacity and plan for potential needs in a way that is simple to understand, quick to interpret, and can be taken or presented to decision makers if/when they need to ask for additional resources.

While similar tools and methods are available, many are difficult to use or incorporate incorrect or incomplete data. CRC SimPLER addresses both of those issues. First, CRC SimPLER’s design was informed by user testing to ensure that potential users understood the interface and operations of the tool with little to no instruction, as well as how to use the features of the tool to enhance their plans. Second, current methods of assessing population monitoring throughput provide an overestimation of capacity that could hinder the success of a radiation response. CRC SimPLER is the first such tool to use actual timing data in its modeling, ensuring a more accurate assessment of capabilities and needs.

In addition to ensuring a more accurate assessment of capabilities and needs, CRC SimPLER can be used as a training tool for locations that are beginning to draft their population monitoring plans and those who have not yet conducted CRC full-scale exercises. There is potential to expand the tool into other preparedness arenas should timing data become available and interest arise. During user testing, many of the emergency planners stated they wanted this type of platform for all public health planning.

CRC SimPLER was developed by the Radiation Studies program in collaboration with the Environmental Public Health Tracking Program. Both programs reside in the National Center for Environmental Health’s Division of Environmental Health Science and Practice. Additional support for CRC SimPLER was provided through a collaboration with partners across the federal government, state and local health departments, radiation control programs, volunteer networks, and the National Association for City and County Health Officials (NACCHO). NACCHO plans to hosted a webinar on December 10, 2020 on “Introducing CRC SimPLER: A Simulation Program for Leveraging and Evaluating Resources.” A recording of this webinar is available at this link.