Emergency Response at ATSDR
ATSDR Emergency Response Teams are available 24 hours a day, and are comprised of toxicologists, physicians, and other scientists available to assist during an emergency involving hazardous substances in the environment.
Common Misconceptions about Disasters: Panic, the “Disaster Syndrome,” and Looting [PDF, 900 KB]
This book chapter identifies some of the more common misconceptions about the public’s response to disaster and presents information from systematic studies of actual disasters.
Disaster Response: Principles of Preparation and Coordination [PDF, 9.7 MB]
An evidence-based textbook on disaster management that focuses on general principles derived from field studies of domestic, peacetime disasters.
The Importance of Evidence-Based Disasters Planning [PDF, 496 KB]
This article examines several common assumptions about disasters, compares them with research findings, and discusses the implications for planning.
The Role of The Health Sector in Planning and Response [PDF, 643 KB]
A book chapter for the International City/County Management Association’s textbook for emergency managers, Emergency Management: Principles and Practice for Local Government.
Action Levels for Elemental Mercury Spills (2012) [PDF – 365 KB]
Guidance for action levels in the instance of elemental or metallic mercury releases or spills. The action level guidelines are based on the ATSDR Chronic Minimal Risk Level and the EPA Reference Concentration.
Assessment of Chemical Exposures (ACE) Teams
State and local health departments can request help when responding to large-scale toxic substance spills. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) can provide resources through its Assessment of Chemical Exposures (ACE) teams.
Chemical Terrorism – ATSDR’s Role in the Response to Chemical Terrorism
Since the September 11 attacks, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has worked with other federal agencies, state and local health departments, and other organizations to respond to the enormous challenges of this tragedy.
Links to information about chemical agents arranged alphabetically or by category.
Managing Hazardous Material Incidents (MHMI)
The MHMI series is a three volume guide available on CD-ROM and in print (the CD-ROM version has an associated streaming video). The set contains recommendations for on-scene (prehospital), and hospital medical management of patients exposed during a hazardous materials incident.
Medical Management Guidelines for Acute Chemical Exposures
To aid emergency department physicians and other emergency healthcare professionals who manage acute exposures resulting from chemical incidents.
The Public Health Emergency Response Guide for State, Local, and Tribal Public Health Directors
An all-hazards reference tool for health professionals who are responsible for initiating the public health response during the first 24 hours (i.e., the acute phase) of an emergency or disaster.
- Page last reviewed: November 24, 2014
- Page last updated: January 13, 2016
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