Forging a framework to improve the emergency management community's ability to respond to a nuclear or radiological weapons attack
Massey, Patrick J.
Gordon, Ellen M.
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Despite dire predictions from the federal government, academia, and private research institutions about the threat posed by nuclear and radiological terrorism, the federal government has yet to develop an overarching organizational framework to collectively plan and prepare for the horrendous consequences of such an attack. In addition, the federal government has yet to develop even a modest program to provide technical planning and preparedness assistance to those local officials charged with coordinating the response to nuclear or radiological terrorism â the local emergency manager. In order to reduce the loss of life, social panic, and the direct and indirect economic loss caused by a nuclear or radiological terror attack, the federal government should pursue the creation of a suite of strategic national and regional organizational innovations designed explicitly to prepare our nationâ s emergency management community and other first responders for their critical roles during a large-scale radiological response. First amongst these innovations should be the promulgation of a new Homeland Security Presidential Directive establishing a Domestic Nuclear Preparedness Office. Such organizational improvements, coupled with an aggressive field-level technical assistance planning, training, and exercise outreach campaign, will enable the United States to build a sophisticated and coordinated nuclear and radiological terrorism preparedness and response system.
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