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Ann Emerg Med. 2009 Feb;53(2):226-232. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2008.09.014. Epub 2008 Nov 4.

Electronic Mass Casualty Assessment and Planning Scenarios (EMCAPS): development and application of computer modeling to selected National Planning Scenarios for high-consequence events.

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  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Few tools exist that are sufficiently robust to allow manipulation of key input variables to produce casualty estimates resulting from high-consequence events reflecting local or specific regions of concern. This article describes the design and utility of a computerized modeling simulation tool, Electronic Mass Casualty Assessment and Planning Scenarios (EMCAPS), developed to have broad application across emergency management and public health fields as part of a catastrophic events preparedness planning process. As a scalable, flexible tool, EMCAPS is intended to support emergency preparedness planning efforts at multiple levels ranging from local health systems to regional and state public health departments to Metropolitan Medical Response System jurisdictions. Designed around the subset of the National Planning Scenarios with health effects, advanced by the US Department of Homeland Security, the tool's platform is supported by the detailed descriptions and readily retrievable evidence-based assumptions of each scenario. The EMCAPS program allows the user to manipulate key scenario-based input variables that would best reflect the region or locale of interest. Inputs include population density, vulnerabilities, event size, and potency, as applicable. Using these inputs, EMCAPS generates the anticipated population-based health surge influence of the hazard scenario. Casualty estimates are stratified by injury severity/types where appropriate. Outputs are graph and table tabulations of surge estimates. The data can then be used to assess and tailor response capabilities for specific jurisdictions, organizations, and health care systems. EMCAPS may be downloaded without cost from as shareware.

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