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Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2011 Mar;5 Suppl 1:S89-97. doi: 10.1001/dmp.2011.13.

Medical response to a nuclear detonation: creating a playbook for state and local planners and responders.

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  • 1Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, US Department of Health and Human Services, USA.


For efficient and effective medical responses to mass casualty events, detailed advanced planning is required. For federal responders, this is an ongoing responsibility. The US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) prepares playbooks with formal, written plans that are reviewed, updated, and exercised regularly. Recognizing that state and local responders with fewer resources may be helped in creating their own event-specific response plans, subject matter experts from the range of sectors comprising the Scarce Resources for a Nuclear Detonation Project, provided for this first time a state and local planner's playbook template for responding to a nuclear detonation. The playbook elements are adapted from DHHS playbooks with appropriate modification for state and local planners. Individualization by venue is expected, reflecting specific assets, populations, geography, preferences, and expertise. This playbook template is designed to be a practical tool with sufficient background information and options for step-by-step individualized planning and response.

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