New Guidance Available on Shelter Operations During Radiation Emergencies

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released A Guide to Operating Public Shelters in a Radiation Emergency. The guide, the result of a multiagency collaboration that included NACCHO, has been developed to assist with planning and response efforts related to shelter operations in a radiation emergency. The scope of the guide encompasses information and guidance about screening for radioactive contamination, decontamination, radiation monitoring, registration, health surveillance, and communications.

The guide grew out of a 2010 workshop in Atlanta that engaged mass care providers, radiation control officials, and public health personnel in a facilitated discussion to explore the unique challenges radiation emergencies pose for shelter operations. The workshop led to a narrowed workgroup which reviewed existing regulations and standards concerning radiation exposure and radioactive contamination to determine which ones were applicable to mass care operations.

The guide is designed for shelter operators, planners, and staff, emergency managers, public health professionals, and radiation protection professionals.

About Katie Regan

Katie Regan serves as the Communications Specialist for Environmental Health, Pandemic Preparedness, and Catastrophic Response at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices through NACCHO's various storytelling and communications channels. Twitter: @katiejregan

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