Cal PREPARE: Emergency Preparedness & Response Research
Project 3: Closing the Chemical, Radiological, and Nuclear Gaps in Public Health All-Hazards Preparedness
The James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) will undertake a 4-year research project to assess the abilities of state and local public health departments in California to respond to chemical, radiological, and nuclear (CRN) incidents, whether caused by terrorism or accident. This is necessary because readiness of state and local health departments throughout the United States for incidents involving chemical and radiological materials is low.
CNS, in partnership with the Monterey County Health Department (MCHD) and the California Department of Public Health’s Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control, will focus its initial analyses on the MCHD’s level of preparedness for and response to deliberately caused CRN events and accidents involving CRN facilities. As the research project progresses, it will encompass vulnerable populations and their community-based organizations, a representative number of public health jurisdictions in California in addition to the MCHD.
The research project has two goals. First, it will assess the ability of local public health departments to meet the challenges posed by CRN events and will identify factors that contribute to weaknesses. Gaps in CRN preparedness and response with regards to California’s various vulnerable populations will be highlighted. Second, it will generate findings that can be applied by local and state public health departments to improve their abilities to respond to CRN events of whatever etiology. In so doing so, we shall better serve California’s population, paying particular attention to the special needs of vulnerable populations.
• Raymond A. Zilinskas, PhD, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, MIIS
• Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress, PhD, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, MIIS
• Patricia Lewis, PhD, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, MIIS
• Dawn Verdugo, PhD, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, MIIS
• Fred Wehling, PhD, Graduate School of International Policy and Management, MIIS
• Krista Hanni, PhD, Surveillance, Epidemiology, & Evaluation, Monterey County Health Department
• Linell McCray, Preparedness Coordinator, Monterey County Health Department
• Richard Kreutzer, MD, MPH, Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control, CDPH
Aim 1: Analyze past incidents involving CRN agents to ascertain weaknesses in public health preparedness related to this particular set of incidents.
Aim 2: Identify and assess weaknesses in the all-hazards preparedness and response capabilities of the MCHD paying special attention to CRN events.
Aim 3: Assess the level and types of cooperation between MCHD and the public, especially its vulnerable populations and their representative organizations, concerning all-hazards, but with an emphasis on preparedness and response related to CRN events.
Aim 4: Conduct a comparative analysis of the all-hazards preparedness levels of the county and city health
departments in California using findings from Aims 1 and 2.
Modified November 23, 2009 JD