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Radiation Emergencies
Emergency Response:

Emergency Response Plans

Emergency Preparedness
and Response

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Plans specify both how emergency response organizations will work together and what will actually happen during an emergency response operation.

Advance planning for radiological emergencies can help minimize potential public health and environmental threats. The planning process helps emergency response organizations think through how they would respond to each type of incident and the resources that would be needed.

EPA works with other federal agencies (both military and civilian), state and local governments, and even other countries to develop radiological emergency response plans and procedures. Radiation Program personnel in EPA's regional offices also review emergency response plans for state, local, and tribal emergency response programs.

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What is in emergency response plans?

Emergency response plans typically include a description of the types of emergencies and conditions the plan is designed for, roles of participants and their anticipated resource requirements, and some process for keeping the plan current:

Elements of an Emergency Response Plan
applicability type of disasters or emergencies addressed by the plan
planning assumptions a list of anticipated conditions (e.g., availability of resources) changes in these conditions could affect plan implementation
concept of operations specifies responsibilities and authorities of organizations that may be involved in the response and the relationships among them
logistics management of resources, such as people, equipment, facilities, services, etc.
plan maintenance procedures for keeping the emergency response plan up-to-date through review and modification

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How does EPA use emergency response plans?

EPA's Radiological Emergency Response Team operates as part of the overall federal framework for emergency response. EPA can respond to a radiological emergency using any of these separate mechanisms, either singly or in combination:

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