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NCJ Number: 200541 Find in a Library
Title: Measuring and Evaluating Local Preparedness for a Chemical or Biological Terrorist Attack
Author(s): Ronald D. Fricker Jr.; Jerry O. Jacobson; Lois M. Davis
Corporate Author: RAND
United States of America
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: RAND
Arlington, VA 22202-5050
Sale Source: RAND
1200 South Hayes Street
Arlington, VA 22202-5050
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper describes a possible set of preparedness measures for chemical or biological terrorist attacks and discusses the limitations in measuring and evaluating preparedness.
Abstract: The magnitude of the recent terrorist attacks against the United States, from the Oklahoma City bombing to the September 11, 2001, attacks, have called into question the readiness of the Nation’s State and local emergency response and health and medical personnel to respond effectively to the next potential incident. The purpose of this paper is to suggest some nationally representative measures of local responder preparedness for chemical and biological terrorism as a baseline for the current debate and to illustrate the limitations of the measures and describe why quantifying preparedness for terrorism, by any measure, is elusive. The paper focused on two types of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) incidents: chemical and biological, as well as two measures of preparedness: (1) whether the response organization has a plan to address the particular incident and (2) among those with plans, whether the plan has ever been exercised. Using RAND survey data conducted in 2001 on domestic terrorism involving WMD and designed to elicit the views of organizations that would be involved in the detection of and response to a domestic WMD terrorism incident, the number of response agencies with plans that they had exercised within the past 2 years is small relative to the number of organizations surveyed. In addition, it was found that large organizations and urban areas are more likely to be prepared than rural areas. Policymakers are challenged to formalize and systematize threat assessments and preparedness measures in order to provide a rational basis for future WMD preparedness policy decisions. 19 Endnotes
Main Term(s): Terrorism/Mass Violence
Index Term(s): Biological weapons; Counter-terrorism intelligence; Crisis management; Domestic terrorism; National security; Terrorist weapons; Weapons
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