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Radiation Preparedness

NACCHO's radiological and nuclear preparedness initiatives aim to improve the capacity and capability of local health departments to prepare for, respond to, and recover from radiation or nuclear disasters by sharing resources and tools, disseminating promising practices, and providing education and training.

In the Spotlight
Rad Legal Screenshot

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC’s) Public Health Law Program published Public Health Preparedness: Examination of Legal Language Authorizing Responses to Radiological Incidents, an assessment of state and local laws that authorize restriction of movement and decontamination of people during a radiological event. The assessment is the result of a partnership between CDC’s Public Health Law Program, CDC’s National Center Environmental Health, Radiation Studies Branch, and NACCHO. More »

Funding Opportunity

The following information is from the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors’ (CRCPD) Website:

The Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors is pleased to invite proposals from state radiation control programs, health department preparedness programs, or local non-government organizations partnering with radiation control and public health programs, to incorporate volunteer radiation professionals into existing health volunteer response programs. The purpose of the project is to recruit, train, and manage a cadre of volunteer radiation professionals and to promote a volunteer registry of those individuals for use in radiation emergencies within the states, primarily for population monitoring and shelter needs. In this time of limited state and local resources to respond to emergencies, the use of trained volunteer professionals can prove to be a tremendous asset.

The CRCPD has entered into a five-year cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in order to carry out this project. Funding assistance will be provided to qualified and approved applicants through sub-grants for radiation response volunteer corps initiatives and may be used for infrastructure needs, outreach to and solicitation and credentialing of radiation professionals in the state, development of communication systems, and provision of training.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guidance Report

CDC has released a guidance document for state and local public health planners for population monitoring during a radiation emergency. This guidance document focuses on the significant effort required to identify, screen, measure, and monitor populations (people and their pets) for exposure to radiation or contamination from radioactive materials. The guide also presents the concept of establishing community reception centers (CRCs) to provide contamination screening and decontamination services to people displaced by a large-scale radiation incident. CRCs will be established to assess people for exposure, contamination—and the need for decontamination—and to register people for follow-up monitoring, medical assessment, or medical management if necessary. CDC has developed a number of training and planning tools and resources specifically related to population monitoring and CRC operations.

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Featured Radiation Training

The CDC Radiation Studies Branch announces the launch of Radiation Basics Made Simple, the first in a series of radiation preparedness training modules. Radiation Basics introduces participants to the fundamentals of radiation and radioactivity. Radiation Basics Made Simple features an enhanced lecture-style video and interactive knowledge checks to deliver and reinforce key concepts. The training is divided into eight segments: sources of radiation, radioactive decay, measuring radiation, biological effects of radiation, radiation promotion, radiation protection, decontamination, environmental impact of radioactivity, and responding to radiation emergencies. Continuing education is available for this activity. Other radiation emergency training modules currently in development include: Medical Countermeasures, Risk Communication and Public Information, and Responder Safety and Health. If you have comments or questions, contact the CDC Radiation Studies Branch at (770) 488-3800 or More »

Resources and Tools

There are numerous resources and tools to assist in local health department radiation planning and response. These resources and tools can be accessed from the following websites: CDC's Radiation Emergencies Resource Library, FEMA's Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program, EPA's Radiation Protection Program, United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and National Library of Medicine's Radiation Emergency Medical Management.   More »

Preparedness Summit

Select session recordings are available from the 2014 Preparedness Summit for six months at no additional cost to attendees. Access radiation-themed sessions by clicking on the MORE link! More »


NACCHO is pleased to continue its collaboration with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), The CDC Radiation Studies Branch, and others to support the efforts of the National Alliance for Radiation Readiness (NARR).

NARR is a coalition of organizations committed to building radiation and nuclear emergency preparedness and response capacity and capabilities. To read more about the creation and direction of NARR, see the radiation alliance steering committee final report.

NACCHO, through its involvement with NARR, will develop a radiation and nuclear preparedness planning template for local health departments, which will be available on this website. NACCHO will also share resources and tools and identify and disseminate promising practices to LHDs. More »