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Radiation Preparedness

Radiation and nuclear preparedness continues to be a challenge for local health departments (LHDs) because of the lack of evidence-based data and conflicting opinions on how best to prepare for such emergencies. The aim of NACCHO's radiological and nuclear preparedness initiatives is to improve the capacity and capability of LHDs by 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

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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 rsbinfo@cdc.gov. More »


The National Association of County and City Health Officials (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 »

Japan Earthquake and Radiation Incident

In response to the devastating earthquake and radiation incident in Japan, NACCHO has organized environmental and preparedness-related tools and resources for the public health professional seeking information in relation to the radiation incident. More »

Special Report: The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists

The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) conducted a Web-based survey and distributed it to state epidemiologists nationwide to reassess the national status related to radiation public health emergency preparedness capabilities at the state and local health department levels. The report features results of this assessment. More »

Special Report

NACCHO surveyed attendees of the March 2011 CDC-sponsored “Bridging the Gaps: Public Health and Radiation Emergency Preparedness” conference to determine what progress has been made in improving radiation emergency preparedness and where gaps still exist one year later. This report details the findings of that survey and discusses them in the context of larger national initiatives related to preparedness. More »

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