Environmental emergencies are incidents or events that threaten public safety, health, and welfare and include hurricanes, floods, wildfires, industrial plant explosions, chemical spills, acts of terrorism, and others. While these events range in size, location, cause, and effect, most have an environmental component. Emergency response is the organizing, coordinating, and directing of available resources in order to respond to the event and bring the emergency under control. The goal of this coordinated response is to protect public health by minimizing the impact of the event on the community and the environment.
An emergency response plan must provide the resources and information needed to evaluate the human and environmental health impacts of the event, assess and reduce human exposures to contaminants, and develop science-based strategies for remediation and rebuilding. One example is the immediate response of NIEHS and other government agencies to the devastation and hardship caused by Hurricane Katrina. This included the establishment of a field hospital in Mississippi to meet the immediate health needs of the hurricane victims, as well as the development of a Geographic Information System to plot the locations of chemical plants, refineries, Superfund clean-up sites, and other potential hot spots of contamination where flooding occurred.
Health Studies & Clinical Trials
- Notice of Intent to Publish a Request for Applications for Gulf Oil Research Consortia: Impacts on Health of Residents
What NIEHS is Doing on Emergency Response
- 12th Report on Carcinogens (RoC)
- Biomarkers of Exposure to Hazardous Substances (http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/sbrp/programs/Program_detail.cfm?Project_ID=P42ES4699)
- Gulf Oil Spill Response Efforts
- Hazardous Waste Worker Training Issues (http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/index.cfm?current=1)
- Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program
- HHS workshop aims to speed up public health emergency response (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/newsletter/2012/11/spotlight-hhs/index.htm)
- Mobile technologies poised to aid training and emergency response (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/newsletter/2012/11/spotlight-mobile/index.htm)
- NIEHS WETP Emergency Preparedness Resource Page (http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/index.cfm?current=536)
- NIEHS World Trade Center Safety and Health Information (http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/index.cfm?current=141)
- NIH Launches Largest Oil Spill Health Study
- NIH-funded Research Network to Explore Oil Spill Health Effects
- Safety and Training of Oil Spill Response Workers (http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/index.cfm?id=2495)
- WETP Support of the National Response Plan (WETP) (http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/index.cfm?current=307)
- Desastres Naturales y la Salud Ambiental: Un Bibliografía Seleccionada (205KB) - Select references relating to the impact of natural disasters on the environment in Spanish.
- Emergency Responders Basic Health & Safety Course (4MB)
- EnviroMapper for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita - Offers maps and aerial photos to locate EPA and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality water sampling sites.
- Incident Command: Hazardous Material Response (945KB)
- Natural Disasters and Environmental Health: A Selected Bibliography (151KB) - Select references relating to the impact of natural disasters on the environment
- NLM Disaster Information Management Research Center - The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has established the Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) to provide access to quality disaster health information to the nation at all stages of preparation, response, mitigation and recovery. This website contains useful resources such as the directory of disaster and emergency-related government agencies and organizations and NLM Disaster Health Links with resources for disasters such as crude oils spills, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes. Website also includes tools for emergency responders.
- 24-Hour Program Industrial Emergency Response, Operation-Level (11MB)
- EHP Student Edition Lesson: Caring for Children Amidst Chaos (196KB)
- EHP Student Edition Lesson: Tsunami Simulation Experiment (436KB)
- EHP Student Edition Lesson: In Katrina's Wake (563KB)
- EHP Student Edition Lesson: What's the Plan? (141KB)