Responses to Biological Threats

Source: American Society of Testing & Materials

Recognizing the possibility for biological threats that affect public health, safety, and confidence, the Emergency Management and Response—Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EMR-ISAC) reviewed the “Standard Guide for Operational Guidelines for Initial Response to a Suspected Biothreat Agent.” The goal of this guide is to support national standards for responding to and collecting suspected biothreat agents with guidance centered on coordination among representatives of emergency response teams, including hazardous materials teams, law enforcement, public health, etc.
This document provides uniform guidance that covers all of the following components: response planning, responder training, competency evaluation, proficiency testing, concept of operations, hazard assessment, threat evaluation, sample collection, field screening, risk communication, and documentation for responding to visible powders suspected of being biothreat agents.

The guide is compliant with the National Incident Management System and applies to emergency response agencies having a role in the initial response to a biothreat incident, such as police, fire, hazmat, public health, and emergency management. It was developed to assist jurisdictions in establishing best practices when planning for and responding to biothreat incidents.