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Responding to a Terrorist Initiated Toxic Chemical Release: Protecting High Value Facilities and Very Vulnerable Populations

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The release of a toxic chemical agent in a densely populated urban area, whether the direct result of a deliberate terrorist event or as an accident, poses a wide variety of serious challenges for crisis management authorities. The immediate concern is collecting information in a timely fashion so that first responders can take appropriate action to protect people and certain high value facilities such as emergency control centers, fire and police stations, military or national guard bases, and utility control centers from the toxic chemical agent. Timely and accurate information is critical to crisis managers who must decide whether to evacuate highly vulnerable populations, from locations such as hospitals schools, retirement centers, and detention facilities. Specifically, first responders must know the direction, duration, and probable effects of toxic plumes in order to protect these populations. This paper will discuss a solution offered by the Risk Management Planning RMP Chemical Plume Detection System. Originally developed by Dupont, the RMP system is the result of a combined effort scientists, academicians at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Mississippi, and is supported by remote satellite imagery provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA. The RMP system is the worlds only chemical plume detection and mapping system that uses real-time, on-site meteorological data and combines it with mathematical algorithms which describes and anticipates the ways that chemical gases move through the atmosphere. In addition, the RMP system is enhanced by the Cityscape modeling feature that uses NASA satellite imagery to literally paint a picture of how gases move within an urban environment. The RMP system currently is being upgraded to add biological and radiological sensors to the meteorological towers.

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  • Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare
  • Miscellaneous Detection and Detectors

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