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A conceptual model for determining the level of impact from a radiological dispersal event

David A. Smith, PhD, Daniel T. Holt, PhD, Audeen Fentiman, PhD


Emergency managers’ responses to and during myriad crises are critical. Recovery actions, which affect both humans and the environment, are often guided by a risk assessment. Current risk assessment methods, unfortunately, address human health and ecological issues independently.We introduce a framework to guide the development of an assessment that spans precrisis and postcrisis periods. This framework is introduced by examining a nefarious event that could have a negative effect on human health and the environment—a radiological dispersal event initiated by terrorists. Through this example, a general method that allows the quick assessment of risk, comparison of options, and prioritization of recovery actions is explained.


integrated risk assessment; level of impact; radiological dispersal event; terrorism

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