COVID-19 and CBRNE: Effects of the pandemic in the field of CBRNE




coronavirus disease 2019, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive substances, disaster preparedness


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected our lives in all aspects, including key fields such as social interaction and economic supply chains. The field of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive substances (CBRNE) was already directly affected by the pandemic in that the COVID-19 virus is, in a sense, a biological agent. This paper elaborates on how the field of CBRNE has changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It does so by drawing on the results of an interview study with CBRNE practitioners (Fire Brigades, Law Enforcement Agencies, etc.) conducted as part of the European Union project PReparedness against CBRNE threats through cOmmon Approaches between security praCTItioners and the VulnerablE civil society, as well as findings from research literature on links between CBRNE and COVID-19. This paper highlights four areas where the influence of the pandemic on the CBRNE field has been evident. The four areas are as follows: preparedness for CBRNE incidents and likelihood of future CBRNE incidents (with a focus on terrorist attacks), CBRNE training and education, increased awareness of CBRNE-related behaviors and measures among the general public, and greater awareness of the needs of vulnerable groups (older people, etc.).

Author Biographies

Andreas Arnold, MA

German Police University, Muenster, Germany

Danielle Carbon, MSc

Hessian Ministry of Interior, Wiesbaden, Germany

Chiara Wueller, MSc

University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands

Thomas Goergen, PhD

Professor and Head, Criminology and Interdisciplinary Crime Prevention, German Police University, Muenster, Germany


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How to Cite

Arnold, A., D. Carbon, C. Wueller, and T. Goergen. “COVID-19 and CBRNE: Effects of the Pandemic in the Field of CBRNE”. Journal of Emergency Management, vol. 22, no. 3, May 2024, pp. 301-10, doi:10.5055/jem.0829.