Biothreat Risks Must Be Assessed

Published in News on 10/22/2018

A national biodefense strategy was released by the White House, September 18, addressing “a layered risk management approach to countering biological threats and incidents.”

Tagged Under: Drills, Emergency Facillities, Emergency Response, Emergency Systems, Emergency Technology, Exercises, Facility Preparedness, Offsite Response, Planning, Public Health, Readiness Assurance, Training

Biothreat Risks Must Be Assessed

By Bernard Pleau

October 4, 2018​


If you are keeping up with the latest news, you probably read or heard about the ricin sent to the White House and Pentagon.
  This was an attempt to poison the President, Defense Secretary and the Chief of Naval Operations. 

 

Ricin is a deadly toxin that interferes with basic cellular functions and can be delivered via injection, inhalation, ingestion and contact. It is a natural product generated when castor beans are made into castor oil. This type of poison is fairly simple to produce, from what I’ve read.

 

So, what does this mean for you or me?   Awareness, preparedness, response and mitigation; standard processes we at the EMI SIG are familiar with.

What else does it mean?  You now have another set of risk variables requiring planning in your emergency response programs.

 

In a September 18, 2018 press release, Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen M. Nielsen, said “Biological threats—whether naturally occurring, accidental, or deliberate in origin—are among the most serious threats facing the United States today.”

 

President Trump in his own release on biological security stated, "My administration is changing the government's approach so that it can adapt to the complex nature of biological threats.”

 

A national biodefense strategy was released by the White House, September 18, addressing “a layered risk management approach to countering biological threats and incidents.”

 

Is your site, lab, plant or facility ready to deal with an envelope of ricin or any type of harmful or deadly biological threat?

 

The biothreat may not affect your site, but if it hits your community and takes out a number of your employees or prevents employees from being able to get to work, how would that affect operations.

 

Many questions surround the issue of biothreats that need to be addressed as part of your site’s emergency risks and response program.

 

To find out more about current government programs and to download a copy of the National Biodefense Strategy, just click on the links following this article.


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