Disaster Ready

Get Ready for Public Health Disasters

Public Health disasters can strike at any time. Chemical threats. Biological threats. Ebola. This section helps you learn how to plan, prepare and stay informed when you need it most.

Radiation Threat

A radiation threat commonly referred to as a “dirty bomb,” is the use of common explosives to spread radioactive materials over a targeted area.


Plague is a disease caused by Yersinia pestis (Y. pestis), a bacterium found in rodents and their fleas. People normally become infected through the bite of infected fleas, and although rare, other cases can occur by direct contact with infectious body fluids (such as blood) or inhaling infectious respiratory droplets.


Smallpox is a serious, contagious, and sometimes fatal infectious disease.


Ricin is a bi-product of the processing of Castor beans for oil. Castor beans grow wildly in arid parts of the United States. Naturally-occurring cases of ricin poisoning involve ingestion of castor beans and are marked by severe gastrointestinal symptoms, circulatory failure, and death.

Nuclear Threat

A Nuclear Blast is an explosion with intense light and heat, a damaging pressure wave, and widespread radioactive material that can contaminate the air, water, and ground surfaces for miles around. During a nuclear incident, it is important to avoid radioactive material.

Chemical Threat

A chemical attack is the deliberate release of a toxic gas, liquid, or solid that can poison people and the environment.

Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers

Viral Hemorrhagic fever (VHFs) refers to a group of illnesses that are caused by several different viruses that damage the body’s system that carries blood. When one of these viruses enters the body, the body cannot regulate itself properly and multiple organ systems are affected. Ebola and Marburg are two examples of VHF viruses.


Botulism is a very serious muscle-paralyzing disease caused by a toxin made by a spore-forming bacterium called Clostridium botulinum.

Biological Threat

A biological attack is the deliberate release of germs or other biological substances.

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