Health Physics Society Roles in Homeland Security


A. Brodsky, M. Strangler


This paper reviews the formation of the Ad Hoc Committee on Homeland Security (AHCHS) of the Health Physics Society (HPS) and the roles that this committee and the Society have developed to assist national and local homeland security programs. The HPS roles are focused on volunteering assistance in preparations and training to respond to terrorist attacks involving public exposure to harmful or fearful levels of nuclear radiation. These are the roles for which Society members generally have the greatest available expertise. The Society can not be involved directly in the prevention of terrorist attacks, which requires access to classified intelligence. Society members, as volunteers, can only assist in minimizing loss of life and casualties from radiation exposure, or the fear of exposure, in the immediate hours after an attack; and in reducing the loss of property in the longer-term recovery phases. The most important contributions of the Society will evolve through Chapter activities, since immediate local response is necessary for the greatest saving of life and property following an unexpected attack in an unannounced location. Sources of information and assistance, available to the Society's chapters in implementing their own programs with State and local authorities or teams, have been developed by the subcommittees of the AHCHS.


This abstract was presented at the 36th Annual Midyear Meeting, "Radiation Safety Aspects of Homeland Security and Emergency Response", Invited Lectures by HPS Ad Hoc Committee on Homeland Defense Session, 1/26/2003 - 1/29/2003, held in San Antonio, TX.

Index of Midyear Meeting Abstracts