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Where can you get some guidance in developing a plan for hazardous materials, chemical or biological terrorism events? Here are few resources:
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The CDC offers information on potential agents of biological terrorism and guidance documents on hospital preparedness. For a document that specifically addresses hospitals, go to: www.cdc.gov/ncidod/hip/Bio/bio.htm.
• U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Hospitals must conform with OSHA requirements designed to protect workers from hazardous materials. OSHA has a guidance document for hospital emergency response, which includes a list of resources and references, at www.osha-slc.gov/Publications/OSHA3152/osha3152.html.
• Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry: This agency provides recommendations for hospital medical management of patients exposed during a hazardous materials incident, as well as information on toxic substances. Web site: www.atsdr.cdc.gov/.
• American Society for Healthcare Engineering: The society is offering audio courses on hospital emergency preparedness. Telephone: (312) 422-3820. Web site: www.ashe.org.
• Disaster Planning International: This company provides training to hospitals and physicians and assists in the development of disaster plans. Telephone: (888) 307-3741. Web site: www.disaster-dpi.com/.
• SBM Consulting: Consultant Susan McLaughlin helps hospitals analyze the potential of hazardous events and develop plans. Telephone: (847) 420-3229. E-mail: email@example.com.
• Haz/Mat DQE: This company manufactures decontamination kits and provides preparedness analysis and training. Telephone: (800) 355-4628. Web site: www.hazmatdqe.com.