The assessment of the impact of chemical, biological, nuclear (CBN) and other mass casualty-producing weapons has been significantly expedited recently by US government research and development. At the University of Georgia (UGA), we have acquired the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) suite of modeling programs, including the Consequences Assessment Tool Set (CATS) and Hazard Prediction and Assessment Capability (HPAC). This work is supported by the The Institute for Disaster Management (formerly known as CMADD). These programs provide a powerful suite of routines to handle hurricanes, earthquakes, explosions, and industrial agent releases, as well as weapons of mass destruction incidents, and is considered to be the "cutting edge" in the modeling of mass casualties in disasters. Thus far, UGA is one of only two universities to acquire the packages, and the only one to have them in use yet. CMADD is now using modeling data from HPAC and CATS in conjunction with satellite imagery from Google Earth Pro to develop even more accurate representations of the impact of disasters.
CATS can create realistic scenarios for training and planning before a disaster strikes, thus enabling responders to know what to expect. Contingency plans can be created using comprehensive national and more detailed Georgia population and infrastructure data. Should disaster strike, the affected population and the impact on critical facilities can be quickly assessed for mobilization of surviving and nearby infrastructure outside the plume that would be needed to address healthcare and other emergency response needs of the community. The destruction caused by nuclear, biological, and chemical releases are modeled with computer programs such as CATS.
The image above models an explosion from a 250 Kiloton nuclear device on downtown Atlanta, with percent fatalities shown in each zone. The 90%, 50%, and 10% casualty zones are shown as well as the outer ring, which would contain "patches" of 10% casualties.
To the left is a model of a 250 Kiloton nuclear device detonated on downtown Atlanta during a period of strong southeasterly winds. Also shown are the major hospitals, airports, and heliports, most of which would be incapacitated.
The Institute for Disaster Management can use this type of scenario in planning the mobilization of the remaining health care facilities and transportation hubs to treat the mass casualties produced by such an event.
Modeling of terrorist nuclear weapon impacts: