Bioterrorist Attack on Food: A Tabletop

Bioterrorism, Chemical & Radiation Emergencies
Exercises and Drills
University of Washington
Northwest PERLC

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This tabletop exercise presents a bioterrorism scenario in the form of an infectious disease outbreak. The incident affects four fictional counties, varying in population size and resources and their respective health departments and local emergency responders. In responding to 22 separate incidents as the outbreak unfolds, participants will discuss policy issues, such as Who is responsible? What information is needed? When is public information given out? The exercise focuses on identifying the policy issues that need to be considered in responding to a bioterrorist event and will help participants identify the communication, resources, data, coordination, and organizational elements associated with any emergency response. Although the primary goal of this exercise is to address agency-wide policies and issues, it also offers participants an opportunity to assess their own preparedness for responding to the scenario and identify individual needs for information or training.

Learning Objectives: 
  • Identify and understand policy issues that would arise during a communicable disease outbreak that is potentially the result of a bioterrorist attack
  • Understand measures that can be performed at the local level to prepare for a large-scale communicable disease or bioterrorism event
  • Promote interagency collaboration/coordination regarding emergency preparation and responsiveness
  • Recognize the roles of a variety of public officials in a large-scale communicable disease or bioterrorism incident
  • Recognize need for intense teamwork and communication to prepare for a large scale communicable disease or bioterrorism incident
  • Identify gaps in local preparedness and ability to coordinate, as well as additional training needs
  • Identify additional related training/learning needs
PHEP Capabilities: 
Community Preparedness
Emergency Public Information and Warning
Public Health Surveillance and Epidemiological Investigation
Emergency Operations Coordination
Information Sharing