What The Heck is CBRNE?

What the heck is CBRNE and what does it stand for? CBRNE is an acronym used to describe types of terrorist weapons, which stands for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives. CBRNE is often described as Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Throughout our history, CBRNE weapons have been utilized by terrorists to inflict mass casualties as well as cause major disruptions to society. For example, shortly after 9-11, letters tainted with the biological agent, Anthrax (bacillus anthracis) were mailed and subsequently investigated as the Amerithrax case.

Amerithrax Investigation (Source: FBI)

Amerithrax Investigation (Source: FBI)

Of the CBRNE weapons, biological agents pose a serious threat due to their relatively easy access, their potential for rapid spread and delayed onset of symptoms. In order to appropriately prepare for and prevent these types of incidents, emergency personnel and trained citizens should be able to recognize these and other types of CBRNE agents and know how to respond safely.

In future articles, I will define and discuss each element in CBRNE as well as discuss preparedness and response for emergency personnel and citizens.

-JD  

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JD Crighton

JD Crighton, author, emergency manager

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