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Disasters can take many shapes and forms. They can occur naturally or man-made, and can be accidental or acts of terrorism. In general, disasters are classified into the following categories:

  • Natural/Environmental
  • Chemical
  • Biological, including Pandemic Influenza
  • Radiological/Nuclear
  • Explosive Incidents

The type of response and the level of response needed often depend on the type and severity of the disaster.


Delaware Resources

Delaware Medical Reserve Corps

Delaware Emergency Services

Delaware Office of Preparedness

Disaster Health Services Protocols for Division of Public Health 

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses and Registered Nurses and APRNs and RNs working under the direction of DPH in Disaster Relief Shelters

DEMA  Disaster Preparedness

Terrorism Preparedness - References

National Resources

ANA Position Statement: Registered Nurses' Rights and Responsibilities Related to Work Release During a Disaster

ANA Position Statement: Work Release During a Disaster - Guidelines for Employers

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) - Guidance for Mass Decontamination

Patient Decontamination in a Mass Chemical Exposure Incident: National Planning Guidance for Communities

ANA Issue Brief: Who Will Be There? Ethics, the Law, and a Nurse's Duty to Respond in a Disaster

Unresolved issues of legal, ethical, and professional considerations of disaster medical response remain a challenge and could hamper the ability of nurses to respond. A concerted effort to solving these problems is needed, with nurses and stakeholders at the national, state, and local levels.

IOM Report: Establishing Altered Standards of Care in Disasters


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