The American College of Radiology (ACR) Disaster Planning Task Force—in collaboration with the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM)—offers this information as part of an educational program to enable the radiology community to respond effectively in a crisis. As we learned on September 11, 2001, a large-scale disaster can strike without warning. The attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and several incidents of anthrax in the mail placed our colleagues on the front lines in New York, Washington DC, and other venues, triaging the injured and diagnosing those infected.

A radiation disaster is a possibility for which we must be prepared. Radiologists, radiation oncologists and medical physicists will play a vital role as responders and as sources of accurate information for patients, the public and the medical community.

The links on this page provide quick access to current information on preparing for a radiation emergency, handling contaminated persons, dose assessment, radiation health effects, and accessing emergency assistance. Links are also provided on medical responses to bioterrorism.

The College will continue to expand its educational resources for disaster preparedness and will provide updates as new materials are added. Please check this page regularly for information.

You may download and print one copy of our primer on disaster preparedness for radiology professionals for personal use, free of charge. Anyone wishing to print multiple copies must obtain copyright permission by contacting Brad Short at 1 (800) 227-5463, ext. 4975, or

To request a license for use of the primer PDF file on a commercially distributed CD ROM, please contact Gloria Romanelli at 1 (800) 227-5463, ext. 4550, or

The links on this page will take you off the American College of Radiology's website. The ACR does not assume responsibility for the content of other sites.

Physician Preparedness

Hospital Preparedness

  • American Hospital Association overview of the needs of the nation's hospitals related to future mass casualty events.
  • Guidance for pre-hospital and hospital medical management of radiation casualties is available from the Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REAC/TS).
  • The Health Physics Society has prepared a presentation titled "Emergency Department Management of Radiation Casualties." This set of slides is designed for training the staff of the hospital emergency department in the medical management of persons injured in radiation accidents or by terrorist events involving radioactive material. The presentation includes talking points which can be viewed if you right click and "Save As" a Power Point file to your computer.

Bioterrorism Response

  • The American Medical Association website provides extensive information on disaster preparedness and medical response to bioterrorism.

Federal Resources

State Resources

Are You Prepared?

As the ACR Disaster Planning Task Force considers projects to help prepare radiologists, radiation oncologists and medical physicists for the role they will play in radiological disaster preparedness, we want your help. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey. Your responses to the following questions will be kept confidential and will only be used by the ACR to shape our future strategy in this area. Your candid responses will help us improve the types of services the ACR offers to its members, and ultimately to both the profession and the community.