Atmospheric Models Guide Emergency Response Decisions


Atmospheric dispersion models are critical tools for informing emergency management decisions when an uncontrolled chemical release occurs with little or no warning.

Atmospheric models are graphic representations of pollutant dispersion after a release from a source or multiple sources (1). These models have been used for decades to monitor and regulate reportable quantities of air pollutants from private and government organizations. However, they also provide valuable information to impacted communities when an uncontrolled chemical release occurs, either from a fixed or mobile source, with little or no warning. This article summarizes the most commonly used atmospheric models in the U.S., as well as the information that can be derived from these models to inform critical emergency management decisions...

Author Bios: 

Joselito Ignacio

Joselito Ignacio, a U.S. Public Health Service Officer, is currently the chemical, biological, radiological/nuclear science advisor at the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He has served as the program manager for FEMA’s Interagency Modeling and Atmospheric Assessment Center (IMAAC) and the deputy program director for chemical defense at DHS’s Office of Health Affairs (OHA). Ignacio was detailed to the U.S. Coast Guard as an environmental health and industrial hygiene officer at the former Coast Guard Maintenance and Logistics Command...Read more

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