Tech Briefs


TitleDescriptionRelease Date
RequestConsequences of Smoke Plumes from Crude Oil FiresThis brief details downwind exclusion zones and symptoms of the toxics found in burning crude oil smoke plumes in response to the numerous railcar disasters that have recently taken place in the US and Canada.1/30/2014
RequestAcetyl Fentanyl – A Dangerous DrugThis brief was prepared in response to the numerous drug overdose events that have plagued the Eastern United States.3/13/2014
RequestUnthinkable - Radiological Dispersion Device using Cobalt 60This brief was prepared in response to the theft of a truck transporting Cobalt 60 from a medical facility in Mexico in late 2013.6/26/2014
RequestAmmonium Nitrate Estimated Blast Effects and Best Handling Practices’This brief on the blast effects of ammonium nitrate was prepared at the request of the Texas State Fire Marshal’s office to aid with their research on the tragedy that took place when a fertilizer plant containing ammonium nitrate exploded in West, Texas back in April of 2013 using our flagship software, PEAC-WMD.9/25/2014
RequestEbola Virus: Use of Personal Protection EquipmentThe latest Ebola outbreak in Africa and subsequent cases here in the U.S. has cast a bright light on protection against the Ebola virus, especially when it comes to choosing PPE. Our latest brief delves into the background of the disease along with how PPE is tested against pathogens like Ebola.11/21/2014
RequestHazards Associated with Crude Oil SpillsAccording to the American Association of Railroads, there were 362,000 carloads of crude oil shipped in the first three quarters of 2014. This amount is twice that of the same time period only two short years ago in 2012. Several high-profile accidents in 2013 highlighted the inherent dangers this substance can present to communities.1/21/2015
RequestHazards Associated with AcrylonitrileOn July 2, 2015, 5,000+ people were awakened and evacuated during the middle of the night due to a train derailment and fire near Maryville, Tennessee (Blount County). A railcar carrying acrylonitrile caught fire during the derailment releasing toxic black smoke including hydrogen cyanide. A mandatory evacuation was ordered for everyone within a 1.5 mile radius of the fire. The fire was extinguished almost 24 hours later. This brief is intended to help planners and responders understand the multiple hazards, not just smoke, associated with acrylonitrile to assure they are better prepared to protect their communities.8/8/2015
RequestPropane, LPG and Natural Gas Tech BriefThis past May, two firefighters in Detroit were injured fighting a fire when a propane tank exploded. In another event in late June, a natural gas plant explosion in Mississippi gave off vibrations that could be felt over 10 miles away. Thankfully there were no injuries in that event. This brief is intended to help planners and responders understand these substances and stand-off distances for BLEVEs to assure they are better prepared to protect their communities.8/4/2016
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