Radiological Emergencies

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This document is submitted by the Board of Animal Health (MBAH) and supports the Mississippi Radiological Emergency Preparedness Plan (MREPP).


The purpose of the document is to assist in coordinating planning, sheltering, treatment, decontamination, disposition, recovery and/or other actions when pets or livestock are involved in a radiological incident.


Planning Assumptions and Considerations

  • Preservation of human life is the primary consideration.
  • People may risk their lives to save their pets.
  • Domestic animals, livestock, and poultry are important psychological and economical resources for Mississippi.
  • Animals can and may be affected by any number of radiological incidents.
  • Domestic animals may be sheltered in place or may be evacuated with their owners.
  • Livestock should be sheltered in place.
  • State and Federal agencies can assist in the preparation, response, and recovery from a radiological incident.

Roles and Responsibilities of the MBAH

  • Coordinates the disposition of contaminated farm animals and household pets.
  • Assists the MDAC with the acquisition of and distribution of uncontaminated feed for dairy cattle, other farm animals and household pets.
  • Coordinates, with the MDEQ and other state agencies, the disposition of contaminated food, milk and animal feed.
  • Assists in accident assessment.
  • Maintains annual Iodine Sensitivity Questionnaire for MBAH staff functioning as emergency workers.
  • Develops directive information about animal issues related to the accident and coordinates with MEMA public information officers regarding release of such information.
  • Assists other state agencies in addressing animal decontamination and sheltering issues.

Concept of Operations


At the State Level the MBAH will coordinate with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Mississippi Homeland Security and other local, state and federal agencies to plan for radiological incidents. Locally, the MBAH will provide recommendations for sheltering, decontamination, disposition, depopulation, and disposal of animals as necessitated by the event. MBAH personnel will be available for local assistance as needed and available.

Organizational Structure

The MBAH has personnel in place that have been trained to operate within the NIMS at the State and Local levels.

V. Incident Management Actions

Emergency Planning Zones


Actions by MBAH

Plume Exposure Pathway

  • MBAH representative sent to SEOC

  • MBAH Incident Management Team on alert

Ingestion Exposure Pathway

  • MBAH command and general staff mobilized to agency’s SEOC; IMT member at SEOC; local IMT/MART personnel mobilized


Emergency Classification Levels


Actions by MBAH

Notification of Unusual Event

  • MBAH-IMT notified

  • Area farms identified


  • MBAH-IMT and employees on alert
  • MBAH-IMT member to SEOC
  • County extension agents in Claiborne, Jefferson, and Warren counties contacted

Site Area Emergency

  • Area farms notified for activation of prevention measures (i.e., gathering of cattle, food coverage, animal sheltering)
  • Public information message delivered to and coordinated with MEMA public information officer for release as needed
  • MBAH-IMT representative(s) at SEOC
  • MBAH-IMT representative sent to ICP
  • MBAH EOC activated
General Emergency
  • Actions as above
  • State Veterinarian will issue an immediate embargo of all livestock and poultry from the affected area
  • Activities as outlined in MBAH SOG

Recovery, Reentry, Return, and Relocation

  • MBAH-IMT will remain mobilized until all farms have been assessed/dispositioned

  • MBAH will work with the USDA/APHIS/VS, EPA, MDEQ, MSDH, MDAC and other agencies on disposition pets and livestock following clearance by appropriate agencies

  • The MBAH-IMT will gradually demobilize as the farms are dispositioned and families return to their homes

  • MBAH will continue to work at a state and local level for recovery of the affected area as long as required






MS Board of Animal Health


MS Radiological Emergency Preparedness Plan


MS Department of Agriculture and Commerce


MS Department of Environmental Quality


MS Emergency Management Agency


State Emergency Operations Center


Incident Management Team


MS Animal Response Team


Incident Command Post


Standard Operating Guide


United States Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service/Veterinary Services


Environmental Protection Agency


MS State Department of Health



Other Resources