The Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Office ensures we are prepared to help our nation respond to and recover from CBRN events. These events may range from weapon of mass destruction incidents, to spills or fires involving HAZMATs, to accidents involving radiological/nuclear materials.
What We Do
The CBRN Office researches, develops, builds, manages and advises FEMA’s CBRN risk-based strategies, policies, plans, operations, tools, training, exercises, partnerships and outreach to mitigate the risks and consequences of CBRN events. The office provides a comprehensive, standardized suite of CBRN response capabilities for federal, state, local, tribal and territorial emergency responders and planners to rapidly and effectively minimize loss of life, protect the environment and maintain the economy.
Access All CBRN Tools, Standards and Capabilities
National Response Framework
The CBRN Annexes to the National Response Framework provide guidance and serve as a reference for federal agency planning efforts.
- Oil/Chemical Incident Annex
- Biological Incident Annex
- Nuclear/Radiological Incident Annex
- Incident Annex for Adversarial Threats
Federal Radiological Preparedness Coordinating Committee
The Federal Radiological Preparedness Coordinating Committee (FRPCC), established in 1982 under 44 CFR 351, coordinates all federal responsibilities for assisting state and local governments in emergency planning and preparedness for peacetime nuclear emergencies.
Domestic Emergency Support Team (DEST) and Consequence Management Coordination Unit (CMCU)
During a Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) incident or credible threat, the Domestic Emergency Support Team (DEST) provides expert advice, guidance and support to the FBI Assistant Director in Charge (ADIC) or Special Agent in Charge (SAC). The Consequence Management Coordination Unit (CMCU) is a national level incident support element responsible for strategic consequence management decision support to the FEMA Administrator, the FBI WMD Strategic Group (SG), and provides reach back support to the DEST.
Nuclear/Radiological Incident Task Force
The Nuclear/Radiological Incident Task Force (NRITF) is an interagency group that convenes within FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) to provide specialized subject matter expertise during R/N incidents. The NRITF provides technical insight and advice; conducts outreach to facilitate situational awareness and incident characterization; supports interagency planning; and informs senior leader decision-making. The Task Force is comprised of R/N subject matter experts (SMEs) with emergency management expertise, who represent several key federal departments/agencies (D/As) and other organizations responsible for providing capabilities and resources in support of R/N incident response/recovery.
Interagency Modeling and Atmospheric Assessment Center (IMAAC)
During actual or potential atmospheric hazardous material (HAZMAT) incidents, the Interagency Modeling and Atmospheric Assessment Center (IMAAC) provides federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial (FSLTT) first responders and decisionmakers with predictions of hazards associated with atmospheric releases. IMAAC coordinates and shares federal atmospheric dispersion modeling and hazard prediction products by its Core Member agencies to provide consistent federal plume modeling information to FSLTT requestors.
View the IMAAC webpage
Nuclear Incident Response Team (NIRT)
During disasters involving nuclear weapons, radiological incidents, or acts of nuclear terrorism, the Nuclear Incident Response Team (NIRT) is activated by the Department of Homeland Security FEMA office and operates under their direction, authority, and control. The NIRT consists of 13 Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security (NNSA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) specialized assets that perform support functions related to nuclear or radiological emergencies, radiation exposure, radiological assistance, and related activities.
CBRN Operations Support Specialists
Standardizing CBRN Responders across our nation through FEMA's National Qualification System.
Radiological Operations Support Specialist (ROSS)
During hazardous radiological preparedness or response operations, the Radiological Operations Support Specialist (ROSS) identifies and provides critical information to responders, key leaders, and decision-makers. The ROSS is a state and local subject matter expert (SME) with the ability to bridge the gap between response and radiological knowledge in order to minimize the impact of a potential or actual incident involving the release of radiological or nuclear materials. The ROSS can deploy as a single asset or strike team depending on the need by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chemical Operations Support Specialist (COSS)
During hazardous chemical preparedness or response operations, the Chemical Operations Support Specialist (COSS) will identify and provide critical information to responders, key leaders, and decision-makers. The COSS will be a state and local subject matter expert (SME) with the ability to bridge together response and chemical knowledge in order to minimize the impact of a potential or actual incident involving the release of hazardous chemicals.
Hazardous Material Lifeline
The Hazardous Materials Lifeline is part of the Community Lifelines Toolkit developed by FEMA to increase effectiveness in disaster operations and better respond to catastrophic incidents. Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) is one of the seven Community Lifelines. HAZMAT is present in most communities around the country. HAZMAT can represent a serious threat to public safety, the environment, and critical infrastructure operations if negatively impacted by an incident, including potential contamination, exposure, combustion, and/or explosive effects.