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Preparedness for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive Events

Public Health Emergency Preparedness

This resource was part of AHRQ's Public Health Emergency Preparedness program, which was discontinued on June 30, 2011, in a realignment of Federal efforts.

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to for current information.

Questionnaire for Health Care Facilities

To assess the readiness of hospitals and other health care facilities for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) events, States, localities, and hospitals can use this functionally downloadable questionnaire. Some hospitals may address events such as these as a component of an "all hazards" plan.

Select to Download Information.

This project was funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and developed under Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) contract No. HHSA29020050005C.


With the attacks of September 11, 2001, Hurricane Katrina, and more recently the potential for a flu pandemic, Federal, State, and local governments and public and private health care systems increasingly have focused on the ability of the health care system to prepare for and respond to mass casualty incidents. A critical component of a public health emergency preparedness strategy is the availability of tools to assist government agencies and healthcare facilities alike in emergency preparedness planning. This questionnaire will help both agencies and individual health care facilities assess preparedness. Such an assessment offers government officials and health care system administrators a point of departure for this aspect of preparedness planning.

In assessing preparededness for CBRNE events, this questionnaire is designed for two types of use:

  • States, localities, and multi-hospital systems—Primarily, the survey is designed to be administered to hospitals and health care facilities in these jurisdictions to assess overall hospital emergency preparedness.
  • Individual hospitals or health care facilities—Individual facilities can use the questionnaire as a checklist of areas to consider as a facility develops or improves emergency preparedness and response plans. Hospitals can also use the questionnaire as a checklist for planning, performing, and evaluating drills or exercises.

The questionnaire has 43 questions in 8 categories:

  1. Administration and planning.
  2. Education and training.
  3. Communication and notification.
  4. Patient (surge) capacity.
  5. Staffing and support.
  6. Isolation and decontamination.
  7. Supplies, pharmaceuticals, and laboratory support.
  8. Surveillance.

Important: AHRQ is not administering this questionnaire and will not be collecting data compiled from it.

Please do not send completed questionnaires or compiled data to AHRQ.

Essential Materials and Deployment Package

The Administrator's Guide. The Administrator's Guide is intended for the individual at the State or local health department or multi-hospital health care system who will be responsible for administering the questionnaire and analyzing the resulting data.

The Administrator's Guide provides an overview of the questionnaire and details on its use. It includes a full copy of the questionnaire and contains information on the following items:

  • Logging in and changing passwords.
  • Viewing completed data.
  • Exporting data into an analytical tool.
  • Scoring the completed data.
  • Suggestions for supporting users.

The Respondent's Guide. The Respondent's Guide is intended for the individual at the hospital or health care facility who will complete the questionnaire. This Guide provides a full copy of the questionnaire, an overview of it, and details on its use. It covers:

  • Information on who in a facility may be best positioned to complete the questionnaire.
  • Questionnaire design features.
  • How to access completed data.
  • Information on ongoing respondent support.

The Questionnaire. A full copy of the CBRNE Questionnaire is included in the Administrator's Guide and the Respondent's Guide.

The Operations Manual. The Operations Manual identifies and describes hardware and software requirements to set up a .NET architecture Web site. The manual includes the files and steps that will allow a Federal- or State-level IT administrator to deploy the Web questionnaire site.

The Deployment Package. The Deployment Package contains all the files and folder structure to setup Survey Administrator's site, the Survey site, the SQL Server™ database; and the log where the site will log run time exception.


Before you install CBRNE, make sure you have the following software licenses installed on the Web server where the application will reside:

  • Windows® 2003 server.
  • Microsoft® Internet Information Server (IIS 6.0)
  • SQL server™ 2000.
  • SQL Enterprise Manager
  • .NET Framework (Version 1.1).

In addition, hosting CBRNE requires a SMTP server (for sending outgoing E-mail from CBRNE).

Persons who access CBRNE must have Web browsers that meet the following specifications:

  • Internet Explorer 5+ or Netscape® 4.7+.
  • JavaScript™ enabled.
  • Cookies enabled.

We recommend that the CBRNE Tool be installed by your Information Technology department or an expert on Web-based applications. For more information, refer to the installation instructions in the Operations Manual (PDF File, 580 KB; PDF Help).

Download Information

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Current as of April 2007

The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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