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JTF-CS Professional Reading and Viewing List

“This list is provided so stakeholders in the CBRN Response Enterprise may know about just some of the resources available that pertain to our particular Defense Support of Civil Authorities response mission. Reading and viewing information related to the JTF-CS mission can deepen our understanding of the challenges we might face and better prepare us for the future through a personal course of study and contemplation.” -- Army Maj. Gen. William Hall, commander, JTF-CS.

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Serhii Plokhy’s Chernobyl - On the morning of April 26, 1986, Europe witnessed the worst nuclear disaster in history: the explosion of a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Soviet Ukraine.

JTF-CS Commander’s Note: “I believe there are two lessons from Mr. Plokhy’s book that are important for the CBRN Response Enterprise. First, in the early days after the accident there was tremendous confusion on what actually happened at Chernobyl. Our lesson here is that if we were called upon for a disaster response, the situation and response would have tremendous fog, friction, and a lack of situational understanding initially.  Second, the pressure to respond was enormous. If a CBRN event impacts our great nation, our response would not occur in accordance with our scientific Notification-Hour sequence; we would be forced to adapt.” 

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John Barry’s The Great Influenza - At the height of WWI, history’s most lethal influenza virus erupted in an army camp in Kansas, moved east with American troops, then exploded, killing as many as 100 million people worldwide.”  Mr. Barry's book is a terrific read even if we weren't assigned to the CRE mission.  We continue to focus our training on the Improvised Nuclear Device (IND) due to the lack of warning and the massive number of casualties that would result from it, but responding to a bio event is also part of our mission set.  This book will provide you in-depth background on the origins of the pandemic, what resources were used to combat it, and some examples of what worked and what didn't. 

JTF-CS Commander’s Note: “Think about the capabilities resident in the Defense CBRN Response Force and what mission sets we might be called upon to perform if this happens again.”

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Day after Disaster - This chilling History Channel documentary takes an in-depth look at the hypothetical repercussions of a massive disaster, such as if a nuclear bomb was detonated in Washington D.C., covering the death and destruction that would follow over the course of the following 24 hours in shocking detail. Click here to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCme_K6MYLY

JTF-CS Commander’s Note: “This documentary describes the operational environment after a nuclear detonation, and I feel strongly that the operational environment would drive how we would respond if called upon. The documentary covers governmental, civil, military, judicial, financial, medical, manufacturing and shipping, commercial, and other aspects of support and recovery. The film’s focus on the U.S. government’s efforts to mitigate fallout damage, speed recovery, and thwart a future attack are all aspects worth examination. It depicts the tremendous fog, friction, and lack of situational understanding a CBRNE response would pose to government leaders.”

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Saving Lives after a Nuclear Detonation - Brooke Buddemeier's PrepTalk, “Saving Lives After a Nuclear Detonation,” emphasizes the importance of sheltering after a nuclear detonation and provides emergency managers with tools to help citizens, responders, and city officials get ready. Click here to watch: https://www.fema.gov/preptalks/buddemeier

JTF-CS Commander's Note: “In addition to FEMA’s website featuring the PrepTalk video, there are also resources like an accompanying discussion-guide and facilitator slides for crisis-responder group training.”

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Norma Hayes Bagnall's On Shaky Ground - The tremors that shook the Mississippi valley in southeast Missouri from December 16, 1811, through February 7, 1812, are among the most violent quakes to hit the North American continent in recorded history. Collectively known as the New Madrid earthquakes, these quakes affected more than 1 million square miles. Vibrations were felt from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic coast and from Mexico to Canada. Five towns in three states disappeared, islands vanished in the Mississippi River, lakes formed where there had been none before, and the Mississippi river literally flowed backward for a brief period. Providing eyewitness accounts from people both on the land and on the river, Bagnall captures the essence of the event.

JTF-CS Commander's Note: “An earthquake is similar to a CBRN event is some respects; they both can occur with no warning and leave vast areas of devastation. We can prepare for a crisis response by studying events such as these and internalizing key takeaways from the readings.”

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Richard Preston's The Cobra Event - This 1998 thriller novel describes an attempted bio-terrorism attack on the United States. The perpetrator of the attack has genetically engineered a virus, called "Cobra,” that fuses the incurable and highly contagious common cold with one of the world's most virulent diseases, smallpox. The disease that results from the virus, called brainpox in the novel, has symptoms that mimic those of Lesch–Nyhan Syndrome and the common cold. The book is divided between descriptions of the virus and the government's attempt to stop the imminent threat posed by it.

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