Managing Mass Fatalities

Public Health Department - For Providers


Managing Mass Fatalities: A Toolkit for Planning is a comprehensive toolkit that evolved from recognition of the need for communities to increase their preparedness for managing mass fatalities. Its focus—the care and management of the dead—is one of the most difficult aspects of disaster response and recovery operations. Toolkit materials are based on lessons learned from actual events, including the Oklahoma City bombing, 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina. The toolkit provides scalable, operational direction and tools to guide jurisdictions in creating a local plan.

Highlights include:

  • Identification of stakeholders involved in mass fatality management and recommendations for a planning process that is co-led by public health and the medical examiner/coroners office;
  • Specific guidelines for all medical examiner/coroner responsibilities at the incident site, morgue, and family assistance center;
  • Guidance on infection and other health and safety threats; and
  • Requirements and recommendations for managing mass fatalities during a worst-case scenario pandemic influenza.

How to Use Toolkit

The Managing Mass Fatalities Toolkit is designed to give you easy access to all the documents you will need to create your local plan. Each document is available in its original format (Microsoft Word, PowerPoint) as well as a PDF document.

Click on a section link below to view or download the narratives/tools. If you do not have Microsoft Office or PowerPoint on your computer, you will only be able to view documents as a PDF file using Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer, you can download it here. The Acrobat Reader will allow you to view and print the documents but you cannot edit or customize them.

Customizing the Documents

The documents on the Managing Mass Fatalities Toolkit can be edited or customized to suit your specific requirements. To edit/customize a document, save it to your computer and open it with Microsoft Word or Powerpoint (you must have Microsoft Word and/or PowerPoint already installed on your computer). These documents can be opened and edited using either PC or Mac versions of the Microsoft software.

Many of the documents have fields where information can be inserted or spaces where information specific to your needs can be added. Most of the documents also have a bar graphic at the top of the page referencing the APC (Advanced Practice Center). This graphic can be removed if necessary by going to the "View" menu in Microsoft Word and highlighting "Header and Footer". Once the "Header and Footer" view is accessed, you can select the graphic and delete it.

The Managing Mass Fatalities Toolkit is arranged in sections that can become your local plan. 

To order your own complimentary CD-ROM with the same documents, contact:
National Association of County and City Health Officials

Advanced Practice Center
1100 17th Street, NW, Second Floor
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 783-5550
Fax: (202) 783-1583
E-mail: [email protected]

Or visit the NACCHO toolbox - a free, online collection of local public health tools produced by members of the public health community

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