The Threat Environment

The major-event environment faces threats from both deliberate and accidental dispersal of hazardous substances. Safety and security efforts for major events are aimed at preventing acts from occurring, whether they are deliberate or accidental. The response efforts are aimed at combating the adverse effects. To put the situation bluntly, the threat to major events is not the substance or material but the effects caused by its dissemination. For example, the purpose of the major-event security and safety effort is not to prevent or react to employment of chlorine gas. It is to keep people healthy and safe. I have seen too many CBRN and HAZMAT specialists, myself included, get bogged down in the mechanics in the middle of the situation while losing focus on the end state. Figure 1.1 shows the methodology I prefer to use.

This chapter summarizes the threat environment. Later on in the book, in Part V, I will use specific scenarios to illustrate the major subcategories of threat.


For both planning and response purposes, it is far more useful to analyze the CBRN/ HAZMAT threat environment from the viewpoint of actual effects to people and property. I think that it is far more effective to plan for dealing with large numbers of sick and injured people than it is to conduct planning for specific categories of chemical substance. It is a better use of resources and intellectual capital to have one very good general-purpose plan for sick, ...

Get CBRN and Hazmat Incidents at Major Public Events: Planning and Response now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.