Managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy


Welcome to the Emergency Management Program (EMP) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The EMP conducts applied research and assists in the development of emergency planning capabilities for government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Energy, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the National Weather Service.

We work closely with researchers from the biosciences, chemistry, transportation and computer divisions at ORNL to develop science-based planning strategies and collaborate with a number of other local and state organizations and academic institutions, including the Natural Hazards Research and Applications Center at the University of Colorado and the Social Science Research Center at Mississippi State University.

The EMP’s wide range of applied research related to disasters and emergency preparedness includes:

  • Evacuation feasibility studies
  • Public response to warnings to evacuate and to shelter-in-place
  • Evacuation of schools, hospitals and nursing homes
  • Defining emergency planning zones for hazardous materials releases
  • Post-disaster audits of responder and organizational performance
  • Effectiveness of warning systems
  • Assessment of the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction System
  • Impact of sea level rise on coastal hazard mitigation planning
  • Development of a real-time transportation model
  • Issues related to re-entry into contaminated areas
  • Treatment of people and animals contaminated with chemical warfare agents
  • Lessons learned during protective action decision making
  • Training videos, including how to plan for emergencies involving animals for planners and owners (also available in Spanish)

Most of the work is in the public domain and available as free, downloadable files or as streaming videos. You may also visit the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) website, which contains a variety of materials developed by EMP research staff for CSEPP. These consist of publications, as well as planning and training materials and videos.

Additional emergency management resources: