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Combating Terrorism: Analysis of Potential Emergency Response Equipment and Sustainment Costs

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 1999
25 pages
The General Accounting Office (GAO) surveyed the ability of U.S. cities to respond to a terrorist incident involving a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) device.
Specifically, the GAO obtained the views of Federal, State, and local officials on equipment they believed would provide various levels of capability to respond to a CBRN incident and determined the potential procurement and sustainment costs of these items. The GAO studied over 200 equipment items, ranging from standard items such as duct tape and gloves to more sophisticated devices such as mobile command posts and climate control systems. Surveyed officials categorized the items to represent different levels of capability (basic, moderate, and high). The potential cost of initially procuring and sustaining equipment items over a 10-year period ranged from about $4.6 million for items considered to provide a basic capability to about $43 million for items considered to provide a high capability. Appendixes include information on the survey methodology, a list of equipment by capability level, a list of survey respondents, offices consulted for the survey, and comments from the Department of Defense. 20 references, 1 table, and 3 figures