The primary concern during post-disaster mass casualty response is triaging and
treating the injured or wounded. In a large-scale disaster, however, you may need
to manage a large number of fatalities in addition to the wounded. The situation
becomes more complicated if it is also a crime scene.
Processing remains is a multi-agency job and jurisdictions lacking a suitable mass
fatality plan can quickly be overwhelmed. Inter- and cross-jurisdictional relationships
should be well established before they are needed, and plans should be detailed
enough that everyone knows their role. Here are some examples:
,” Santa Clara County, California.
” (PDF, 5.51 MB),
(PDF, 1 MB), U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services.
(DMORTs) are available
to assist with processing and victim identification, and they do supply temporary
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The InfoGram | Volume 17 — Issue 41 | October 12, 2017
morgue facilities as a backup. These regional teams can be called in for local disasters,
such as cemetery floods or train derailments, but should only be one part of a plan.
In addition, many states, large cities and hospitals have mass fatalities plans available
online that can be used as a guide when working on your own. An internet search
for “mass fatality management” will bring back some of these resources.