Release date set for Electronic Casualty Assessment and Planning Scenarios software

An updated version of Electronic Casualty Assessment and Planning Scenarios software, which allows officials to calculate the death toll from a potential anthrax attack, is scheduled for a 2011 release date.

The state of Maryland and the National Center for the Study of Preparedness and Catastrophic Event Response, a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence, sponsored the project, according to

The Johns Hopkins University Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory were jointly responsible for its development.

The current version was released in 2005 and is available to download free of charge from

The program operates by allowing first-responders to program and customize nine different scenarios for their geographic area and then to estimate the number of casualties therein, reports. The DHS identified high-threat scenarios that researchers used to incorporate into the software package.

The scenarios included a pandemic flu outbreak, a chlorine gas release, a truck bomb and inhalation anthrax exposure. These scenarios can then be tailored to fit different conditions faced by first responders.

In the case of a bomb scenario, first-responders can customize information about the blast size and detonation site to match their own locations. They could also program in information about the population density of the affected area.

“The advantage of this [program] is it is so easily downloadable, and you can manipulate the variables to suit your own jurisdiction,” Heidi Whiteree, a DHS science and technology program manager said, according to