Author(s): Smith BT, Inglesby TV, Brimmer E, Borio L, Franco C,
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Abstract Atlantic Storm was a tabletop exercise simulating a series of bioterrorism attacks on the transatlantic community. The exercise occurred on January 14, 2005, in Washington, DC, and was organized and convened by the Center for Biosecurity of UPMC, the Center for Transatlantic Relations of Johns Hopkins University, and the Transatlantic Biosecurity Network. Atlantic Storm portrayed a summit meeting of presidents, prime ministers, and other international leaders from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean in which they responded to a campaign of bioterrorist attacks in several countries. The summit principals, who were all current or former senior government leaders, were challenged to address issues such as attaining situational awareness in the wake of a bioattack, coping with scarcity of critical medical resources such as vaccine, deciding how to manage the movement of people across borders, and communicating with their publics. Atlantic Storm illustrated that much might be done in advance to minimize the illness and death, as well as the social, economic, and political disruption, that could be caused by an international epidemic, be it natural or the result of a bioterrorist attack. These lessons are especially timely given the growing concerns over the possibility of an avian influenza pandemic that would require an international response. However, international leaders cannot create the necessary response systems in the midst of a crisis. Medical, public health, and diplomatic response systems and critical medical resources (e.g., medicines and vaccines) must be in place before a bioattack occurs or a pandemic emerges.
This article was published in Biosecur Bioterror
and referenced in Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense