Five scenes: Chemical (two workers in hazmat suits look onto a chemical container outdoors, with another in front of them); Biological (microscopic view of virus or bacteria); Radiological (three miscellaneous containers sit on a shelf, all with radiation warning symbols on them); Nuclear (smokestack at a nuclear plant); and Explosive (fire and smoke plume)

Welcome to CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives): Health Information Resources

This 3-hour course explains Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) incidents, their effects, and appropriate responses. Explore three important CBRNE information resources from the National Library Medicine. Use these information resources to assist with planning for, responding to, and recovering from CBRNE incidents.

This self-paced course fulfills one of the requirements of the Medical Library Association (MLA) Disaster Information Specialization, Basic Level. Students will earn four MLA continuing education (CE) credits.

Note: After reviewing the information on this page, please be sure to complete the pre-course evaluation on the next page before continuing with the course.

Course Map

We will start this course by reviewing CBRNE concepts and vocabulary, so you will have a foundation on which to understand the rest of the course. We will provide an overview of CBRNE incidents and their possible effects, and we will review response efforts. Then we will move onto the information resources that are vital tools in emergency preparedness and response. We will also demonstrate how librarians can help others in accessing those resources.

Illustration of a map with various location markers and a navigation pointer

Topics Covered in this Course

This course is divided into the following sections. Use the Next and Back buttons at the bottom of the page to move through the course. It should take you about three hours to complete the course.

  1. Introduction to CBRNE Concepts
  2. Chemical Hazards
  3. Biological Hazards
  4. Radiation/Nuclear Hazards
  5. Explosive Hazards
  6. Summary of CBRNE Types, Effects, and Response
  7. WISER
  8. CHEMM
  9. REMM
  10. Other Helpful Resources

Each section is a single page of content and activities that help reinforce the topics covered. For more information on additional ways to navigate the course, see the "Getting Around" section below.

Each section is summarized with key points, which are the most critical take-home messages of the material.

Throughout this course, the National Library of Medicine will be referred to using the acronym NLM and the Disaster Information Management Research Center will be called NLM Disaster Health.

Disclaimer: NLM does not endorse any particular developer or product. Search the Apple Store, Google Play, or other appropriate app sources for your mobile platform.

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, you will be able to:

Using this Course

Getting Around

There are a variety of ways you can navigate this training. You can:

  • Click the Back and Next buttons at the bottom of each page to move through the material
  • Use the Menu button in the upper right corner of each page to access the main sections or contact support
  • Press the LEFT and RIGHT arrow keys on your keyboard to move through the material
  • Use a combination of the above methods to explore the course contents


At the top of each page, links will indicate where the current page falls within the overall course. You can also click these links to return to this homepage or to the section that contains the page.


Throughout the course, you will encounter links. Any link denoted with an External Link icon (Exit disclaimer) points to a resource outside of this course and will typically open in a new tab or window. All other links are to other areas within the course.

Additionally, clicking on an image will open a larger view of the image in a pop-up box within the page.

Getting Help

If you need assistance using this course or have questions or comments about any of the content presented here, please select the About / Getting Help option from the upper right menu.