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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Emergency Preparedness

Florida Department of Health in Lake County Emergency Preparedness

Bioterrorism is the intentional use of infectious agents, germs or toxins, to cause illness or death. Bioterrorism preparedness has been made a national priority. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have worked for several years with state and local health departments to identify and to respond to bioterrorism. The federal response to bioterrorism includes medications, medical supplies, and if necessary, vaccines to protect an affected community.


Agents, Diseases & Threats

The Florida Department of Health in Lake County is dedicated to protecting public health, including preparing for and responding to weapons of mass destruction. Weapons of mass destruction can include biological, chemical or radiological threats as defined below. The Florida Department of Health in Lake County plans and practices response with other local responder agencies.  

Biological Agents

A biological agent is a bacterium, virus or other biological substance that can cause disease. Bioterrorism involves the use of any of these biological agents with the intent to cause harm.

Chemical Agents

A chemical agent is a toxic gas, liquid or solid that can harm people or the environment. Chemical Terrorism involves the use of any of these chemical agents with the intent to cause harm.


Nerve agents are chemicals that interfere with the nervous system.


Blister agents are chemicals that can damage skin, eyes and lungs.



Chlorine is shipped as a liquid in trucks and trains but quickly forms a gas when it escapes from its storage container. It is used widely in chemical manufacturing, bleaching, drinking water and swimming pool disinfecting, and in cleaning agents.


Cyanides are poisons that inhibit respiration at the cellular level preventing cells from utilizing oxygen.

Ricin Toxins

Ricin is a potent protein toxin derived from the beans of the castor plant which is available worldwide and therefore a potentially available toxin.

Radiological and Nuclear Threats

Radiological and nuclear threats include nuclear weapons and dirty bombs. Both spread radioactive materials, but a nuclear explosion would have a far reaching impact while a dirty bomb would affect a more targeted area. Intentional release of radioactive material is a form of terrorism.

Radiation Emergencies