We propose to fulfill critical needs in preventing and responding to both natural and man-made disasters. Lack of Training: It is clear that utilities, especially nuclear generation facilities, are prime terrorist targets. We want to provide the critical workers in potential targeted utility facilities training that will prepare them a) to react quickly;b) to interface with the emergency response/incident command systems;c) to prevent the release of hazardous materials during normal operations;and d) to limit damage to the utility, its infrastructure and to protect themselves, their fellow workers, and the general public. It is also important that UWUA workers who will respond to emergencies of national significance such as the World Trade Center attack, be prepared to protect themselves from uncharacterized hazards. History has shown us how important this type of training is. John Moran, a consultant for the NIEHS WETP, found an """"""""unacceptable"""""""" level of occupational hazards for workers participating in the rescue and recovery operations at Ground Zero, citing 7,160 injuries in the first month after the terrorist attack. In his 25 years of experience, he said, """"""""This is the most hazardous site I have ever been on."""""""" (3) The World Trade Center (WTC) building collapse offers a prime example of how combined exposures to chemicals can have a synergistic effect on cleanup and recovery workers'health. Occupational medicine physician Steve Markowitz, of Queens College, observed that the combined effect of the very alkaline concrete dust and fiberglass may have caused especially strong irritation ofthe respiratory tract among World Trade Center cleanup and recovery workers (4, 5). His observation was confirmed by Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers, who found that first responders who were exposed to caustic dust and toxic pollutants following the 2001 WTC terrorist attacks suffer from asthma at more than twice the rate of the general U.S. population. As many as 8 percent (compared to 4% of the general population) of the workers and volunteers who engaged in rescue and recovery essential service restoration and clean-up efforts in the wake of 9/11 reported experiencing post-9/11 asthma attacks or episodes, with these rates remaining twice as high eight years later when compared to people not exposed to the toxic dust (6). Hundreds of UWUA workers responded to the WTC catastrophe. They were first responders who shut down electric, gas and water flows to the destroyed buildings. They then worked tirelessly to restore power and other utilities to Wall Street, deemed a national priority both to stimulate the economy and to symbolize our national resilience. In an informal survey of UWUA Local 1-2 in New York City, nearly all the workers (87%) who responded to the disaster felt they were ill-prepared to deal with the hazards they were confronted with, especially the occupational exposures. The only workers who had any sense of preparedness were those who had received emergency response training through volunteer fire departments, volunteer EMT's, or from previous employment in hazardous industries. Need for Model Training: Model training programs are needed because these sites and MAPS workers lack sufficient training. Every year natural disasters strike our nation in the form of hurricanes, earthquakes, wild fires, and floods. Through MAPS, utility workers from around the country rush to the stricken area to assist in restoring necessary utilities. During a typical hurricane in Florida, up to 6,000 out-of-state utility workers responded. For Katrina, 15,000 out-of-state utility workers came to help restore utility services. Experienced and highly trained workers can respond in ways that efficiently and effectively deal with emergencies without harming themselves or the communities around them. Unfortunately, because of retirements and attrition many of these experienced workers are leaving or preparing to leave the utility industry at this time. We must find ways to transfer this institutional knowledge to the next generation of utility workers. Specifically, we need to identify a cadre of 60 utility workers who will volunteer to serve as leaders to direct health and safety efforts as their teams respond to emergencies outside their home jurisdiction. Cadre members will ensure that their teams receive specialized awareness training to prepare them to identify and to address the unique hazards that confront them as they repair and restore the necessary utilities services to a community severely disrupted by a disaster. A nation-wide cadre of workers from targeted utilities is needed to prevent, prepare, and respond to manmade and natural disaster emergencies. Experienced, highly trained workers from targeted facilities can make vital contributions to this training as subject matter experts. In a seminal report on the protection of first responders, the RAND corporation concurred with OSHA's National and Regional Emergency Management Plans in a call for increased contributions from knowledgeable personnel (6, 7). We believe that at every prime target utility, there should be at least one specially trained worker who focuses on disaster prevention, preparedness, and response issues. At least one worker should know how to audit site emergency response plans, use process safety management programs to reduce high hazards, and conduct training for labor/management health and safety committees to ensure that proper coordination, training and response procedures are in place. In addition, at least one worker should have experience in site characterization and repeated practice in forming site safety plans with site workers, first responders, and remediation workers. Equally important, at every prime targeted utility there should be at least one worker who has become part of the OSHA Emergency Management process to assist in carrying out Regional Emergency Response Plans. Rationale for the Training: In a White House report on the protection ofthe nation's critical infrastructure, the federal government virtually declared the utility industry is the highest at-risk industry because of the harm that could be done to it by terrorists (1). It is not surprising that both the power-generating and water supply sectors have been identified as a key assets. The water sector consists of two basic, yet vital components;fresh water supply and wastewater collection and treatment. Attacks on these key assets could result in significant human casualties and property damage. The four areas of primary concern include, the release of toxic chemicals;the contamination of the water supply;cyber attacks on information management or other electronic systems and;interruption of services from other infrastructure. Data submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of Risk Management Plans (RMP's) under the Clean Air Act demonstrate that certain types of industries and types of chemicals are most prevalent and cause the most chemical accidents. For instance, ammonia and chlorine storage account for about half of the facilities storing high volumes of extremely hazardous substances reported under risk management planning. They also account for the most releases reported in the RMP's (1). Chlorine poses a major risk for utility workers and those who live near utility facilities. UWUA-represented workers in water supply and sewage treatment facilities use large quantities of chlorine. These industries are number one and two on the list of accidents reported by industrial sector in the EPA RMP list, as the table below illustrates.