Packing Your Digital Go Bag - Section 3: Apps for CBRNE and Hazardous Substances

Section 3: Apps for CBRNE and Hazardous Substances


In this section, we will explore some important apps for responding to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) incidents and hazardous substances.

Double-exposure image of a man holding a smartphone over a blurred background of a disaster or emergency scene involving fire and smoke.



WISER icon

Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER)


WISER, the Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders, is a system designed to assist emergency responders in hazardous material incidents. Developed by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), WISER provides a wide range of information on hazardous substances, including:

  • Substance identification support
  • Physical characteristics
  • Human health information
  • Containment and suppression guidance

WISER includes information on over 400 chemicals, 20 radiologic agents, and the CDC Category A biological agents. Information includes:

  • Substance properties
  • Medical treatment and toxicology
  • Hazmat information, such as personal protective equipment (PPE), cleanup procedures, firefighting instructions, and more

WISER is available as a mobile-enhanced Web site called WebWISER and a standalone application for PCs and mobile devices.

Screenshot of WISER app on an iPhone, with the Help Identify portion of the app displayed. The main area shows an illustration of the human body where the user can select the body area impacted.


WISER Tutorial

WISER Tutorial



ERG 2016 icon

Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) 2016


Every four years, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) releases its Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG). Often considered the "bible of first responders," the ERG is a go-to resource to help deal with hazmat accidents during the critical first 30 minutes. The ERG is integrated into WISER, but is also available as a stand-alone app.

The ERG contains an indexed list of dangerous goods, their associated ID numbers, general hazards they pose, and recommended safety precautions. For example, if emergency responders arrive at the scene of an overturned tractor trailer displaying a Department of Transportation hazmat placard, they could use the ERG to identify the material associated with the placard and get guidance on how to respond accordingly.

ERG includes information on, but not limited to:

  • Fire suppression and clean-up
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Protective distance

Additional ERG Training

Additional training on how to use the ERG app is available on the PHMSA Web site.

ERG 2016 app menu, showing the options Search by Name or UN, Search by Image, Browser Guide Pages, Reference Material, and About ERG 2016. The screen also provides a link to the app settings.
ERG 2016 app, with the Search by UN or Name feature activated, displaying the results for UN 1017, Chlorine. It displays part of the Potential HAzards section of Guide 124 for gases - toxic and/or corrosive - oxidizing.

Various views of the ERG 2016 app



REMM icon

Radiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM)


Radiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM) is an app and Web site designed to assist health professionals in learning about and managing radiation emergencies. REMM provides guidance for health care professionals about clinical diagnosis and treatment of radiation injuries during radiation and nuclear emergencies. It includes:

  • Algorithms for medical management (for exposure, contamination, and both)
  • Tools to estimate the dose of radiation received
  • Countermeasures
  • Treatment recommendations
  • Triage tools (START and JumpSTART for kids)
  • Isotope information
  • A list of emergency contacts

Please note that the Web version of REMM has more detailed information than the app. Where appropriate, the app will refer and link you to the Web version for additional information, so Internet connectivity will be needed in those situations.

REMM is a joint project between NLM and Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).

Screenshot of the REMM app, with the REMM Menu displaying the options: Management Algorithms, Dose Estimator, Scarce Resources Triage Tool, Isotopes of Interest, Countermeasures, START Triage (Adults), JumpSTART Triage (Children), and SALT Triage.
REMM app displaying the article and animation entitled What is Contamination?

Various views of the REMM app



Knowledge Check


Which of the following apps are hybrid? Select all that apply.


Check Your Answer



Key Points

In this section, we covered the following main points:

  • Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER) assists emergency responders with hazardous material incidents.
  • Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) is revised every four years and is the go-to resource during the critical first 30 minutes of hazmat incidents.
  • Radiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM) provides guidance for health care professionals diagnosing and treating radiation injuries during radiation and nuclear emergencies.

Key Apps for CBRNE and Hazardous Substances:

  • ERG
  • REMM