Mass Fatality Incident Management Resources


For the past two years, the HOTCOG Homeland Security Division has partnered with stakeholders throughout the region and state to develop a regional mass fatality incident management plan.  Throughout the planning process, extensive amounts of training and a functional exercise were conducted in order to evaluate current capability levels and identify gaps in the plan.  An after-action review was conducted following the exercise that identified needs within the region in order to improve our capability to response to mass fatality incidents.  In an effort to address these needs and provide additional resources to the emergency managers, responders, mortuary services, and stakeholders within the region, the following mass fatality incident management resources have been developed and made available.  Comments, revisions, and updates can be discussed by emailing massfatality@hotready.com.

Download the regional plan here: HOTCOG Region Mass Fatality Incident Management Plan

Just-In-Time Training Toolkits

The Just-In-Time Training (JITT) toolkits are designed to provide the resources necessary to train responders, disaster volunteers, stakeholders, and spontaneous volunteers on the necessary activities and documentation practices required to support mass fatality incident management.  The JITT toolkits are divided into functional responsibilities by team.  Responsibilities, forms, and additional resources contained within the kits are derived from training courses conducted within the region, the regional mass fatality response plan, and Mass Fatality Management Concise Field Guide (written by Dr. Mary H. Dudley).  The sample organizational chart, below, identifies one potential ICS structure that can be implemented to support mass fatality incident management.  Position-specific and unit-specific kits are available for download below by clicking on the red button associated with the position or unit.

Sample-Organization

Header CG Header SITE OPS
IC Safety Officer Site Ops Branch Director Body Recovery Team
Body Collection Team Body Transport
Site Documentation Team
Header TEMP MORGUE Header FAC
Temp Morgue Branch Director Temp Morgue Team FAC Branch Director FAC Reception Team
FAC Document Team FAC Interview Team
FAC Mass Care Team FAC Childcare Team
FAC Behavioral Team FAC Spiritual Services Team
FAC Call Center Team

Mass Fatality Incident Management Forms

The following forms can be utilized to support the management of mass fatality incidents.  Click on the name of the form to download.

Form Name Form Description
ICS Form 211 – Incident Check-In List Standard ICS Form 211 that is used to achieve and maintain accountability of incident responders and support personnel.  This form would be used at the incident site, temporary morgue, family assistance center, and other site facilities/location for personnel to sign in or out during an operational period.
ICS Form 215A – Incident Action Plan Safety Analysis Standard ICS Form 215A that is used by the Safety Officer to identify and mitigate hazards that are present while working at an incident site or location.  This form would be used in conjunction with the recommended personal protective equipment standards to ensure the safety of all incident personnel during the operational period.
Recommended Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Standard for Mass Fatality Incident Operations Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) recommendations from the Texas Department of State Health Services for mass fatality operations.
Information Sheet for Disaster Response Workers Information sheet designed to educate emergency and disaster workers on managing and preventing stress during disaster operations.
Numbering System Guidelines Guidelines for establishing a decedent, body part, and personal effects numbering system.  The numbering system is required to effectively and efficiently track, sort, and identify the remains and personal effects of decedents and ensures that incident documentation remains accurate throughout the duration of the incident.  Guidelines are defined in the regional mass fatality response plan.
Sample Numbering System Sample numbering system that utilizes the numbering system guidelines provided above.
Recovery Site Field Log Log to track the remains discovered and recovered at an incident site during mass fatality operations.  The log is used in conjunction with the Victim Site Recovery Form.
Victim Site Recovery Form (Standard) Standardized victim site recovery form.  The form uses both narrative and single/multiple selection responses to gather data regarding decedents recovered at an incident site.  This is one of three options for use for mass fatality operations.  Incident Commanders or the Operations Section Chief should determine which option should be used throughout the duration of the incident.
Victim Site Recovery Form (Simplified) Simplified victim site recovery form.  The form uses short statement responses to gather data regarding decedents recovered at an incident site and does not gather the extent of information that the standardized form does.  This is one of three options for use for mass fatality operations.  Incident Commanders or the Operations Section Chief should determine which option should be used throughout the duration of the incident.
Victim Site Recovery Form (Narrative) Narrative-based victim site recovery form.  The form uses narrative responses to gather data regarding decedents recovered at an incident site.  While narrative answers often provide the most information, there is an increased potential to overlook valuable data due to the lack of aspect-based structure presented in the form.  This is one of three options for use for mass fatality operations.  Incident Commanders or the Operations Section Chief should determine which option should be used throughout the duration of the incident.
Temporary Morgue Logbook for Bodies Logbook for use in the temporary morgue to track bodies from the time that they arrive at the temporary morgue until they are approved for disposition.
Temporary Morgue Logbook for Body Parts Logbook for use in the temporary morgue to track body parts from the time that they arrive at the temporary morgue until they are approved for disposition.
Temporary Morgue Logbook for Personal Effects Logbook for use in the temporary morgue to track personal effects from the time that they arrive at the temporary morgue until they are approved for disposition.
Temporary Morgue Decedent Tracking Sheet Tracking Sheet for use in the temporary morgue to ensure that all bodies and body parts have been addressed in each of the areas of operation within the temporary morgue.
Temporary Morgue Decedent Identification Form Identification form used by the temporary morgue to gather forensically-identifiable information on decedents and body parts.  This form, in conjunction with the victim site recovery forms, are used by law enforcement and forensic experts to validate the identification of a decedent and to gather forensic evidence related to the onset of the incident.
Temporary Morgue Post-Processing Storage Logbook Logbook used in the temporary morgue to track bodies and body parts once they are returned from processing or autopsy.
Temporary Morgue Sample Authorization for the Release of Remains Sample authorization for the release of remains to a funeral home or the family.  In non-Medical Examiner counties, this form would be signed by the presiding Justice of the Peace.
Temporary Morgue Released Remains Logbook Logbook used in the temporary morgue to document the release of remains to a funeral home, mortuary service, or family.  This form must be used in conjunction with an authorization for the release of remains.
Family Assistance Center Site Selection Criteria Recommended criteria for selecting a family assistance center site.  The family assistance center is the public face of mass fatality operations and interacts/provides services to the bereaved.
Family Assistance Center Antemortem Interview Form VIPS Antemortem (Before Death) Interview Form that is used by the FAC Interview Team in the family assistance center.  The interview form is used in conjunction with the temporary morgue decedent identification form and the site recovery form to make a positive identification on human remains and personal effects.
Call Center Intake Form Intake form used by call center personnel to gather information on missing persons in the time immediately following a disaster or catastrophic event.
Sample Call Center Script Sample call center script used by call center personnel to process calls relating to disaster assistance, missing persons reporting, and other post-disaster information needs.
Religious Preferences Regarding the Final Disposition of Human Remains Preferences regarding the final disposition and interment of human remains from a variety of religions.  This list is not all-inclusive but provides information on a wide variety of religions to assist mass fatality operations personnel with decision-making processes.
Information Sheet for Survivors of a Traumatic Incident Information sheet designed to educate disaster survivors and the bereaved on managing and preventing stress following a disaster or traumatic incident.
Family Assistance Center Bereaved/Visitor Sign-In Log Sign-In/Out Log used by the FAC Reception Team in the family assistance center to log visitors and bereaved families.  This form helps the family assistance center to maintain accountability of the services provided.
Family Assistance Center Registration Form Registration form used by the FAC Reception Team in the family assistance center to gather information from visitors and bereaved families.  This form helps the family assistance center ensure that appropriate and adequate services are provided to the community.