Disaster response requires rapid, complex action by multiple agencies that may rarely interact during nondisaster periods. Failures in communication and coordination between agencies have been pitfalls in the advancement of disaster preparedness. Recommendations of the Federal Emergency Management Agency address these needs and demonstrate commitment to successful disaster management, but they are challenging for communities to ensure. In this article we describe the application of Federal Emergency Management Agency guidelines to the 2008 and 2009 Chicago Marathon and discuss the details of our implementation strategy with a focus on optimizing communication. We believe that it is possible to enhance community disaster preparedness through practical application during mass sporting events.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2011;5:310–315)