Learn about the nature of terrorism.
Terrorists look for visible targets where they can avoid detection
before or after an attack such as international airports, large cities,
major international events, resorts, and high-profile landmarks.
Learn about the different types of terrorist weapons including
explosives, kidnappings, hijackings, arson, and shootings.
Prepare to deal with a terrorist incident by adapting many of the
same techniques used to prepare for other crises.
Be alert and aware of the surrounding area. The very nature of
terrorism suggests that there may be little or no warning.
Take precautions when traveling. Be aware of conspicuous or unusual
behavior. Do not accept packages from strangers. Do not leave luggage
Learn where emergency exists are located. Think ahead about how to
evacuate a building, subway or congested public area in a hurry. Learn
where staircases are located.
Notice your immediate surroundings. Be aware of heavy or breakable
objects that could move, fall or break in an explosion.
Preparing for a Building Explosion
The use of explosives by terrorists can result in collapsed buildings
and fires. People who live or work in a multi-level building can do the
Review emergency evacuation procedures. Know where fire exits are
Keep fire extinguishers in working order. Know where they are
located, and how to use them. Learn first aid. Contact the local chapter
of the American Red Cross for additional information.
Keep the following items in a designated place on each floor of the
Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
Several flashlights and extra batteries
First aid kit and manual
Several hard hats
Fluorescent tape to rope off dangerous areas.
If you receive a bomb threat, get as much information from the caller as
possible. Keep the caller on the line and record everything that is
said. Notify the police and the building management.
After you've been notified of a bomb threat, do not touch any
suspicious packages. Clear the area around the suspicious package and
notify the police immediately. In evacuating a building, avoid standing
in front of windows or other potentially hazardous areas. Do not
restrict sidewalk or streets to be used by emergency officials.
In a building explosion, get out of the building as quickly and
calmly as possible.
If items are falling off of bookshelves or from the ceiling, get
under a sturdy table or desk. If there is a fire:
Stay low to the floor and exit the building as quickly as possible.
Cover nose and mouth with a wet cloth.
When approaching a closed door, use the palm of your hand and forearm
to feel the lower, middle and upper parts of the door. If it is not hot,
brace yourself against the door and open it slowly. If it is hot to the
touch, do not open the door--seek an alternate escape route.
Heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect first along the ceiling. Stay
below the smoke at all times.
If you are trapped in debris:
Use a flashlight.
Stay in your area so that you don't kick up dust. Cover your mouth with
a handkerchief or clothing.
Tap on a pipe or wall so that rescuers can hear where you are. Use a
whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort--shouting can
cause a person to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.
Untrained persons should not attempt to rescue
people who are inside a collapsed building. Wait for emergency personnel
Chemical agents are poisonous gases, liquids or solids that have toxic
effects on people, animals or plants. Most chemical agents cause serious
injuries or death.
Severity of injuries depends on the type and amount of the chemical
agent used, and the duration of exposure.
Were a chemical agent attack to occur, authorities would instruct
citizens to either seek shelter where they are and seal the premises or
evacuate immediately. Exposure to chemical agents can be fatal. Leaving
the shelter to rescue or assist victims can be a deadly decision. There
is no assistance that the untrained can offer that would likely be of
any value to the victims of chemical agents.
Biological agents are organisms or toxins that have illness-producing
effects on people, livestock and crops.
Because biological agents cannot necessarily be detected and may take
time to grow and cause a disease, it is almost impossible to know that a
biological attack has occurred. If government officials become aware of
a biological attack through an informant or warning by terrorists, they
would most likely instruct citizens to either seek shelter where they
are and seal the premises or evacuate immediately.
A person affected by a biological agent requires the immediate
attention of professional medical personnel. Some agents are contagious,
and victims may need to be quarantined. Also, some medical facilities
may not receive victims for fear of contaminating the hospital
More information on Bioterrorism preparedness and response is
available online from the Department
of Health and Human Services Center for Disease Control