4. Learn where emergency exits are lo-...
glass doors or other poten...
Outdoors, the agents often d...
What to do to prepare for a ...
over the head shou...
Electromagnetic pulse ...
• See the “Tornadoes” section i...
• The decay rate of the ...
• Turn electricity back on at the m...
Threat conditions are assig...
• Coordinate emergency plans with ...
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National Security Emergencies

Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Published in: Self Improvement      Business      News & Politics      

Transcripts - National Security Emergencies

  • 1. ARE YOU READY? 83 National coercion or ransom. Terrorists often use threats to create fear among the public, to try to convince citizens that their govern- Security ment is powerless to prevent terrorism, and to get immediate publicity for their causes. Emergencies Acts of terrorism range from threats of terrorism, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, bomb scares and bombings, cyber attacks (computer-based), to the use of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. High-risk targets include military and civilian government facilities, international airports, large cities and high-profile land- marks. Terrorists might also target large public gatherings, water and food supplies, utilities, and corporate centers. Further, they are capable of spreading fear by send- ing explosives or chemical and biological agents through the mail. In the immediate area of a terrorist event, you would need to rely on police, fire and other officials for instructions. However, you can prepare in much the same way I n addition to the natural and tech- you would prepare for other crisis events. nological hazards described in this publication, Americans face threats posed by hostile governments or extremist Preparing for terrorism groups. These threats to national security include acts of terrorism and acts of war. 1. Wherever you are, be aware of your surroundings. The very nature of The following is general information about terrorism suggests there may be little national security emergencies. For more or no warning. information about how to prepare for them, including volunteering in a Citizen 2. Take precautions when traveling. Be Corps program, see the “For More Infor- aware of conspicuous or unusual be- mation” chapter at the end of this guide. havior. Do not accept packages from strangers. Do not leave luggage unat- tended. Unusual behavior, suspicious Terrorism packages and strange devices should be promptly reported to the police or security personnel. T errorism is the use of force or violence against persons or property in viola- tion of the criminal laws of the United 3. Do not be afraid to move or leave if you feel uncomfortable or if something does States for purposes of intimidation, not seem right. FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
  • 2. 84 ARE YOU READY? 4. Learn where emergency exits are lo- shelter-in-place, because of hazardous cated in buildings you frequent. No- materials releases, nuclear power plant tice where exits are when you enter incident, dam or flood control system unfamiliar buildings. Plan how to get failures. out of a building, subway or congested public area or traffic. Note where staircases are located. Notice heavy or Preparing for a breakable objects that could move, fall or break in an explosion. building explosion Explosions can collapse buildings and 5. Assemble a disaster supply kit at cause fires. People who live or work in a home and learn first aid. Separate the multi-level building can do the following: supplies you would take if you had to evacuate quickly, and put them in a 1. Review emergency evacuation proce- backpack or container, ready to go. dures. Know where emergency exits are located. 6. Be familiar with different types of fire extinguishers and how to locate them. 2. Keep fire extinguishers in working Know the location and availability of order. Know where they are located, hard hats in buildings in which you and learn how to use them. spend a lot of time. 3. Learn first aid. Contact the local chap- ter of the American Red Cross for infor- Protection against cyber attacks mation and training. Cyber attacks target computer or tele- 4. Building owners should keep the communication networks of critical infra- following items in a designated place structures such as power systems, traffic on each floor of the building. control systems, or financial systems. • Portable, battery-operated radio and Cyber attacks target information tech- extra batteries nologies (IT) in three different ways. First, • Several flashlights and extra batteries is a direct attack against an information • First aid kit and manual system “through the wires” alone (hack- • Several hard hats ing). Second, the attack can be a physical • Fluorescent tape to rope off dan- assault against a critical IT element. Third, gerous areas the attack can be from the inside as a re- sult of compromising a trusted party with access to the system. Bomb threats 1. Be prepared to do without services you If you receive a bomb threat, get as much normally depend on that could be dis- information from the caller as possible. rupted—electricity, telephone, natural Keep the caller on the line and record gas, gasoline pumps, cash registers, everything that is said. Then notify the ATM machines, and internet transac- police and the building management. tions. If you are notified of a bomb threat, do not 2. Be prepared to respond to official touch any suspicious packages. Clear the instructions if a cyber attack triggers area around suspicious packages and no- other hazards, for example, general tify the police immediately. In evacuating evacuation, evacuation to shelter, or a building, don’t stand in front of windows, FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
  • 3. ARE YOU READY? 85 glass doors or other potentially hazardous • Have incorrect titles or title without a areas. Do not block sidewalk or streets to name. be used by emergency officials or others • Are not addressed to a specific person. still exiting the building. • Have handwritten or poorly typed addresses. Suspicious parcels and letters With suspicious envelopes and packages Be wary of suspicious packages and let- other than those that might contain explo- ters. They can contain explosives, chemi- sives, take these additional steps against cal or biological agents. Be particularly possible biological and chemical agents. cautious at your place of employment. • Refrain from eating or drinking in a designated mail handling area. Some typical characteristics postal inspec- tors have detected over the • Place suspicious envelopes or packages years, which ought to trigger in a plastic bag or some other suspicion, include parcels type of container to prevent that— In the immediate leakage of contents. Never area of a sniff or smell suspect mail. • Are unexpected or from someone unfamiliar to you. terrorist event, • If you do not have a con- leave quickly tainer, then cover the envelope • Have no return address, or have one that can’t be veri- and orderly. or package with anything fied as legitimate. Listen to police, available (e.g., clothing, paper, trash can, etc.) and do not • Are marked with restric- fire, and other remove the cover. tive endorsements, such as officials for • Leave the room and close “Personal,” “Confidential” instructions. the door, or section off the or “Do not x-ray.” area to prevent others from • Have protruding wires or entering. aluminum foil, strange odors or stains. • Wash your hands with soap and water • Show a city or state in the postmark to prevent spreading any powder to that doesn’t match the return address. your face. • Are of unusual weight, given their size, • If you are at work, report the incident or are lopsided or oddly shaped. to your building security official or an • Are marked with any threatening available supervisor, who should notify language. police and other authorities without delay. • Have inappropriate or unusual labeling. • List all people who were in the room • Have excessive postage or excessive or area when this suspicious letter or packaging material such as masking package was recognized. Give a copy tape and string. of this list to both the local public • Have misspellings of common words. health authorities and law enforcement • Are addressed to someone no longer officials for follow-up investigations and with your organization or are otherwise advice. outdated. • If you are at home, report the incident to local police. FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
  • 4. 86 ARE YOU READY? 2. If you are trapped in debris: What to do if there is an explosion • Do not light a match. Leave the building as quickly as possible. • Do not move about or kick up dust. Do not stop to retrieve personal posses- Cover your mouth with a handker- sions or make phone calls. If things are chief or clothing. falling around you, get under a sturdy • Rhythmically tap on a pipe or wall table or desk until they stop falling. Then so that rescuers can hear where you leave quickly, watching for weakened are. Use a whistle if one is available. floors and stairs and falling debris as you Shout only as a last resort when exit. you hear sounds and think someone 1. If there is a fire: will hear you—shouting can cause a person to inhale dangerous amounts • Stay low to the floor and exit the of dust. building as quickly as possible. • Cover your nose and mouth with a wet cloth. • When approaching a closed door, Chemical and use the back of your hand to feel the lower, middle and upper parts Biological Weapons of the door. Never use the palm of your hand or fingers to test for heat: burning those areas could impair I n case of a chemical or biological weap- on attack near you, authorities will instruct you on the best course of action. your ability to escape a fire (i.e., lad- This may be to evacuate the area immedi- ders and crawling). ately, to seek shelter at a designated loca- – If the door is NOT hot, open slowly tion, or to take immediate shelter where and ensure fire and/or smoke is you are and seal the premises. The best not blocking your escape route. If way to protect yourself is to take emer- your escape route is blocked, shut gency preparedness measures ahead of the door immediately and use an time and to get medical attention as soon alternate escape route, such as a as possible, if needed. window. If clear, leave immedi- ately through the door. Be pre- pared to crawl. Smoke and heat Chemical rise. The air is clearer and cooler Chemical warfare agents are poisonous near the floor. vapors, aerosols, liquids or solids that – If the door is hot, do not open have toxic effects on people, animals or it. Escape through a window. If plants. They can be released by bombs, you cannot escape, hang a white sprayed from aircraft, boats, or vehicles, or light-colored sheet outside the or used as a liquid to create a hazard to window, alerting fire fighters to people and the environment. Some chemi- your presence. cal agents may be odorless and tasteless. • Heavy smoke and poisonous gases They can have an immediate effect (a few collect first along the ceiling. Stay seconds to a few minutes) or a delayed ef- below the smoke at all times. fect (several hours to several days). While potentially lethal, chemical agents are difficult to deliver in lethal concentrations. FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
  • 5. ARE YOU READY? 87 Outdoors, the agents often dissipate rap- duced or altered by chemical means. idly. Chemical agents are also difficult to Some toxins can be treated with spe- produce. cific antitoxins and selected drugs. There are six types of agents: Most biological agents are difficult to grow and maintain. Many break down quickly • Lung-damaging (pulmonary) agents when exposed to sunlight and other en- such as phosgene, vironmental factors, while others such as • Cyanide, anthrax spores are very long lived. They • Vesicants or blister agents such as can be dispersed by spraying them in the mustard, air, or infecting animals which carry the disease to humans as well through food • Nerve agents such as GA (tabun), GB and water contamination. (sarin), GD (soman), GF, and VX, • Aerosols—Biological agents are dis- • Incapacitating agents such persed into the air, forming as BZ, and a fine mist that may drift for • Riot-control agents (similar Be aware miles. Inhaling the agent may to MACE). of your cause disease in people or surroundings. animals. Biological The very nature • Animals—Some diseases of terrorism are spread by insects and Biological agents are organ- suggests that animals, such as fleas, mice, flies, and mosquitoes. Delib- isms or toxins that can kill or there may incapacitate people, livestock erately spreading diseases and crops. The three basic be little or no through livestock is also groups of biological agents warning. referred to as agroterrorism. which would likely be used as • Food and water contami- weapons are bacteria, virus- nation—Some pathogenic or- es, and toxins. ganisms and toxins may persist in food 1. Bacteria. Bacteria are small free-living and water supplies. Most microbes can organisms that reproduce by simple be killed, and toxins deactivated, by division and are easy to grow. The cooking food and boiling water. diseases they produce often respond to Anthrax spores formulated as a white treatment with antibiotics. powder were mailed to individuals in the government and media in the fall of 2. Viruses. Viruses are organisms which 2001. Postal sorting machines and the require living cells in which to repro- opening of letters dispersed the spores duce and are intimately dependent as aerosols. Several deaths resulted. upon the body they infect. Viruses The effect was to disrupt mail service produce diseases which generally do and to cause a widespread fear of han- not respond to antibiotics. However, dling delivered mail among the public. antiviral drugs are sometimes effective. Person-to-person spread of a few 3. Toxins. Toxins are poisonous infectious agents is also possible. substances found in, and extracted Humans have been the source of from, living plants, animals, or micro- infection for smallpox, plague, and organisms; some toxins can be pro- the Lassa viruses. FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
  • 6. 88 ARE YOU READY? What to do to prepare for a • Seek shelter in an internal room, preferably one without windows. chemical or biological attack Seal the room with duct tape and • Assemble a disaster supply kit (see plastic sheeting. Ten square feet of the “Emergency Planning and Disas- floor space per person will provide ter Supplies” chapter for more infor- sufficient air to prevent carbon di- mation) and be sure to include: oxide build-up for up to five hours. (See “Shelter” chapter.) • Battery-powered commercial radio with • Remain in protected areas where extra batteries. toxic vapors are reduced or elimi- • Non-perishable food and drinking nated, and be sure to take your bat- water. tery-operated radio with you. • Roll of duct tape and scissors. 3. If you are caught in an unprotected • Plastic for doors, windows area, you should: and vents for the room in • Attempt to get up-wind of which you will shelter in The best the contaminated area. place—this should be an protection • Attempt to find shelter as internal room where you against a quickly as possible. can block out air that may chemical or • Listen to your radio for of- contain hazardous chemi- biological attack ficial instructions. cal or biological agents. To would come from save critical time during being prepared an emergency, sheeting and getting What to do after a should be pre-measured and cut for each opening. quick medical chemical attack attention. Immediate symptoms of • First aid kit. exposure to chemical agents • Sanitation supplies may include blurred vision, including soap, water and bleach. eye irritation, difficulty breathing and nausea. A person affected by a chemical or biological agent requires immediate at- What to do during a chemical or tention by professional medical personnel. biological attack If medical help is not immediately avail- able, decontaminate yourself and assist in 1. Listen to your radio for instructions decontaminating others. Decontamination from authorities such as whether to is needed within minutes of exposure to remain inside or to evacuate. minimize health consequences. (However, you should not leave the safety of a shelter 2. If you are instructed to remain in your to go outdoors to help others until authori- home, the building where you are, or ties announce it is safe to do so.) other shelter during a chemical or bio- logical attack: 1. Use extreme caution when helping oth- ers who have been exposed to chemical • Turn off all ventilation, including agents: furnaces, air conditioners, vents and fans. • Remove all clothing and other items in contact with the body. Contami- nated clothing normally removed FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
  • 7. ARE YOU READY? 89 over the head should be cut off to and emergency alert systems. avoid contact with the eyes, nose, If your skin or clothing comes in contact and mouth. Put into a plastic bag with a visible, potentially infectious sub- if possible. Decontaminate hands stance, you should remove and bag your using soap and water. Remove clothes and personal items and wash eyeglasses or contact lenses. Put yourself with warm soapy water immedi- glasses in a pan of household bleach ately. Put on clean clothes and seek medi- to decontaminate. cal assistance. 2. Remove all items in contact with the body. For more information, visit the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Pre- 3. Flush eyes with lots of water. vention, 4. Gently wash face and hair with soap and water; then thoroughly rinse with water. 5. Decontaminate other body areas Nuclear and likely to have been contaminated. Blot (do not swab or scrape) with a cloth Radiological Attack N soaked in soapy water and rinse with uclear explosions can cause deadly clear water. effects—blinding light, intense 6. Change into uncontaminated clothes. heat (thermal radiation), initial nuclear Clothing stored in drawers or closets is radiation, blast, fires started by the heat likely to be uncontaminated. pulse, and secondary fires caused by the destruction. They also produce radioactive 7. If possible, proceed to a medical facility particles called fallout that can be carried for screening. by wind for hundreds of miles. Terrorist use of a radiological dispersion What to do after a biological attack device (RDD)—often called ”dirty nuke” In many biological attacks, people will not or “dirty bomb”—is considered far more know they have been exposed to an agent. likely than use of a nuclear device. These In such situations, the first evidence of radiological weapons are a combination an attack may be when you notice symp- of conventional explosives and radio- toms of the disease caused by an agent active material designed to scatter danger- exposure, and you should seek immediate ous and sub-lethal amounts of radio- medical attention for treatment. active material over a general area. Such radiological weapons appeal to terrorists In some situations, like the anthrax let- because they require very little technical ters sent in 2001, people may be alerted knowledge to build and deploy compared to a potential exposure. If this is the case, to that of a nuclear device. Also, these ra- pay close attention to all official warnings dioactive materials, used widely in med- and instructions on how to proceed. The icine, agriculture, industry and research, delivery of medical services for a biologi- are much more readily available and easy cal event may be handled differently to to obtain compared to weapons grade ura- respond to increased demand. Again, it nium or plutonium. will be important for you to pay attention to official instructions via radio, television, FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
  • 8. 90 ARE YOU READY? Taking shelter during a nuclear attack is Terrorist use of a nuclear device would absolutely necessary. There are two kinds probably be limited to a single smaller of shelters—blast and fallout. “suitcase” weapon. The strength of such a weapon would be in the range of the Blast shelters offer some protection bombs used during World War II. The against blast pressure, initial radiation, nature of the effects would be the same as heat and fire, but even a blast shelter a weapon delivered by an inter-continental could not withstand a direct hit from a missile, but the area and severity of the nuclear detonation. effects would be significantly more limited. Fallout shelters do not need to be specially There is no way of knowing how much constructed for that purpose. They can warning time there would be before an be any protected space, provided that the attack by a terrorist using a nuclear or walls and roof are thick and dense enough radiological weapon. A surprise attack to absorb the radiation given off by fallout remains a possibility. particles. The three protective factors of a fallout shelter are The danger of a massive shielding, distance, and time. strategic nuclear attack on Most electronic the United States involv- equipment • Shielding. The more heavy, ing many weapons receded within 1,000 dense materials—thick walls, concrete, bricks, books and with the end of the Cold War. miles of a high- earth—between you and the However, some terrorists have altitude nuclear fallout particles, the better. been supported by nations detonation could that have nuclear weapons • Distance. The more distance programs. be damaged by between you and the fallout EMP. particles, the better. An under- If there were threat of an ground area, such as a home attack from a hostile na- or office building basement, of- tion, people living near potential targets fers more protection than the first floor could be advised to evacuate or they could of a building. A floor near the middle decide on their own to evacuate to an area of a high-rise may be better, depending not considered a likely target. Protection on what is nearby at that level on which from radioactive fallout would require tak- significant fallout particles would col- ing shelter in an underground area, or in lect. Flat roofs collect fallout particles the middle of a large building. so the top floor is not a good choice, nor is a floor adjacent to a neighboring flat In general, potential targets include: roof. • Strategic missile sites and military • Time. Fallout radiation loses its inten- bases. sity fairly rapidly. In time, you will be • Centers of government such as Wash- able to leave the fallout shelter. Radio- ington, D.C., and state capitals. active fallout poses the greatest threat • Important transportation and commu- to people during the first two weeks, by nication centers. which time it has declined to about 1% • Manufacturing, industrial, technology of its initial radiation level. and financial centers. • Petroleum refineries, electrical power Remember that any protection, however plants and chemical plants. temporary, is better than none at all, and • Major ports and airfields. the more shielding, distance and time you can take advantage of, the better. FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
  • 9. ARE YOU READY? 91 Electromagnetic pulse could be designated as shelters again. • Call your local emergency manage- In addition to other effects, a nuclear ment office. weapon detonated in or above the earth’s • Look for yellow and black fallout atmosphere can create an electromagnetic shelter signs on public buildings. pulse (EMP), a high-density electrical field. Note: With the end of the Cold War, EMP acts like a stroke of lightning but many of the signs have been is stronger, faster and briefer. EMP can removed from the buildings previ- seriously damage electronic devices con- ously designated. nected to power sources or antennas. This • If no noticeable or official designa- include communication systems, comput- tions have been made, make your ers, electrical appliances, and automobile own list of potential shelters near or aircraft ignition systems. The damage your home, workplace and school: could range from a minor interruption basements, or the windowless center to actual burnout of components. Most area of middle floors in high-rise electronic equipment within 1,000 miles of buildings, as well as subways and a high-altitude nuclear detonation could tunnels. be affected. Battery powered radios with short antennas generally would not be af- • Give your household clear instruc- fected. tions about where fallout shelters are located and what actions to take Although EMP is unlikely to harm most in case of attack. people, it could harm those with pacemak- ers or other implanted electronic devices. 4. If you live in an apartment building or high-rise, talk to the manager about the safest place in the building for What to do before a nuclear or sheltering, and about providing for building occupants until it is safe to radiological attack go out. 1. Learn the warning signals and all 5. There are few public shelters in many sources of warning used in your com- suburban and rural areas. If you are munity. Make sure you know what the considering building a fallout shelter at signals are, what they mean, how they home, keep the following in mind. will be used, and what you should do if • A basement, or any underground you hear them. area, is the best place to shelter from 2. Assemble and maintain a disaster sup- fallout. Often, few major changes are ply kit with food, water, medications, needed, especially if the structure fuel and personal items adequate for has two or more stories and its base- up to 2 weeks—the more the better. ment—or one corner of it—is below (See the “Emergency Planning and ground. Disaster Supplies” chapter for more • Fallout shelters can be used for information). storage during non-emergency peri- 3. Find out what public buildings in your ods, but only store things there that community may have been designated can be very quickly removed. (When as fallout shelters. It may have been they are removed, dense, heavy years ago, but start there, and learn items may be used to add to the which buildings are still in use and shielding.) FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
  • 10. 92 ARE YOU READY? • See the “Tornadoes” section in the out. If you are close enough to see “Thunderstorms” chapter for infor- the brilliant flash of a nuclear explo- mation on the “Wind Safe Room,” sion, the fallout will arrive in about which could be used as shelter in 20 minutes. Take shelter, even if you the event of a nuclear detonation or are many miles from ground zero—ra- for fallout protection, especially in a dioactive fallout can be carried by the home without a basement. winds for hundreds of miles. Remem- • All the items you will need for your ber the three protective factors: shield- stay need not be stocked inside ing, distance and time. the shelter itself but can be stored 4. Keep a battery-powered radio with elsewhere, as long as you can move you, and listen for official information. them quickly to the shelter. Follow the instructions given. Local 6. Learn about your community’s evac- instructions should always take pre- uation plans. Such plans may include cedence: officials on the ground know evacuation routes, relocation sites, the local situation best. how the public will be notified and transportation options for people who do not own cars and those who have What to do after a nuclear or special needs. See the “Evacuation” radiological attack chapter for more information. In a public or home shelter: 7. Acquire other emergency preparedness booklets that you may need. See the 1. Do not leave the shelter until officials “For More Information” chapter at the say it is safe. Follow their instructions end of this guide. when leaving. 2. If in a fallout shelter, stay in your shel- ter until local authorities tell you it is What to do during a nuclear or permissible or advisable to leave. The radiological attack length of your stay can range from a day or two to four weeks. 1. Do not look at the flash or fireball— it can blind you. • Contamination from a radiological dispersion device could affect a wide 2. If you hear an attack warning: area, depending on the amount of • Take cover as quickly as you can, conventional explosives used, the BELOW GROUND IF POSSIBLE, and quantity of radioactive material and stay there unless instructed to do atmospheric conditions. otherwise. • A “suitcase” terrorist nuclear device • If you are caught outside, unable to detonated at or near ground level get inside immediately, take cover would produce heavy fallout from behind anything that might offer the dirt and debris sucked up into protection. Lie flat on the ground the mushroom cloud. and cover your head. • A missile-delivered nuclear weapon • If the explosion is some distance from a hostile nation would probably away, it could take 30 seconds or cause an explosion many times more more for the blast wave to hit. powerful than a suitcase bomb, and 3. Protect yourself from radioactive fall- provide a greater cloud of radioactive fallout. FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
  • 11. ARE YOU READY? 93 • The decay rate of the radioactive explosion, check first for any sign of fallout would be the same, making it collapse or damage, such as: necessary for those in the areas with • toppling chimneys, falling bricks, highest radiation levels to remain in collapsing walls, plaster falling from shelter for up to a month. ceilings. • The heaviest fallout would be limited • fallen light fixtures, pictures and to the area at or downwind from the mirrors. explosion, and 80% of the fallout would occur during the first 24 • broken glass from windows. hours. • overturned bookcases, wall units or • Because of these facts and the very other fixtures. limited number of weapons terrorists • fires from broken chimneys. could detonate, most of the country would not be affected by fallout. • ruptured gas and electric lines. • People in most of the 3. Immediately clean up areas that would be af- Learn how spilled medicines, drugs, fected could be allowed to build a flammable liquids, and other to come out of shel- temporary potentially hazardous mate- rials. ter and, if necessary, fallout shelter to evacuate to unaffected 4. Listen to your battery-pow- protect yourself areas within a few days. ered radio for instructions from radioactive and information about com- 3. Although it may be dif- fallout even if munity services. ficult, make every effort you do not live to maintain sanitary 5. Monitor the radio and near a potential your television for informa- conditions in your shelter space. nuclear target. tion on assistance that may be provided. Local, state 4. Water and food may be and federal governments and scarce. Use them prudently but do not other organizations will help meet impose severe rationing, especially for emergency needs and help you recover children, the ill or elderly. from damage and losses. 5. Cooperate with shelter managers. Liv- 6. The danger may be aggravated by ing with many people in confined space broken water mains and fallen power can be difficult and unpleasant. lines. 7. If you turned gas, water and electric- Returning to your home ity off at the main valves and switch before you went to shelter: 1. Keep listening to the radio for news • Do not turn the gas back on. about what to do, where to go, and The gas company will turn it back places to avoid. on for you or you will receive other 2. If your home was within the range of instructions. a bomb’s shock wave, or you live in a • Turn the water back on at the main high-rise or other apartment building valve only after you know the water that experienced a non-nuclear system is working and water is not contaminated. FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
  • 12. 94 ARE YOU READY? • Turn electricity back on at the main switch only after you know the wir- ing is undamaged in your home and Homeland Security the community electrical system is functioning. Advisory System • Check to see that sewage lines are intact before using sanitary facilities. T he Homeland Security Advisory Sys- tem was designed to provide a com- prehensive means to disseminate infor- 8. Stay away from damaged areas. mation regarding the risk of terrorist acts 9. Stay away from areas marked “radia- to federal, state, and local authorities tion hazard” or “HAZMAT.” and to the American people. This system provides warnings in the form of a set of For more information relevant to terrorism graduated “Threat Conditions” that in- consult the following chapters: crease as the risk of the threat increases. • The “Earthquakes” chapter for informa- At each threat condition, federal depart- tion about protecting yourself when a ments and agencies would implement a building is shaking or unsafe and the corresponding set of “Protective Measures” Fire chapter for tips on fire safety. to further reduce vulnerability or increase response capability during a period of • The “Hazardous Materials Incidents” heightened alert. chapter for information about sealing a home. • The “Emergency Planning and Disaster Supplies” chapter for information about preparing a disaster supply kit. Red • The “Shelter” chapter for measures regarding water purification. Orange • The “Evacuation” chapter for informa- Yellow tion about evacuation procedures. • The “Recovering from Disaster” chapter Blue for information about crisis counseling. Green Although the Homeland Security Advi- sory System is binding on the executive branch, it is voluntary to other levels of government and the private sector. There are five threat conditions, each identified by a description and corresponding color. The greater the risk of a terrorist attack, the higher the threat condition. Risk includes both the probability of an at- tack occurring and its potential gravity. FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
  • 13. ARE YOU READY? 95 Threat conditions are assigned by the (see “Emergency Planning and Disas- Attorney General in consultation with the ter Supplies” chapter). Assistant to the President for Homeland Security. Threat conditions may be as- Guarded Condition (Blue). This condi- signed for the entire nation, or they may tion is declared when there is a general be set for a particular geographic area or risk of terrorist attacks. In addition to the industrial sector. Assigned threat condi- measures taken in the previous threat tions will be reviewed at regular intervals condition, federal departments and agen- to determine whether adjustments are cies will consider the following protective warranted. measures: • Check communications with des- ignated emergency response or com- Threat Conditions and Associated Pro- mand locations; tective Measures • Review and update emergency re- There is always a risk of a terrorist sponse procedures; and threat. Each threat condition assigns a • Provide the public with any infor- level of alert appropriate to the increas- mation that would strengthen its abil- ing risk of terrorist attacks. Beneath ity to act appropriately. each threat condition are some suggested protective measures that the government Members of the public, in addition to and the public can take, recognizing that the actions taken for the previous threat the heads of federal departments and condition, can: agencies are responsible for developing • Update their disaster supply kit; and implementing appropriate agency- • Review their household disaster plan; specific Protective Measures: • Hold a household meeting to discuss Low Condition (Green). This condition what members would do and how they is declared when there is a low risk of would communicate in the event of an terrorist attacks. Federal departments incident; and agencies will consider the following • Develop a more detailed household protective measures. communication plan; • Refine and exercise prearranged pro- • Apartment residents should discuss tective measures; with building managers steps to be • Ensure personnel receive proper taken during an emergency; and training on the Homeland Security • People with special needs should Advisory System and specific prear- discuss their emergency plans with ranged department or agency protec- friends, family or employers. tive measures; and Elevated Condition (Yellow). An Elevated • Institute a process to assure that all Condition is declared when there is a sig- facilities and regulated sectors are nificant risk of terrorist attacks. In addi- regularly assessed for vulnerabilities tion to the measures taken in the previous to terrorist attacks, and all reason- threat conditions, federal departments able measures are taken to mitigate and agencies will consider the following these vulnerabilities. protective measures: Members of the public can: • Increase surveillance of critical • Develop a household disaster plan locations; and assemble a disaster supply kit. FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
  • 14. 96 ARE YOU READY? • Coordinate emergency plans with • Review preparedness measures (in- nearby jurisdictions as appropriate; cluding evacuation and sheltering) for • Assess whether the precise characteri- potential terrorist actions including stics of the threat require the further chemical, biological, and radiological refinement of prearranged protective attacks; measures; and • Avoid high profile or symbolic loca- • Implement, as appropriate, contin- tions; and gency and emergency response plans. • Exercise caution when traveling. Severe Condition (Red). A Severe Con- Members of the public, in addition to dition reflects a severe risk of terrorist the actions taken for the previous threat attacks. Under most circumstances, the condition, can: protective measures for a Severe Condi- • Be observant of any suspicious activity tion are not intended to be sustained for and report it to authorities; substantial periods of time. In addition to • Contact neighbors to discuss their the protective measures in the previous plans and needs; threat conditions, federal departments • Check with school officials to deter- and agencies also will consider the follow- mine their plans for an emergency and ing general measures: procedures to reunite children with • Increase or redirect personnel to ad- parents and caregivers; and dress critical emergency needs; • Update the household communication • Assign emergency response personnel plan. and pre-position and mobilize special- ly trained teams or resources; High Condition (Orange). A High Condi- tion is declared when there is a high risk • Monitor, redirect, or constrain trans- of terrorist attacks. In addition to the portation systems; and measures taken in the previous threat • Close public and government facilities conditions, federal departments and agen- not critical for continuity of essential cies will consider the following protective operations, especially pubic safety. measures: Members of the public, in addition to the • Coordinate necessary security efforts actions taken for the previous threat con- with federal, state, and local law en- ditions, can: forcement agencies, National Guard or • Avoid public gathering places such as other security and armed forces; sports arenas, holiday gatherings, or • Take additional precautions at public other high risk locations; events, possibly considering alterna- • Follow official instructions about re- tive venues or even cancellation; strictions to normal activities; • Prepare to execute contingency proce- • Contact employer to determine status dures, such as moving to an alternate of work; site or dispersing the workforce; and • Listen to the radio and TV for possible • Restrict access to a threatened facility advisories or warnings; and to essential personnel only. • Prepare to take protective actions such Members of the public, in addition to the as sheltering-in-place or evacuation if actions taken for the previous threat con- instructed to do so by public officials. ditions, can: FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY

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