National Security Emergencies by priyankmegha


									ARE YOU READY?                                                                             83

                                                 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

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

                                                 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

    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

                                                     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
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,

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
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
• 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
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.

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
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
       furnaces, air conditioners, vents and
       fans.                                       • Remove all clothing and other items
                                                     in contact with the body. Contami-
                                                     nated clothing normally removed

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.
 4. Gently wash face and hair with soap
    and water; then thoroughly rinse with
 5. Decontaminate other body areas
                                                    Nuclear and
    likely to have been contaminated. Blot
    (do not swab or scrape) with a cloth
                                                    Radiological Attack
    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
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
                                    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:
• 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.

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
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
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

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
     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-
     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.
                                               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

                                             FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
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
                                              Advisory System
     • Check to see that sewage lines
       are intact before using sanitary
                                              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
• The “Emergency Planning and Disaster
  Supplies” chapter for information about
  preparing a disaster supply kit.
• The “Shelter” chapter for measures
  regarding water purification.                                                 Orange
• The “Evacuation” chapter for informa-
  tion about evacuation procedures.
• The “Recovering from Disaster” chapter                                        Blue
  for information about crisis counseling.

                                              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.

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
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.
                                                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:


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