Frequently Asked Questions by fjwuxn


									                      COMPREHENSIVE CITIZEN’S GUIDE

How can I better prepare for any disaster?

   Develop/review a family communication plan

   The greatest cause of anxiety when disaster happens is not knowing how the people
   you care about are doing. This will give assurances that all are safe and enable you to
   make plans to get back together. List all telephone numbers as well as e-mail
   addresses for everyone that you will need to notify in an emergency. Ask an out-of-
   state friend or relative to serve as the family contact. After a disaster, it is often easier
   to call long distance, outside of the disaster area. Make sure all family members
   know the name, address and telephone number of the contact person.

   Develop/review a family evacuation plan

   Contact your local Emergency Management Director to learn of your community‟s
   emergency plan, location of shelters and hospitals, evacuation routes and emergency
   warning system.. Every city and town in the Commonwealth has one. If an incident
   occurs, listen to local radio or television and follow the instructions of emergency
   officials. Evacuate immediately, if told to do so. Lock your homes when you leave.
   Travel routes specified by local officials, taking family disaster kit basics with you.
   You may be asked to „shelter-in-place‟. This means to go indoors, closing all doors
   and windows. Turn off all window fans, dryers kitchen and bath exhaust fans, air
   conditioners and other sources of outside air. If you are traveling in an automobile,
   close windows and air vents. Continue to monitor the media for further instructions.

What should I include in my disaster supply kit?

      Foods (canned goods and nonperishable foods) that do not need cooking
      Utensils, such as, a manual can opener, disposable plates, cups, forks, knives
       spoons, etc.
      Drinking water in non-breakable containers (one gallon per person per day)
      Special dietary food if required
      Identification, valuable papers, policies and photographs in a waterproof container
      Personal hygiene items, such as, soap, deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste,
       toothbrush, washcloth, towels, sanitary items
      First aid kit
      Thermometer
      Medications, prescription and over the counter, such as aspirin and antacid
      Specific medical information
      Personal aids, such as, eyeglasses, hearing aids, canes, etc.
      Infant care items, such as, diapers and formula
      Special items necessary for elderly
      Pet food/care items
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      Books, magazines, toys
      Battery-operated radio
      National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio
      Flashlight
      Extra batteries
      Matches
      Portable outdoor camping stove or grill with fuel supply
      Sleeping bag or blanket, sheet and pillow
      Change of clothing
      Rainwear
      Tool kit
      Cash
      Cell phone and charger/extra batteries
      Waterproof container for your disaster supply kit

How many disaster supply kits should I have?

   Stock a complete kit to meet the needs of everyone in your home, and have it packed
   and ready to take with you in case you are advised to evacuate your home. You
   should also have a small disaster supply kit in each vehicle, as well as supplies at your

   Sometimes it is easier to create one kit for each person in your home, so that the
   container is smaller and easier to carry. The amount of contents remains the same, in
   total, for everyone in your home.

What supplies should I have in my car?

      Food
      Water
      First aid kit
      Flares
      Jumper cables
      Flashlight and extra batteries
      Seasonal supplies

Should I take a disaster supplies kit to work with me?

   It is a good idea to have essential disaster supplies in all places where you spend
   significant amounts of time.

 What about my pets? What are some guidelines for handling animals in

   Pets need to be considered in your disaster plan. Consider the following preparedness

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    If you must evacuate, do not leave your pets behind.
    Pets are NOT typically permitted in emergency shelters, with the exception of
     service animals.
    Find out which local hotels and motels allow pets and where pet boarding facilities
     are located. Include some outside your local area as well.
    Be sure your pet has proper identification tags securely fastened to the collar. A
     current photo of your pet will also assist identification.
    Have a secure pet carrier or leash for your pet.
    A pet disaster kit should include:
     o Pet food
     o Water
     o Medications
     o Veterinary records
     o Litter box
     o Can opener
     o Food dishes
     o First aid kit
     o Information sheet with pet‟s name and such things as behavior problems
    Call your local emergency management office or animal shelter for further

 If you have large animals, such as horses or cattle, be sure to prepare before a disaster.

    Evacuate animals whenever possible. Evacuation destinations should be prepared
     with, or ready to obtain, food, water, veterinary care, and handling equipment.
    Experienced handlers, drivers, vehicles and trailers should be available.
    In case evacuation is not possible, owners must decide whether ot move large
     animals to shelter or turn them outside.
    All animals should have some form of identification.

How much should I add to my disaster supply kit for them?

   Store enough supplies for your pet‟s needs for at least three days, including food,
   water, and related items such as kitty litter.

What’s the difference between an “all hazards” disaster supplies kit and a weapons
of mass destruction disaster supplies kit?

   There is no difference between these kits, except that certain manufacturers may
   apply different labels to them.

If I live in a high-rise, do I respond the same way as if I lived in a house?

   Know and exercise your building‟s evacuation route and plan. Listen to the advice of
   local government officials. If advised to shelter-in-place, select an interior room on
   the floor that you are on in which to take refuge. If advised to evacuate, follow the
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   advice of local government officials or building management. Contact your building
   supervisor before you plan to leave.

Which radio or television station should I listen to for information?

   These days, all stations are required to carry “Emergency Alert System Messages”
   when government officials issue them. For continuous updates, select a station that
   you know carries regular and “live” news broadcasts, rather than taped interviews.

How can schools prepare for the unexpected?

   Please consult your school board or local emergency management agency as they
   have most likely worked together to develop a plan that will ensure the safety of all
   children at the school. In most cases they have established emergency
   communication plans, evacuation plans and know how to deal with the emotional
   needs of the students.

What should you do if you hear about an emergency and your children are in

   Schools should have an emergency plan. Check with your children‟s school
   BEFORE AN EMERGENCY to find out what the plan is. If an emergency happens
   while children are in school, often the school will hold children until the area is safe
   and parents or a designated adult can pick them up.

   Parents should not drive to school to pick up children unless advised to do so.
   Driving on the roadways may put you in harm‟s way.

How do I find out what kind of emergency plan is in my place of employment?

   Ask your supervisor or facilities manager. If your employer does not have a plan,
   suggest that they read the “Emergency Management Guide for Business and Industry”
   which is available for downloading from For more information
   visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website at

Isn’t preparing for an unspecified emergency a waste of time?

   Any type of disaster can happen any time, such as an earthquake, fire, flood, tornado,
   hurricane or blizzard. It is important to be prepared for any event, regardless of the
   cause. While issuing these types of messages may cause some people to be concerned
   or anxious, disaster preparedness actions as recommended are helpful.

How can I handle fears and concerns of my children?

   First it is important that parents stay calm, since children will look to your reaction for
   comfort. Second, by having a family communications plan in place and talking about
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   disasters before they occur, your child will have confidence in knowing what to do
   and how to contact you. Agencies like The American Red Cross have resources
   available that can help children deal with terrorism and tragic events. See the lessons
   and activities titled Facing Fear: Helping Children Deal With Terrorism and Tragic
   Events. These materials are available to be downloaded from

How do I stay calm?

   Know how to be prepared for emergencies. Develop a plan on how to respond with
   your family, including loved ones who will be concerned about you but who do not
   live with you. Include an emergency communications plan. If a disaster happens,
   follow your plan. Knowing that you know what to do and doing it is the best way to
   remain calm.

Where can I find out more information on shelters in my area?

   Contact your local emergency management office or non-emergency telephone
   number for your local police or fire departments.

Will anyone tell me to stay in my home or leave the area?

   Yes, government officials will provide instructions on the radio and television. Listen
   to their advice and follow their instructions. If government officials advise evacuating
   the area, the officials will open shelters in locations that will be safe. Be careful not to
   confuse an evacuation shelter with a room in a home or building that is selected to
   seal up and use to “shelter-in-place.”

What are the important points to remember in case we are told to “shelter- in-

   You should be in a place that will afford you protection from a contaminant in the air.
   One of the instructions you may be given in an emergency where hazardous materials
   may have been released into the atmosphere is to shelter-in-place. This is a precaution
   aimed to keep you safe while remaining indoors. (This is not the same thing as going
   to a shelter in case of a storm.) Shelter-in-place means selecting a small, interior
   room, with no or few windows, and taking refuge there. It does not mean sealing off
   your entire home or office building. If you are told to shelter-in-place, follow the
   instructions provided in this Fact Sheet. Please do not confuse the recommendation to
   have at least three days‟ worth of disaster supplies on hand with the amount of time
   that you may be asked to shelter-in-place. Have at least three days‟ worth of supplies
   in case stores are closed and roads are impassible due to a disaster like a flood or
   winter storm.

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   Why you might need to shelter-in-place

   Chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants may be released accidentally or
   intentionally into the environment. Should this occur, information will be provided by
   local authorities on television and radio stations on how to protect you and your
   family. Because information will most likely be provided on television and radio, it is
   important to keep a TV or radio on, even during the workday. The important thing is
   for you to follow instructions of local authorities and know what to do if they advise
   you to shelter-in-place.

How to shelter-in-place

   At home

   Close and lock all windows and exterior doors. If you are told there is a chance an
   explosion may occur, close the window shades, blinds, or curtains. Turn off all fans,
   heating and air conditioning systems. Close the fireplace damper. Get your family
   disaster supplies kit and make sure the radio is working.

   Go to an interior room without windows that's above ground level. In the case of a
   chemical threat, an aboveground location is preferable because some chemicals are
   heavier than air, and may seep into basements even if the windows are closed. Bring
   your pets with you, and be sure to bring additional food and water supplies for them.

   It is ideal to have a hard-wired telephone in the room you select. Call your emergency
   contact and have the phone available if you need to report a life-threatening condition.
   Cellular telephone equipment may be overwhelmed or damaged during an emergency.
   Use duct tape and plastic sheeting to seal all cracks around the door and any vents into
   the room.

   Keep listening to your radio or television until you are told all is safe or you are told
   to evacuate. Local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in
   your community.

   At work

   Close the business. If there are customers, clients, or visitors in the building, provide
   for their safety by asking them to stay, not leave. When authorities provide directions
   to shelter-in-place, they want everyone to take those steps now, where they are, and
   not drive or walk outdoors. Unless there is an imminent threat, ask employees,
   customers, clients, and visitors to call their emergency contact to let them know where
   they are and that they are safe.

   Turn on call-forwarding or alternative telephone answering systems or services. If the
   business has voice mail or an automated attendant, change the recording to indicate
   that the business is closed, and that staff and visitors are remaining in the building
   until authorities advise it is safe to leave. Close and lock all windows, exterior doors,
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and any other openings to the outside. If you are told there is a danger of an
explosion, close the window shades, blinds, or curtains. Have employees familiar with
your building‟s mechanical systems turn off all fans, heating and air conditioning
systems. Some systems automatically provide for exchange of inside air with outside
air; these systems, in particular, need to be turned off, sealed, or disabled.

Gather essential disaster supplies, such as nonperishable food, bottled water, battery-
powered radios, first aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, duct tape, plastic sheeting, and
plastic garbage bags. Select interior room(s) above the ground floor, with the fewest
windows or vents. The room(s) should have adequate space for everyone to be able to
sit in. Avoid overcrowding by selecting several rooms if necessary. Large storage
closets, utility rooms, pantries, copy and conference rooms without exterior windows
will work well. Avoid selecting a room with mechanical equipment like ventilation
blowers or pipes, because this equipment may not be able to be sealed from the
outdoors. It is ideal to have a hard-wired telephone in the room(s) you select.

Call emergency contacts and have the phone available if you need to report a life-
threatening condition. Cellular telephone equipment may be overwhelmed or
damaged during an emergency. Use duct tape and plastic sheeting to seal all cracks
around the door(s) and any vents into the room. Bring everyone into the room(s).
Shut and lock the door(s). Write down the names of everyone in the room, and call
your business‟ designated emergency contact to report who is in the room with you,
and their affiliation with your business (employee, visitor, client, customer.)

Keep listening to the radio or television until you are told all is safe or you are told to
evacuate. Local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in
your community.

At school

Close the school. Activate the school‟s emergency plan. Follow reverse evacuation
procedures to bring students, faculty, and staff indoors. If there are visitors in the
building, provide for their safety by asking them to stay, not leave. When authorities
provide directions to shelter-in-place, they want everyone to take those steps now,
where they are, and not drive or walk outdoors.

Provide for answering telephone inquiries from concerned parents by having at least
one telephone with the school‟s listed telephone number available in the room
selected to provide shelter for the school secretary, or person designated to answer
these calls. This room should also be sealed. There should be a way to communicate
among all rooms where people are sheltering-in-place in the school. Ideally, provide
for a way to make announcements over the school-wide public address system from
the room where the top school official takes shelter.

If children have cell phones, allow them to use them to call a parent or guardian to let
them know that they have been asked to remain in school until further notice, and that
they are safe. If the school has voice mail or an automated attendant, change the
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recording to indicate that the school is closed, students and staff are remaining in the
building until authorities advise that it is safe to leave.

Provide directions to close and lock all windows, exterior doors, and any other
openings to the outside. If you are told there is danger of explosion, direct that
window shades, blinds, or curtains be closed. Have employees familiar with your
building‟s mechanical systems turn off all fans, heating and air conditioning systems.
Some systems automatically provide for exchange of inside air with outside air; these
systems, in particular, need to be turned off, sealed, or disabled.

Gather essential disaster supplies, such as nonperishable food, bottled water, battery-
powered radios, first aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, duct tape, plastic sheeting, and
plastic garbage bags. Select interior room(s) above the ground floor, with the fewest
windows or vents. The room(s) should have adequate space for everyone to be able to
sit in. Avoid overcrowding by selecting several rooms if necessary. Classrooms may
be used if there are no windows or the windows are sealed and cannot be opened.
Large storage closets, utility rooms, meeting rooms, and even a gymnasium without
exterior windows will also work well.

It is ideal to have a hard-wired telephone in the room(s) you select. Call emergency
contacts and have the phone available if you need to report a life-threatening
condition. Cellular telephone equipment may be overwhelmed or damaged during an
emergency. Bring everyone into the room. Shut and lock the door. Use duct tape
and plastic sheeting to seal all cracks around the door(s) and any vents into the room.
Write down the names of everyone in the room, and call your schools‟ designated
emergency contact to report who is in the room with you.

Listen for an official announcement from school officials via the public address
system, and stay where you are until you are told all is safe or you are told to
evacuate. Local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in
your community.

In your vehicle

If you are driving a vehicle and hear advice to “shelter-in-place” on the radio,go
immediately to your home, office, or a public building, if nearby, and go inside.
Follow the shelter-in-place recommendations for the place you pick described above.
If you are unable to get to a home or building quickly and safely, then pull over to the
side of the road. Stop your vehicle in the safest place possible. If it is sunny outside, it
is preferable to stop under a bridge or in a shady spot, to avoid being overheated. Turn
off the engine. Close windows and vents. Listen to the radio regularly for updated
advice and instructions. Stay where you are until you are told it is safe to get back on
the road. Be aware that some roads may be closed or traffic detoured. Follow the
directions of law enforcement officials.

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Should I stock duct tape and plastic sheeting?

   These materials have always been recommended to have as part of a Disaster Supplies
   Kit and may be needed if the public is advised by local authorities to “shelter-in-

I’m confused about this duct tape and plastic sheeting recommendation - am I
supposed to seal my whole house and do it now? How much do I need? Is plastic
really going to stop a chemical agent? What kind of plastic sheeting should I use?

   The recommendation to shelter-in-place using duct tape and plastic sheeting will be
   provided by government officials only when an emergency occurs. It is recommended
   that people have these supplies on hand in case they are needed. You would seal only
   one room when advised to do so, and do it only when instructed - not in advance. It is
   likely that one roll of duct tape will be adequate. Plastic sheeting of durable thickness
   is recommended for covering vents and other openings to the outside - not the entire
   room. It is intended to provide a barrier to airflow. While we cannot guarantee that
   plastic sheeting over air vents will stop all biological, chemical, or radiological
   agents, it will add to the barrier of protection for your safety.

Do I need a safe room? What is a safe room?

   A “safe room” is a room designed to withstand tornado-force winds. The Red Cross
   recommends and endorses having a “safe room” in areas where tornadoes are a threat.
   (see ) However, do not confuse a “safe room” used for protection
   from windstorms with a room selected for “shelter-in-place.” They are technically
   different, although they serve a similar purpose. If a “safe room” for windstorms is
   above ground level and has no windows, it can also be an ideal location in which to

If I seal off my rooms and vents, how will I breathe? How long should I anticipate
being in the room in which I am sheltering-in-place?

   Instructions to shelter-in-place are usually provided for a matter of hours, not weeks.
   There is little danger that the room in which you are taking shelter will run out of
   oxygen and you will suffocate.

Is the room in which to shelter-in-place a bathroom?

   A bathroom may be a good choice for the room in which to “shelter-in-place” as long
   as it does not have windows (or few windows) and you can block openings (such as
   vents) to the outside.

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Will a whole house air filtration systems protect me?

   These systems are designed to reduce, but not completely remove, particulate matter
   in the air inside a home. A house or apartment is not completely air tight or sealed,
   even when doors and windows are closed.

What should I do if I think I have received a suspicious envelope or package?

   In light of recent events, individuals who think that they may have received a
   suspicious envelope or package should react calmly but with caution. Keep an eye out
   for things like misspelled addresses, a lack of a return address, a package or letter
   marked "personal" or "confidential," or a stain on the letter or package. If a letter or
   package is opened and a substance is evident, remain calm. Set the item down slowly
   and avoid stirring any powder into the air. Back away quickly and then isolate the
   area as best you can to avoid others coming in contact with the substance-for
   example, close the door on the room and notify others in the immediate area of the

   It is very important that people DO NOT pass around the envelope, show it to
   others in the room, carry it to a different area, etc. It is better to err on the side
   of caution, rather than risk exposing more individuals to the suspicious
   substance. Let public safety personnel evaluate the situation-- do not try to do it
   yourself or with co-workers.

   Go to a bathroom or sink area, wash your hands and face thoroughly with warm water
   and soap, then call 911 and tell them that you have a suspicious item. Keep in mind
   that there have been thousands of hoaxes across the country during the past couple of
   years, so if you find yourself in this situation, allow your experienced local public
   safety authorities to provide guidance as to whether they need to respond.

What are the signs that a poison gas attack (or a chemical accident) might be taking

   One of the unsettling characteristics of hazardous substances is that some of them
   cannot be seen or smelled. Citizens can protect themselves by observing the following
   rule of thumb: If a person is on the ground, choking or seizing, it is likely this
   individual is having a heart attack or some sort of seizure. However, if several people
   have collapsed, are coughing, vomiting, or seizing, they could be reacting to the
   presence of a toxic substance. Evacuate the area immediately and dial 911, making
   sure to tell the dispatcher that a hazardous substance may be present.

   If the situation is indoors

   If indoors, exit the building as rapidly as possible. Studies show that water alone is an
   effective decontaminant. Rescuers will arrive within minutes, and firefighters, if
   appropriate, will hook up hoses and spray everyone to decontaminate them. Try to
   remain calm. Rescuers will triage everyone so that they can give medical attention to
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   the most seriously affected individuals first. Even if you are showing no symptoms of
   exposure (e.g., eye problems), paramedics and physicians on scene will want to give
   you a check-up and advise you about follow-up care. Police officers will also want to
   speak with you about what you may have observed that could help them catch the
   individual(s) responsible.

   If the situation is outdoors

   Birds and other small animals would very quickly be overcome by a hazardous
   substance, so if birds are dropping from the sky, that is another warning sign of
   trouble. The most important thing to do is to get a physical barrier between you and
   the hazardous substance. Get indoors quickly--preferably into a building but even
   being inside a car will help. Shut all windows and doors and turn off the air
   conditioner. Try to plug any air drafts (e.g., under doors). This technique is known as
   sheltering in place. Call 911 and notify authorities that a hazardous substance may be
   present. If that is indeed the case, the wind may carry the hazard away within a
   relatively short period of time. Stay indoors, and turn on the television and/or radio
   for news and announcements. Authorities will notify you when it is safe to go outside.
   If you are at home, put your clothes in a plastic bag and take a shower, which will
   help remove any contamination that might have occurred before you were able to get

What is a “dirty bomb” and what is the radius of the effects of a “dirty bomb”?

   According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a “dirty bomb” combines
   conventional explosives and radioactive material. This bomb is designed for the
   explosion to scatter radioactive material over a general area. There is no way to
   estimate in advance the area that will be affected by such a bomb. It is more likely
   that initial injuries would result from the explosion, rather than the radiation.

What’s the difference between a chemical and biological threat?

   Chemical agents are hazardous substances that usually would make you sick
   immediately. Examples of chemical agents include mustard gas, cyanide, and sarin.
   Biological agents are usually viruses or bacteria which may take several days to make
   you sick once you are infected. Examples of biological agents include anthrax,
   smallpox, plague, and ricin. If you are exposed to a chemical, washing it off may
   reduce the danger. If you are exposed to a biological agent, decontamination usually
   isn‟t needed, but you may need medical evaluation and either antibiotics or vaccines.

What about decontamination if you think you’ve been exposed?

   If there has been an actual or suspected exposure to a chemical or radiological agent,
   government officials will set up screening and decontamination locations. This is a
   place where you will be screened for any agent you may have been exposed to.

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   If it is determined that you have been contaminated, you will be escorted through a
   decontamination process. This will most likely require you to shed some or all of your
   clothing, and get sprayed with soap and water.

   Do not return to a contaminated area until it is determined safe by authorities. If you
   have further questions about decontamination procedures, please contact your local
   emergency management agency or local fire department.

What should I know about smallpox?

   Smallpox is an acute, contagious, and sometimes fatal disease caused by the variola
   virus, marked by fever, and a distinctive progressive skin rash. Smallpox outbreaks
   have occurred from time to time for thousands of years, but the disease is now
   eradicated after a successful worldwide vaccination program. The last case of
   smallpox in the United States was in 1949. The last naturally occurring case in the
   world was in Somalia in 1977. After the disease was eliminated from the world,
   routine vaccination against smallpox among the general public was stopped because it
   was no longer necessary for prevention.

   However, in the aftermath of the events of September and October 2001, the U.S.
   Government is taking precautions to be ready to deal with a bioterrorist attack using
   smallpox as a weapon. As a result of these efforts:

    There is a detailed nationwide smallpox response plan designed to quickly
     vaccinate people and contain a smallpox outbreak.
    There is adequate supply of smallpox vaccine to vaccinate everyone who would
     need it in event of an emergency.

   For more information on smallpox, visit the CDC‟s website at

What can citizens do to protect themselves from a possible biological disaster?

   It may not be apparent that a biological agent has been dispersed until people begin
   falling ill several days later. For most biological agents, the initial symptoms would
   resemble a flu-like malaise. Across the nation, local, state, and federal authorities are
   putting capabilities in place to improve the ability to detect abnormal public health
   problems rapidly-- to distinguish between multiple cases of the flu or a possible
   biological agent attack.

   As the normal cold and flu season rolls occurs, do not jump to the conclusion that you
   have been infected with a biowarfare agent if you begin to feel achy or have the
   sniffles. In fact, people catch colds throughout the year.

Should citizens stockpile antibiotics?

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   NO. Keeping a stockpile of antibiotics is a bad idea. While antibiotics would be used
   to treat individuals who might fall ill during a disease outbreak, the use of these
   medications should always be done at the direction of a physician. People who self-
   medicate themselves or their children could very well do more harm than good
   because adverse side effects may occur. Moreover, overuse of antibiotics, as well as
   their misuse (to treat illnesses such as colds), is harmful as it reduces the ability of
   these drugs to work in serious health emergencies.

What should I know about ricin?

   Ricin is a poison that can be made from the waste left over from processing castor
   beans. Ricin poisoning is highly unlikely. Moreover, it has never been deployed as a
   weapon of mass destruction. It would be an unlikely biological weapon because an
   extremely large amount of ricin is necessary to produce the desired effect, and wide
   dispersal methods are difficult for terrorists to achieve. It can be in the form of a
   powder, a mist, or a pellet, or it can be dissolved in water or food. Symptoms of ricin
   exposure include fever, cough, and excess fluid in the lungs.

   If you think you may have been exposed to ricin or any other toxic substance, you
   should contact your regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

What about Potassium Iodide (KI) ?

   Potassium iodide (KI) is an over-the-counter drug that can be used to protect the
   thyroid gland from immediate and future radiation injury caused by radioactive iodine
   released during a nuclear accident. It is important to note that KI is only effective
   against exposure to radioactive iodine and only protects the thyroid. It does not
   protect you from other kinds of radioactive material. Numerous other radionuclides
   may be released in a dirty bomb or nuclear accident, and KI would not protect
   individuals from these other types of radioactivity. The primary method is evacuation
   and sheltering, and KI should be viewed as an adjunct to these primary measures.
   Although KI is available over the counter, it is recommended that you discuss whether
   KI is right for you with your health care provider.

   The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has made KI available to the
   Commonwealth of Massachusetts for distribution to individuals living in
   Massachusetts towns within 10 miles of the Pilgrim, Seabrook, and Vermont Yankee
   Nuclear Power Stations.

   KI is available for purchase by the general public at some pharmacies and also over
   the Internet and through “800” telephone numbers, two of which are provided below:

   Carter-Wallace Laboratories
   Thyro-Block Tablets
   1-800-804-4147 or
                                                                               Page 13 of 18

   IOSAT Tablets

What can consumers do to protect themselves and their families from food
tampering or other kinds of food contamination?

   Consumers are the final judges of the safety of the food they buy. The essential step
   for their protection is to check whether the food package or can is intact before
   opening it. If it has been damaged, dented or opened prior to purchase, the contents
   should not be used. Consumers need to be alert also to abnormal odor, taste and
   appearance of a food item. If there is any doubt about its safety, don't eat it. If the
   food appears to have been tampered with, report it to one of the authorities listed

What should consumers do if they suspect a food product has been contaminated or
tampered with?

   During business hours: Contact your state/local Health Department

   After hours: If the suspected food product does NOT contain meat or poultry--such
   as seafood, produce, or eggs--consumers should notify the FDA 24-hour emergency
   number at 301-443-1240 or call the consumer complaint coordinator at their nearest
   FDA District Office.

   If the food product DOES contain meat or poultry, call the U.S. Department of
   Agriculture's Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555.

What precautions can citizens take with their water supply?

   It is very difficult to poison a city water supply or reservoir. In the unlikely event that
   this happened, you would be instructed by health authorities to boil your water, use
   bottled water, or take other appropriate steps.

Where should citizens turn for instructions in the event of a chemical or biological

   The electronic and print media can be very useful sources of information, especially
   when events are developing at a rapid pace. However, reporters can occasionally pass
   along faulty or inaccurate information. Local, state, and national public health, public
   safety, and emergency management officials would be the most reliable sources of
   information. As soon as the circumstances are understood, these officials will call
   press conferences to convey official information and instructions to the public.
   Subsequent press conferences will be called as frequently as possible to update the
                                                                                 Page 14 of 18
public about the steps that local, state, and federal government organizations are
taking to address the situation and what individuals can do to help themselves and
their fellow citizens. In a disaster, the Emergency Alert System could give
instructions to the public.

                                                                         Page 15 of 18
Should citizens buy gas masks?

   NO. The most current advice provided by the Centers for Disease Control is that gas
   masks are not recommended for the general public. They need to be fitted carefully
   for each face, and there are different kinds of masks for different types of agents.
   Having or using a gas mask may offer a false sense of security. They can also be
   unsafe for children or people with asthma.

   The chances that terrorists will turn to poisonous substances instead of conventional
   bombs are very, very remote. Various news reports have noted that citizens are opting
   to purchase protective masks as a way to defend against chemical or biological
   terrorism. There are several important factors to bear in mind when considering this

   In order for a mask to protect you against a chemical weapons attack, you would need
   to carry the mask with you at all times---24 hours a day, 7 days a week---and be
   prepared to put it on immediately if chemical emergency was suspected. To guard
   against a biological attack, you would need not only to carry the mask but also wear it
   at all times, since the presence of biological agents is not obvious without advanced

   Gas masks capable of effectively protecting people from either chemical or biological
   agents are not a "one size fits all" purchase. At this point there are many different
   sizes and brands of masks available on the open market. It is critically important to
   make sure that the mask fits you properly---a loose gas mask defeats the purpose.
   Reputable dealers would be able to provide instructions not only on finding the right
   mask fit, but also on how to put it on, how to maintain it, and how to take care of the
   filters the mask uses as a barrier against microscopic particles.

What is cyberterrorism?

   Terrorism that involves computers, networks, and the information they contain.
   Computer networks have been attacked during recent conflicts in Kosovo, Kashmir,
   and the Middle East, but the damage has mostly been limited to defaced Web sites or
   blocked Internet servers. However, with American society increasingly interconnected
   and ever more dependent on information technology, terrorism experts worry that
   cyber terrorist attacks could cause as much devastation as more familiar forms of

   Cyberterrorism could involve destroying the actual machinery of the information
   infrastructure; remotely disrupting the information technology underlying the Internet,
   government computer networks, or critical civilian systems such as financial networks
   or mass media; or using computer networks to take over machines that control traffic
   lights, power plants, or dams in order to wreak havoc.

                                                                             Page 16 of 18
Where can I obtain further information?

   Telephone Numbers

   American Red Cross – (866) 438-4636
   Attorney General – (617) 727-2200
   Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms – (617) 557-1200
   Department of Homeland Security -- (800) BE READY
   Department of Public Health – (617) 624-5200
   Federal Emergency Management Agency – (617) 223-9540
   Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston – (617) 742-5533
   Local Emergency - Dial „911‟
   MA Counseling Network – (800) 724-8443
   Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency – (800) 982-6846
   SmartRoutes – (617) 374-1234
   Terror Tip Line – (888) 872-5458
   U.S. Marshals, Boston Office – (617) 748-2500

   World Wide Web

   Center for Disease Control & Prevention –
   Department of Homeland Security –
   Disaster Help –
   Federal Government –
   Federal Emergency Management Agency Website –
   Federal Bureau of Investigation –
   Massachusetts State Government –
   Massachusetts Department of Mental Health –
   Massachusetts Department of Public Health –
   Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency –
   Massachusetts Department of Fire Safety –
   Massachusetts SATURN Program –
   The President –
   U.S. Postal Service –
   Citizen Corps –
   Department of Health and Human Services –
   Department of Energy –
   U.S. Department of Agriculture –
   Department of Justice –
   Department of Justice Citizens Preparation Guide–
   Environmental Protection Agency –
   National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration –
   National Weather Service –
   Food and Drug Administration –
   American Red Cross –
   Humane Society of the United States –
   Emergency Planning for Schools --
                                                                         Page 17 of 18
   Secretary of State Travel Information --
   SmartTraveler --

Thanks to the following organizations for assistance in compiling this information:

Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
American Red Cross

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