Using Emergency Techniques to Prepare for Terrorism
Adapted from Federal Emergency Management Agency
The first step in protecting yourself from
terrorism is to get educated. Learn about the nature of
Terrorists look for visible targets where they can avoid
detection before or after an attack. Such places may include
international airports, large cities, major international events,
resorts, and high-profile landmarks.
Terrorists use many different types of weapons. These include
explosives, kidnappings, hijackings, arson, and shootings.
Prepare to deal with a terrorist incident by adapting many of
the same techniques used to prepare for other crises.
Before an Emergency
No one knows when an emergency situation may
develop. It is best to be prepared and vigilant at all times.
Be alert and aware of the surrounding area. The very nature of
terrorism suggests that there may be little or no warning.
Take precautions when traveling. Be aware of conspicuous or
unusual behavior. Do not accept packages from strangers. Do not
leave luggage unattended.
Learn where emergency exits are located. Think ahead about how
to evacuate a building, subway, or congested public area in a
hurry. Learn where staircases are located.
Notice your immediate surroundings. Be aware of heavy or
breakable objects that could move, fall, or break in an
Preparing for a Building Explosion
The use of explosives by terrorists can result in
collapsed buildings and fires. People who live or work in a
multi-level building can do the following:
Review emergency evacuation procedures. Know where fire exits
Keep fire extinguishers in working order. Know where they are
located, and how to use them.
Learn first aid. Contact the local chapter of the American Red
Cross for additional information.
Keep the following items in a designated place on each floor of
Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
Several flashlights and extra batteries
First aid kit and manual
Several hard hats
Fluorescent tape to rope off dangerous areas
If you receive a bomb threat, follow these
Get as much information from the caller as possible. Keep the
caller on the line and record everything that is said.
Notify the police and the building management immediately.
After you've been notified of a bomb threat, do not touch any
Clear the area around the suspicious package.
In evacuating a building, avoid standing in front of windows or
other potentially hazardous areas.
Do not block or restrict sidewalk or streets to be used by
During an Emergency
In a building explosion, follow these steps:
Get out of the building as quickly and calmly as possible.
If items are falling off of bookshelves or from the ceiling,
get under a sturdy table or desk.
If there is a fire:
Stay low to the floor and exit the building as quickly as
Cover nose and mouth with a wet cloth.
When approaching a closed door, use the palm of your hand and
forearm to feel the lower, middle and upper parts of the door. If
it is not hot, brace yourself against the door and open it slowly.
If it is hot to the touch, do not open the door-seek an alternate
Heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect first along the
ceiling. Stay below the smoke at all times.
After an Emergency
If you are trapped in debris:
Use a flashlight, if you have one.
Stay in your area so that you don't kick up dust.
Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
Tap on a pipe or wall so that rescuers can hear where you are.
Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last
resort-shouting can cause a person to inhale dangerous amounts of
Untrained persons should not attempt to rescue people who are
inside a collapsed building. Wait for emergency personnel to
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a