Advice on Preparing for Disaster
Feds give practical advice on preparing for terrorist attacks
By Jennifer Warner
Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario
As the threat of terrorist attack appears more real every day, officials have some advice on how to prevent and prepare for possible terrorist attack. Aside from the usual "be aware of your surroundings" rhetoric, new guidelines urge Americans to take more practical steps ranging from assembling a "disaster supply kit" to keeping a supply of duct tape and plastic sheeting on hand to seal off their homes if necessary.
Officials from the Department of Homeland Security say most of the precautions aren't necessarily new and are based on disaster preparedness programs of the American Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The report outlines recommended responses to a variety of potential acts of terrorism, including bomb scares as well as biological, chemical, nuclear, and cyber attacks and is the first major public education effort launched by the newly formed Department of Homeland Security.
High-risk targets include military and civilian facilities, international airports, large cities, and high profile landmarks. But terrorists might also target food and water supplies, large public gatherings, utilities and corporate centers.
The nature of terrorism means there is often little or no warning, so officials says preparedness is the best defense.
Preparing for a building explosion:
Preparing and responding to a chemical or biological attack:
First and foremost, in this type of attack tune in to your radio or TV for instructions from authorities about whether to evacuate or remain indoors. They will advise you of what to do during and after the attack. Among other things you can do:
Preparing for nuclear attack:
In case of nuclear or radiological attack:
For more information on reducing your risk after a nuclear attack, see Threats Heighten Radiation Worries.
Originally published Feb. 11, 2003.
Medically updated March 18, 2003.
SOURCE: Federal Emergency Management Agency Report, "Are You Ready?" Feb. 10, 2003.
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