Emergency Preparedness Essentials



Explosions are commonly used by terrorists. How to make explosives is readily available in books or the internet. They can be transported by vehicles or people. They can be detonated by suicide bombers or from more remote locations.

Political, religious, social, and financial institutions have been destroyed by the use of conventional bombs. Attacks have occurred in places where thousands can be injured and killed.

It is important to know what to do if you receive a bomb threat or suspicious package.

Tragic events like the Oklahoma City terrorist attack or September 11th attack have made many feel scared about the possibility of future attacks in the USA.

However, by preparing for these events we can reduce the fear and stress that we feel. Preparation can give you more confidence to face these events.

How to Prepare for an Explosion

In order to protect yourself, family, and property:
  • You will need to create an Emergency Supply Kit, which will include non-perishable food, flashlights as well as batteries, water, and a hand-crank or battery-powered radio. You may also want a kit for your car or workplace in case you have to evacuate. This kit should have:
    • Medical supplies lists and copies of prescriptions.
    • Sleeping bags and pillows.
    • Copies of things like social security cards, insurance policies, driverís license, proof of residence, deeds, wills, tax records, birth and marriage certificates, etc.
  • Create a Family Emergency Plan. Because you and your family might not be in the same place during an emergency it is important to have a plan for how you will find each other if the time comes.
    • Know and understand your disaster plans and warning systems that are in place in your community.
    • An out-of-town contact might be more easily able to help separated family members communicate because placing a call in town may be difficult.
    • It is smart to look into emergency plans in places where you and your family spend time such as school or daycare or work. If any of these places do not currently have an emergency plan you may want to consider helping to create one.
    • Establish a place both inside and outside your neighborhood where your family will meet.
    • Make sure that any babysitters or caregivers know of your familyís plans.
    • Donít forget about your pets.

What to Do During an Explosion

  • Get under something sturdy if there are things that can fall on you. Once things have stopped falling, get away quickly. Make sure to watch for weakened floors and stairways. Watch for any falling debris as you exit the building.
  • Get away from the building as fast as you can. Stay low to the ground if there is smoke. Do not stop to make phone calls or to pick up personal items.
  • Use the stairs, not the elevators.
  • Check for fire and other dangers.
  • Do not stand in front of glass doors, windows, or other dangerous areas once you are out.
  • Steer clear of pathways such as sidewalks or streets that will need to be used by others exiting the building or by emergency officials.
  • Use a flashlight or whatever is available to you to alert rescuers to your position if you become trapped in debris.
  • Make noise; tap on whatever you can such as a wall or pipe so rescuers can hear and locate you.
  • Try to whistle to signal rescuers.
  • Only shout if you have no other choice since it can cause you to inhale a dangerous amount of dust.
  • Try not to move too much so you can avoid kicking up dust.
  • Filter your mouth and nose with anything that is available to you.

What to Do After an Explosion

From September 11th we learned these things can happen after terrorist attacks:
  • Employers need to have up-to-date information about your medical needs or how to contact your family because significant damage to the buildings or casualties can happen.
  • Because of the attackís criminal nature, heavy law enforcement at each level follows attacks.
  • Public health and mental health resources can become overwhelmed in the affected communities.
  • There can be prolonged periods of fear, international implications, and extensive media coverage.
  • Restrictions on travel, both domestic and international, can occur as well as school and workplaces being closed.
  • You may need to evacuate yourself or with your family, avoiding blocked areas.
  • It could take weeks or even months for clean-up.
For more information on explosions you can download IED Attack Fact Sheet: Improvised Explosive Devices at /.

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