The Public Response To Terrorism By C. L. Staten, Sr. National Security Analyst, Emergency Response & Research Institute ERRI Note to the Reader: Recent terrorist events in New York City and Washington, DC have prompted a intense interest in personal and family preparedness, particularly in regard to any possible threat of a terrorist attack involving chemical/biological/nuclear weapons. It is respectfully suggested that one of the best things for American citizens to do at this time is to "REMAIN CALM," and try to return, as much as possible, to your regular daily routine. In our considered opinion as both a long-time terrorism analysts and emergency service providers, to do otherwise and to give into any sort of "fear" is exactly what terrorists want to accomplish. That is one of the main objectives of these mass murderers...to attempt to cause fear in the U.S. civilian population and to foster a sense of mistrust in our government and its ability to protect us. We, at ERRI, do not intend to give in to this intended manipulation of our emotions or to give the terrorists any satisfaction in their obvious attempt at the intimidation of the United States. Please know that hundreds of thousands of Fire, EMS, Police, Disaster, Health, and other elected and appointed government officials are all working twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to constantly monitor and reassess the need for additional self-preparedness measures that you can/should take. You can rest assured that they will inform you immediately via public service announcements and the Emergency Broadcast System about other recommendations that they may have in regard to your continued health and safety. Further, please know that ERRI and EmergencyNet News will do its best to quickly provide you with any pertinent government advisories that may offer additional guidance for you and your family. Given the unpredictable nature of terrorism, and its potential for extreme violence, the measures provided below can not be expected to be a complete list of those measures which may be necesary to prevent injury, death, or property damage. This advice is offered pre-gratis and "as is" and certainly should not be considered the "end-all" and "be-all" of information on this topic. ERRI/EmergencyNet News cannot accept any legal responsibility for any errors or omissions contained herein. In recent days, ERRI and EmergencyNet News has received literally hundreds of e-mails and phone calls asking for advice on terrorism preparedness issues. Although this certainly is not the definitive explanation of these issues, it is hoped that this document can at least be a starting point for those interested in learning more about what they can do to be more prepared for future events. Finally, instead of engaging in hyperbole about gas masks or trying to offer specific tactical or medical advice, as some have done in regard to current terrorism situation, we believe that a reasonable and rational approach should include greater knowledge of some basic and fairly simple measures that can be undertaken by individuals and familes to help better prepare themselves for terrorism or any other kind of disaster. We call these measures an "All Hazards" approach to the public response to terrorism... "All Hazards" Family Emergency Plan Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. It could be a house or wild fire, it might be a weather-related emergency such as a flood, tornado, or hurricane, or winter storm. It could even be a terrorist attack. This disaster could force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you inside your home...depending on circumstances of the disaster. Think...What would you do if basic services -- water, gas, electricity or telephones -- were cut off? Local officials will be on the scene of your emergency as soon as possible, but they cannot reach everyone right away. Families can -- and do -- cope with many kinds of disaster by preparing in advance and working as a team. Follow some of the ideas below to create your family's disaster plan. Knowing what to do, and practicing it before an emergency strikes, is probably your best protection and among your greatest responsibilities. Create a Plan * Meet with household members to discuss the dangers of fire, severe cold or hot weather, earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, terrorism and other dire emergencies. Discuss how to respond to each. * Take a basic first aid and CPR class. These skills may be essential to help you to assist your own family, a neighbor, or others * Find the safe spots in your house for each type of emergency. * Discuss what to do about power outages and personal injuries. * Draw a floor plan of your home. Mark two escape routes from each room. * Show family members how to turn off electricity, water and gas at main switches when necessary. * Post emergency telephone numbers near telephones. * Teach children how and when to call 911 or other appropriate phone numbers for police, fire, and EMS agencies. * Instruct household members to turn on a radio, dialed to a local radio station for emergency information. (Note: Know where to find a flashlight, battery operated radio and extra batteries.) * Pick one out-of-state and one local friend or relative for family members to call if separated during a disaster. (It is often times easier to call out-of-state than within the affected area.) * Teach children your out-of-state contact's phone number. * Pick two emergency meeting places: a. A place near your home, in case of fire. b. A place outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home. * Once it can be ascertained that your family is safe and your circumstances are under control, please consider checking on elderly or disabled relatives, friends, and neighbors who may need assistance * Keep essential family records in a water and fire-proof container..or even in a safe deposit box at your local bank. Make a Emergency Supplies Kit In some types of emergencies, you might need to evacuate. Some families like to prepare ahead by assembling things they would need to take with them such as: 1. Clothing, personal hygiene items 2. Medical supplies such as eyeglasses, dentures, necessary prescription drugs and a first aid kit - with sufficiant materials to treat several people 3. Canned foods and bottled water (remember to check and rotate perishables) 4. Portable, battery powered radio and flashlight. 5. Checkbook, credit cards and cash. 6. Sleeping bags/extra blankets. 7. Special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members. 8. Technology Supplies: a. Remember to bring Cell phones, PDA's, laptop computers, GPS, or other communications and location devices...along with extra batteries for them. Given the magnitude of the disaster, these devices may or may not work. But, given the fact that often the internet continues to function, even when other phone circuits may not be available, using these technologies may prove beneficial. Store this kit in a bag/bags you can easily carry to your car, or store it in your car. This kit could also come in handy if you're stranded on the road. Practice and Maintain Your Plan * Quiz your family members every six months to ensure that they remember what to do. * Conduct annual family drills on evacuation, sheltering-in-place, fire and other emergency situations . * Test and recharge your fire extinguisher(s) according to manufacturer's instructions. * Test your smoke/Carbon Monoxide detectors monthly and change the batteries at least twice a year. Other agencies to contact for additional information: U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency Your State Emergency Management Agency Your Local Emergency Management Agency Your local Fire, Police, EMS agencies The American Red Cross The American Heart Association *** These recommendations are modified from and we wish to issue a special thanks to the Office of Emergency Management in the State of Oregon. Reader Note: ERRI and EmergencyNet News make every reasonable effort to verify the information and analysis that we send/post, but the accuracy and completeness of the information, and of any statements or opinions based therein, are NOT guaranteed. The reader assumes any or all risks in using information posted or archived by ERRI or EmergencyNet News. ERRI and Emergencynet News and/or its associated correspondents, or other service providers, can NOT be held responsible for errors or omissions, or held liable for any damages incurred as a result of use or reliance upon posted or archived material. Courtesy of: Emergency Response & Research Institute EmergencyNet News Service 6348 N. Milwaukee Ave. #312 Chicago, IL 60646, USA 773-631-3774 - Voice/Messages 773-631-4703 - Facsimile webmasterat_private - E-Mail http://www.emergency.com - Main Webpage - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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