like the ones we experienced on September 11, 2001 have left many concerned
about the possibility of future incidents of terrorism in the United States and
their potential impact. They have raised uncertainty about what might happen
next, increasing stress levels. There are things you can do to prepare for
terrorist attacks and reduce the stress that you may feel now and later should
another emergency arise. Taking preparatory action can reassure you and your
children that you can exert a measure of control even in the face of such
What You Can Do to
Prepare for Terrorism
Finding out what
can happen is the first step. Once you have determined the events possible and
their potential in your community, it is important that you discuss them with
your family or household. Develop a disaster plan together.
What to Do If a
Terrorism Event Occurs
Remain calm and
advice of local emergency officials.
Listen to your
radio or television for news and instructions.
If the event
occurs near you, check for injuries. Give first aid
and get help for seriously injured people.
If the event
occurs near your home while you are there, check for damage using a
flashlight. Do not light matches or candles or turn on electrical switches.
Check for fires, fire hazards and other household hazards. Sniff for gas
leaks, starting at the water heater. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn
off the main gas valve, open windows, and get everyone outside quickly.
Shut off any
other damaged utilities.
secure your pets.
Call your family
contact—do not use the telephone again unless it is a life-threatening
Check on your
neighbors, especially those who are elderly or disabled.
A Word on What
As we’ve learned
from previous events, the following things can happen after a terrorist attack:
There can be
significant numbers of casualties and/or damage to buildings and the
infrastructure. So employers need up-to-date information about any medical
needs you may have and on how to contact your designated beneficiaries.
enforcement involvement at local, state and federal levels follows a terrorist
attack due to the event's criminal nature.
mental health resources in the affected communities can be strained to their
limits, maybe even overwhelmed.
coverage, strong public fear and international implications and consequences
can continue for a prolonged period.
schools may be closed, and there may be restrictions on domestic and
You and your
family or household may have to evacuate an area, avoiding roads blocked for
take many months.