Terrorist Attack

National security emergencies can include terrorist acts from bombings to biological or chemical attacks. Although terrorists intend their acts to spread fear, the actual damage they cause can often be minimized through preparedness and quick action.

If the U.S. Department of Homeland Security becomes aware of a credible terrorist threat in a community, the public will be alerted by local and federal officials. Heed their warnings and advice.

Raise Your Awareness

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Note emergency exits and staircases
  • Leave the area if you feel something is wrong
  • Report suspicious behavior

In Case of an Explosion

  • Watch for falling debris
  • Crawl beneath the smoke and exit the area as quickly as possible
  • If you are trapped in debris, minimize your movements and cover your mouth with a cloth
  • Tap on a pipe or a wall so rescuers can hear you
  • Do not use a match or lighter

In Case of a Biochemical Attack

  • Evacuate if ordered by authorities
  • Stay tuned to radio or TV for updates
  • If not evacuating, take shelter in an interior room that can be easily sealed off with pre-cut plastic sheeting and duct tape that you have stored in this room
  • Turn off the air conditioning or heating system
  • Remain sheltered until advised it's safe to leave
  • If caught outside, try to get upwind of the attack site and seek shelter as soon as possible
  • If in a vehicle, get inside a building if you can. If unable, roll up windows, shut vents and turn off the engine

If Exposed to Chemicals

  • Quickly remove all clothing and items in contact with the body
  • Cut shirts off to avoid contact with the face
  • Flush eyes with water
  • Wash hands and face with soap and water
  • Use a soapy cloth to blot exposed skin
  • Rinse with clean water
  • Change into clean clothes
  • Seek medical help as soon as possible

If Exposed to Biological Attack

  • Pay close attention to instructions from authorities
  • Remove and bag clothes that may have come in contact with an infectious substance. Seek medical assistance
  • Seek immediate medical treatment if you notice symptoms of the disease cause by the infectious substance used in the attack

In Case of Nuclear Attack

  • Take shelter even if you are many miles from the site of the explosion. If you are close enough to see the flash, fallout will arrive within 20 minutes
  • Inside a building, use a basement or underground area as shelter, or a central room on the lowest floor
  • Stay tuned to radio or TV for updates and instructions
  • Remain in the shelter until authorities say it is safe to leave. This could be from two days to four weeks