emergency preparedness

What to do in case of emergency

Terrorists are working to obtain biological, chemical, nuclear and radiological weapons, and the threat of an attack is very real. Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling a supply kit and developing a family communications plan, are the same for both a natural or man-made emergency. However, as you will see, there are important differences among potential terrorist threats that will impact the decisions you make and the actions you take. With a little planning and common sense, you can be better prepared for the unexpected.


have a plan


Be prepared to assess the situation, use common sense and whatever you have on hand to take care of yourself and your loved ones. Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the attack, the first important decision is deciding whether to stay or go. You should understand and plan for both possibilities.

Develop a Family Communications Plan: Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another and review what you will do in different situations. Consider a plan where each family member calls, or e-mails, the same friend or relative in the event of an emergency. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-state contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members. You may have trouble getting through, or the phone system may be down altogether, but be patient.

Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer. While there are many things that might make you more comfortable, think first about fresh water, food and clean air. Consider putting together two kits. In one, put everything needed to stay where you are and make it on your own. The other should be a lightweight, smaller version you can take with you if you have to get away.

survive a hotel siege

Avoid big hotels

Terrorists tend not to waste time on small  targets; they're trying to maximize the body count and hit targets of maximum symbolic value at the same time. If you must stay in one....

Order room service when possible

This minimizes your exposure to restaurants located off the lobby.  Obviously, the lobby is the most dangerous place in a hotel; it is akin to the security lines at American airports, which are prime targets for suicide bombers precisely because they're entirely insecure.

Make two plans the moment you arrive

Figure out how you're going to escape, and figure out, alternatively, how you're going to survive a siege. If escape isn't an option - say, you believe that men are roaming the floors with automatic weapons - try to figure out what you're going to use to fortify your room. Always travel with a flashlight, utility knife, matches, and a few energy bars. Know where your shoes are, as well as your passport and money,  Also, identify a lamp or other piece of furniture that could be used as a weapon of last resort.

how to survive a terrorist attack

Radiation Exposure
A radiation threat or "Dirty Bomb" is the use of common explosives to spread radioactive materials over a targeted area
Chemical Attack
A chemical attack is the deliberate release of a toxic gas, liquid or solid
Nuclear Attack
An explosion with intense light and heat, a damaging pressure wave and widespread radioactive material that can contaminate
If there is an explosion
Biological Attack
Unlike an explosion, a biological attack may or may not be immediately obvious

survive a plane take-over

Look at who is boarding your plane

Watch for Red Flags - someone wearing an expensive suit but a military watch, extremely nervous passengers, people with neither carry-on bags nor luggage, someone wearing military boots with normal clothes, strange behaviour. Tell someone in charge it could save your life.

Try to stay calm

Don’t be unnerved by scare tactics. Control your breathing and heart rate. Try to stay calm.
The terrorists herd everyone to the back of the airplane. because they are afraid of passengers rushing and overpowering them. Do not go to the back of the plane.  You must take back the aircraft.

Assess the threat, assume leadership, designate help and take action

How many hijackers and how many weapons? Where are they located on the aircraft? You are all leaders. What do people do when a leader gets up? They follow. Tell someone to help you. “You two guys grab him while we get the other one!” You must take back the aircraft at all costs.

What about hostages?

Would you risk the life of an airline stewardess? How about your wife or child? Could you rush the terrorists if they have your eight-year old boy and they say that if anyone moves they will cut his throat?
You must because if you do nothing he is going to die anyway.  In a hijacking the passengers are divided up into hostages and victims. Terrorists kill hostages to scare you and control you. So if you have a loved one who is taken hostage their best chance of survival is you fighting back.

Prepare in advance

Look for ordinary items that can be used as weapons. Prepare in advance. Always bring along a hardcover book, a newspaper, keys and a pen and ask for a blanket and two unopened soda cans. Keep a fairly heavy bag under your seat. These ordinary items are weapons that can save your life. When the terrorist comes down the aisle as soon as he passes you throw your blanket over his face so he cannot see.....

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public transport:

Do not go to the scene of a terrorist attack to watch

Terrorists like to set off secondary targets to kill as many police and rescue personnel as possible.

On a bus or train

Be alert for unidentified packages or someone hurriedly getting off and leaving a package. If this happens try to throw the package out a window if you can't get off .

The underground

If there is an explosion and there is no cover fall face down with your feet facing the coming explosion. Pull your elbows into your sides to protect vital organs and cover your ears. This will change you from a five or six foot tall standing target into a tiny six inch box on the ground. The blast may miss you entirely or flying shrapnel may hit the soles of your shoes. At worst you can you lose your feet – but you will survive.

Keep low to breathe the best air possible. Smoke inhalation is the number one cause of death after an explosion. If you are on a tube system that has been attacked try walking down the tracks until you find an emergency ladder leading up to the street.

If you are on a tube train or a bus that has been attacked first assess your own injuries then, if possible, help those around you.