If Disaster Strikes

  • Remain calm and be patient.
  • Follow the advice of local emergency officials.
  • Listen to your radio/television for news and instructions.
  • If the disaster occurs near you, check for injuries. Give first aid and get help for seriously injured people.
  • If the disaster 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.
  • Confine or secure your pets.
  • Call your family contact--do not use the telephone again unless it is a life-threatening emergency.
  • Check on your neighbors, especially those living alone, elderly or disabled.

As we learned from the events of Sept. 11, 2001, the following may happen after a terrorist attack:

  • There can be significant numbers of casualties and/or damage to buildings and the infrastructure.
  • Heavy law enforcement involvement at local, state and federal levels follows a terrorist attack due to the event's criminal nature.
  •  Health and mental health resources in the affected communities can be strained to their limits, maybe even overwhelmed.
  •  Extensive media coverage, strong public fear and international implications and consequences can continue for a prolonged period.
  •  Workplaces and schools may be closed, and there may be restrictions on domestic and international travel.
  •  You and your family or household may have to evacuate your area, avoiding roads blocked for your safety.
  •  Clean-up may take many months.