General Information
About Terrorism

Terrorism is the use of force or violence against persons or property in violation
of the criminal laws of the United States for purposes of intimidation, coercion,
or ransom.
Terrorists often use threats to:
· Create fear among the public.
· Try to convince citizens that their government is powerless to prevent terrorism.
· Get immediate publicity for their causes.
Acts of terrorism include threats of terrorism; assassinations; kidnappings; hijackings;
bomb scares and bombings; cyber attacks (computer-based); and the use of chemical,
biological, nuclear and radiological weapons.
High-risk targets for acts of terrorism include military and civilian government
facilities, international airports, large cities, and high-profile landmarks.
Terrorists might also target large public gatherings, water and food supplies,
utilities, and corporate centers. Further, terrorists are capable of spreading fear
by sending explosives or chemical and biological agents through the mail.
Within the immediate area of a terrorist event, you would need to rely on police,
fire, and other officials for instructions. However, you can prepare in much the
same way you would prepare for other crisis events.

General Safety Guidelines:
· Be aware of your surroundings.
· Move or leave if you feel uncomfortable or if something does not seem right.
· Take precautions when traveling. Be aware of conspicuous or unusual behavior.
Do not accept packages from strangers. Do not leave luggage unattended.
You should promptly report unusual behavior, suspicious or unattended packages,
and strange devices to the police or security personnel.
· Learn where emergency exits are located in buildings you frequent.
Plan how to get out in the event of an emergency.
· Be prepared to do without services you normally depend on—electricity,
telephone, natural gas, gasoline pumps, cash registers, ATMs, and Internet transactions.
· Work with building owners to ensure the following items are located on
each floor of the building:
o Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries.
o Several flashlights and extra batteries.
o First aid kit and manual.
o Hard hats and dust masks.
o Fluorescent tape to rope off dangerous areas.

Explosions
Terrorists have frequently used explosive devices as one of their most common weapons.
Terrorists do not have to look far to find out how to make explosive devices;
the information is readily available in books and other information sources.
The materials needed for an explosive device can be found in many places including
variety, hardware, and auto supply stores. Explosive devices are highly portable
using vehicles and humans as a means of transport. They are easily detonated from
remote locations or by suicide bombers.
Conventional bombs have been used to damage and destroy financial, political, social,
and religious institutions. Attacks have occurred in public places and on city streets
with thousands of people around the world injured and killed.

Bomb Threat
If you receive a telephoned bomb threat, you should do the following:
· Get as much information from the caller as possible.
Try to ask the following questions:
1. When is the bomb going to explode?
2. Where is it right now?
3. What does it look like?
4. What kind of bomb is it?
5. What will cause it to explode?
6. Did you place the bomb?
7. Why?
8. What is your address?
9. What is your name?
· Keep the caller on the line and record everything that is said.
· Notify the police and building management.

During an Explosion
If there is an explosion, you should:
· Get under a sturdy table or desk if things are falling around you.
When they stop falling, leave quickly, watching for obviously weakened floors
and stairways. As you exit from the building, be especially watchful of falling debris.
· Leave the building as quickly as possible. Do not stop to retrieve personal
possessions or make phone calls.
· Do not use elevators.

Once you are out:
· Do not stand in front of windows, glass doors, or other potentially
hazardous areas.
· Move away from sidewalks or streets to be used by emergency officials
or others still exiting the building.

If you are trapped in debris:
· If possible, use a flashlight to signal your location to rescuers.
· Avoid unnecessary movement so you don’t kick up dust.
· Cover your nose and mouth with anything you have on hand.
(Dense-weave cotton material can act as a good filter.
Try to breathe through the material.)
· Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can hear where you are.
· If possible, use a whistle to signal rescuers.
· Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause a person
to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.

Suspicious Packages and Letters
Be wary of suspicious packages and letters. They can contain explosives,
chemical or biological agents. Be particularly cautious at your place of employment.

Some typical characteristics postal inspectors have detected
over the years, which ought to trigger suspicion, include parcels that:

· Are unexpected or from someone unfamiliar to you.
· Have no return address, or have on that can’t be verified as legitimate.
· Have protruding wires or aluminum foil, strange odors, or stains.
· Show a city or state in the postmark that doesn’t match the return address.
· Are of unusual weight given their size, or are lopsided or oddly shaped.
· Are marked with threatening language.
· Have inappropriate or unusual labeling.
· Have excessive postage or packaging material, such as masking tape and string.
· Have misspellings of common words.
· Are addressed to someone no longer with your organization or are
otherwise outdated.
· Have incorrect titles or titles without a name.
· Are not addressed to a specific person.
· Have hand-written or poorly typed addresses

With suspicious envelopes and packages other than those that might contain explosives,
take these additional steps against possible biological and chemical agents.

· Refrain from eating or drinking in a designated mail handling area.
· Place suspicious envelopes or packages in a plastic bag or some other
type of container to prevent leakage of contents. Never sniff or smell suspect mail.
· If you do not have a container, then cover the envelope or package with anything
available (e.g., clothing, paper, trash can, etc.) and do not remove the cover.
· Leave the room and close the door, or section off the area to prevent
others from entering.
· Wash your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading any powder to your face.
· If you are at work, report the incident to your building security official
or an available supervisor, who should notify police and other authorities without
delay.
· List all people who were in the room or area when this suspicious letter
or package was recognized. Give a copy of this list to both the local public health
authorities and law enforcement officials for follow-up investigations and advice.
· If you are at home, report the incident to local police.

Biological Threats
Biological agents are organisms or toxins that can kill or incapacitate people,
livestock, and crops. The three basic groups of biological agents that would
likely be used as weapons are bacteria, viruses, and toxins.
Most biological agents are difficult to grow and maintain. Many break down quickly
when exposed to sunlight and other environmental factors, while others,
such as anthrax spores, are very long lived. Biological agents can be dispersed
by spraying them into the air, by infecting animals that carry the disease to humans,
and by contaminating food and water.

Delivery methods include:
· Aerosols - biological agents are dispersed into the air,
forming a fine mist that may drift for miles. Inhaling the agent may cause disease
in people or animals.
· Animals - some diseases are spread by insects and animals, such as fleas,
mice, flies, mosquitoes, and livestock.
· Food and water contamination - some pathogenic organisms and toxins may
persist in food and water supplies. Most microbes can be killed,
and toxins deactivated, by cooking food and boiling water.
Most microbes are killed by boiling water for one minute, but some require longer.
· Person-to-person - spread of a few infectious agents is also possible.
Follow official instructions.
Specific information on biological agents is available at the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Web site.

Before a Biological Attack

What you should do to prepare:
Check with your doctor to ensure all required or suggested
immunizations are up to date. Children and older adults are
particularly vulnerable to biological agents.
Consider installing a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter
in your furnace return duct. These filters remove particles in the
0.3 to 10 micron range and will filter out most biological agents that
may enter your house. If you do not have a central heating or cooling system,
a stand-alone portable HEPA filter can be used.
Filtration in buildings
Building owners and managers should determine the type and level of filtration
in their structures and the level of protection it provides against biological agents.
The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) provides
technical guidance on this topic in their publication Guidance for Filtration
and Air-Cleaning Systems to Protect Building Environments from Airborne Chemical,
Biological, or Radiological Attacks. To obtain a copy, call 1 (800) 35NIOSH
or visit
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Web site
and request or download NIOSH Publication 2003-136.

During a Biological Attack
In the event of a biological attack, public health officials may not immediately
be able to provide information on what you should do. It will take time to
determine what the illness is, how it should be treated, and who is in danger.
Watch television, listen to radio, or check the Internet for official news and
information including signs and symptoms of the disease, areas in danger,
if medications or vaccinations are being distributed, and where you should
seek medical attention if you become ill.
The first evidence of an attack may be when you notice symptoms of the disease
caused by exposure to an agent. Be suspicious of any symptoms you notice,
but do not assume that any illness is a result of the attack.
Use common sense and practice good hygiene.
If you become aware of an unusual and suspicious substance nearby:
· Move away quickly.
· Wash with soap and water.
· Contact authorities.
· Listen to the media for official instructions.
· Seek medical attention if you become sick.

If you are exposed to a biological agent:
· Remove and bag your clothes and personal items. Follow official instructions
for disposal of contaminated items.
· Wash yourself with soap and water and put on clean clothes.
· Seek medical assistance. You may be advised to stay away from others
or even quarantined.

Using HEPA Filters
HEPA filters are useful in biological attacks. If you have a central heating
and cooling system in your home with a HEPA filter, leave it on if it is running
or turn the fan on if it is not running. Moving the air in the house through
the filter will help remove the agents from the air. If you have a portable
HEPA filter, take it with you to the internal room where you are seeking shelter
and turn it on.
If you are in an apartment or office building that has a modern,
central heating and cooling system, the system’s filtration should provide a
relatively safe level of protection from outside biological contaminants.
HEPA filters will not filter chemical agents.

After a Biological Attack
In some situations, such as the case of the anthrax letters sent in 2001,
people may be alerted to potential exposure. If this is the case,
pay close attention to all official warnings and instructions on how to proceed.
The delivery of medical services for a biological event may be handled differently
to respond to increased demand. The basic public health procedures and medical
protocols for handling exposure to biological agents are the same as for any
infectious disease. It is important for you to pay attention to official
instructions via radio, television, and emergency alert systems.

Chemical Threats
Chemical agents are poisonous vapors, aerosols, liquids, and solids that have
toxic effects on people, animals, or plants. They can be released by bombs
or sprayed from aircraft, boats, and vehicles. They can be used as a liquid to
create a hazard to people and the environment. Some chemical agents may be odorless
and tasteless. They can have an immediate effect (a few seconds to a few minutes)
or a delayed effect (2 to 48 hours). While potentially lethal, chemical agents
are difficult to deliver in lethal concentrations. Outdoors, the agents often
dissipate rapidly. Chemical agents also are difficult to produce.
A chemical attack could come without warning. Signs of a chemical release include
people having difficulty breathing; experiencing eye irritation; losing coordination;
becoming nauseated; or having a burning sensation in the nose, throat, and lungs.
Also, the presence of many dead insects or birds may indicate a chemical agent release.

Before a Chemical Attack

What you should do to prepare for a chemical threat:
· Check your disaster supplies kit to make sure it includes:
o A roll of duct tape and scissors.
o Plastic for doors, windows, and vents for the room in which you will shelter
in place. To save critical time during an emergency, pre-measure and cut the
plastic sheeting for each opening.
· Choose an internal room to shelter, preferably one without windows and
on the highest level.

During a Chemical Attack
If you are instructed to remain in your home or office building, you should:
· Close doors and windows and turn off all ventilation, including furnaces,
air conditioners, vents, and fans.
· Seek shelter in an internal room and take your disaster supplies kit.
· Seal the room with duct tape and plastic sheeting.
· Listen to your radio for instructions from authorities.

If you are caught in or near a contaminated area, you should:
· Move away immediately in a direction upwind of the source.
· Find shelter as quickly as possible.

After a Chemical Attack
Decontamination is needed within minutes of exposure to minimize health consequences.
Do not leave the safety of a shelter to go outdoors to help others until authorities
announce it is safe to do so.
A person affected by a chemical agent requires immediate medical attention from a
professional. If medical help is not immediately available, decontaminate yourself
and assist in decontaminating others.

Decontamination guidelines are as follows:
· Use extreme caution when helping others who have been exposed to chemical agents.
· Remove all clothing and other items in contact with the body.
Contaminated clothing normally removed over the head should be cut off to
avoid contact with the eyes, nose, and mouth. Put contaminated clothing and items
into a plastic bag and seal it. Decontaminate hands using soap and water.
Remove eyeglasses or contact lenses. Put glasses in a pan of household bleach
to decontaminate them, and then rinse and dry.
· Flush eyes with water.
· Gently wash face and hair with soap and water before thoroughly rinsing
with water.
· Decontaminate other body areas likely to have been contaminated.
Blot (do not swab or scrape) with a cloth soaked in soapy water and rinse
with clear water.
· Change into uncontaminated clothes. Clothing stored in drawers or
closets is likely to be uncontaminated.
· Proceed to a medical facility for screening and professional treatment.

Nuclear Blast
A nuclear blast is an explosion with intense light and heat, a damaging pressure wave,
and widespread radioactive material that can contaminate the air, water,
and ground surfaces for miles around. A nuclear device can range from a weapon
carried by an intercontinental missile launched by a hostile nation or terrorist
organization, to a small portable nuclear devise transported by an individual.
All nuclear devices cause deadly effects when exploded, including blinding light,
intense heat (thermal radiation), initial nuclear radiation, blast,
fires started by the heat pulse, and secondary fires caused by the destruction.

Hazards of Nuclear Devices
The extent, nature, and arrival time of these hazards are difficult to predict.
The geographical dispersion of hazard effects will be defined by the following:
· Size of the device. A more powerful bomb will produce more distant effects.
· Height above the ground the device was detonated. This will determine
the extent of blast effects.
· Nature of the surface beneath the explosion. Some materials are more likely
to become radioactive and airborne than others. Flat areas are more susceptible
to blast effects.
· Existing meteorological conditions. Wind speed and direction will affect
arrival time of fallout; precipitation may wash fallout from the atmosphere.

Radioactive Fallout
Even if individuals are not close enough to the nuclear blast to be affected by the
direct impacts, they may be affected by radioactive fallout. Any nuclear blast results
in some fallout. Blasts that occur near the earth’s surface create much greater
amounts of fallout than blasts that occur at higher altitudes. This is because
the tremendous heat produced from a nuclear blast causes an up-draft of air that
forms the familiar mushroom cloud. When a blast occurs near the earth’s surface,
millions of vaporized dirt particles also are drawn into the cloud. As the heat
diminishes, radioactive materials that have vaporized condense on the particles
and fall back to Earth. The phenomenon is called radioactive fallout.
This fallout material decays over a long period of time, and is the main source of
residual nuclear radiation.
Fallout from a nuclear explosion may be carried by wind currents for hundreds of miles
if the right conditions exist. Effects from even a small portable device exploded
at ground level can be potentially deadly.
Nuclear radiation cannot be seen, smelled, or otherwise detected by normal senses.
Radiation can only be detected by radiation monitoring devices.
This makes radiological emergencies different from other types of emergencies,
such as floods or hurricanes. Monitoring can project the fallout arrival times,
which will be announced through official warning channels. However, any increase
in surface build-up of gritty dust and dirt should be a warning for taking protective
measures.
In addition to other effects, a nuclear weapon detonated in or above the earth’s
atmosphere can create an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), a high-density electrical field.
An EMP acts like a stroke of lightning but is stronger, faster, and shorter.
An EMP can seriously damage electronic devices connected to power sources or antennas.
This includes communication systems, computers, electrical appliances,
and automobile or aircraft ignition systems. The damage could range from a minor
interruption to actual burnout of components. Most electronic equipment
within 1,000 miles of a high-altitude nuclear detonation could be affected.
Battery-powered radios with short antennas generally would not be affected.
Although an EMP is unlikely to harm most people, it could harm those with
pacemakers or other implanted electronic devices.

Protection from a Nuclear Blast
The danger of a massive strategic nuclear attack on the United States is predicted
by experts to be less likely today. However, terrorism, by nature, is unpredictable.
If there were threat of an attack, people living near potential targets could be
advised to evacuate or they could decide on their own to evacuate to an area not
considered a likely target. Protection from radioactive fallout would require
taking shelter in an underground area or in the middle of a large building.
In general, potential targets include:
· Strategic missile sites and military bases.
· Centers of government such as Washington, DC, and state capitals.
· Important transportation and communication centers.
· Manufacturing, industrial, technology, and financial centers.
· Petroleum refineries, electrical power plants, and chemical plants.
· Major ports and airfields.

The three factors for protecting oneself from radiation and
fallout are distance, shielding, and time.

· Distance - the more distance between you and the fallout particles, the better.
An underground area such as a home or office building basement offers more protection
than the first floor of a building. A floor near the middle of a high-rise may be
better, depending on what is nearby at that level on which significant fallout
particles would collect. Flat roofs collect fallout particles so the top floor is
not a good choice, nor is a floor adjacent to a neighboring flat roof.
· Shielding - the heavier and denser the materials - thick walls, concrete,
bricks, books and earth - between you and the fallout particles, the better.
· Time - fallout radiation loses its intensity fairly rapidly. In time,
you will be able to leave the fallout shelter. Radioactive fallout poses the
greatest threat to people during the first two weeks, by which time it has declined
to about 1 percent of its initial radiation level.
Remember that any protection, however temporary, is better than none at all,
and the more shielding, distance, and time you can take advantage of, the better.

Before a Nuclear Blast

To prepare for a nuclear blast, you should do the following:
· Find out from officials if any public buildings in your community have been
designated as fallout shelters. If none have been designated, make your own
of potential shelters near your home, workplace, and school. These places would
include basements or the windowless center area of middle floors in high-rise buildings,
as well as subways and tunnels.
· If you live in an apartment building or high-rise, talk to the manager about
the safest place in the building for sheltering and about providing for building
occupants until it is safe to go out.
· During periods of increased threat increase your disaster supplies to be
adequate for up to two weeks.

Taking shelter during a nuclear blast is absolutely necessary.
There are two kinds of shelters - blast and fallout.
The following describes the two kinds of shelters:

· Blast shelters are specifically constructed to offer some protection against
blast pressure, initial radiation, heat, and fire. But even a blast shelter cannot
withstand a direct hit from a nuclear explosion.
· Fallout shelters do not need to be specially constructed for protecting against
fallout. They can be any protected space, provided that the walls and roof are thick
and dense enough to absorb the radiation given off by fallout particles.

During a Nuclear Blast
The following are guidelines for what to do in the event of a nuclear explosion.
If an attack warning is issued:
· Take cover as quickly as you can, below ground if possible,
and stay there until instructed to do otherwise.
· Listen for official information and follow instructions.

If you are caught outside and unable to get inside immediately:
· Do not look at the flash or fireball - it can blind you.
· Take cover behind anything that might offer protection.
· Lie flat on the ground and cover your head. If the explosion is some
distance away, it could take 30 seconds or more for the blast wave to hit.
· Take shelter as soon as you can, even if you are many miles from
ground zero where the attack occurred - radioactive fallout can be carried by
the winds for hundreds of miles. Remember the three protective factors:
Distance, shielding, and time.

After a Nuclear Blast
Decay rates of the radioactive fallout are the same for any size nuclear device.
However, the amount of fallout will vary based on the size of the device and
its proximity to the ground. Therefore, it might be necessary for those in the
areas with highest radiation levels to shelter for up to a month.
The heaviest fallout would be limited to the area at or downwind from the explosion,
and 80 percent of the fallout would occur during the first 24 hours.
People in most of the areas that would be affected could be allowed to come out of
shelter within a few days and, if necessary, evacuate to unaffected areas.

Remember the following when returning home:
· Keep listening to the radio and television for news about what to do,
where to go, and places to avoid.
· Stay away from damaged areas. Stay away from areas marked “radiation hazard”
or “HAZMAT.” Remember that radiation cannot be seen, smelled, or otherwise detected
by human senses.

Radiological Dispersion Device
Terrorist use of an RDD—often called “dirty nuke” or “dirty bomb”—is considered
far more likely than use of a nuclear explosive device. An RDD combines
a conventional explosive device—such as a bomb—with radioactive material.
It is designed to scatter dangerous and sub-lethal amounts of radioactive material
over a general area. Such RDDs appeal to terrorists because they require limited
technical knowledge to build and deploy compared to a nuclear device.
Also, the radioactive materials in RDDs are widely used in medicine, agriculture,
industry, and research, and are easier to obtain than weapons grade uranium or
plutonium.
The primary purpose of terrorist use of an RDD is to cause psychological fear and
economic disruption. Some devices could cause fatalities from exposure to radioactive
materials. Depending on the speed at which the area of the RDD detonation was
evacuated or how successful people were at sheltering-in-place, the number of deaths
and injuries from an RDD might not be substantially greater than from a conventional
bomb explosion.
The size of the affected area and the level of destruction caused by an RDD would
depend on the sophistication and size of the conventional bomb, the type of
radioactive material used, the quality and quantity of the radioactive material,
and the local meteorological conditions—primarily wind and precipitation.
The area affected could be placed off-limits to the public for several months
during cleanup efforts.

Before a Radiological Dispersion Device Event
There is no way of knowing how much warning time there will be before an attack
by terrorists using a Radiological Dispersion Device (RDD),
so being prepared in advance and knowing what to do and when is important.
To prepare for an RDD event, you should do the following:
· Find out from officials if any public buildings in your community have been
designated as fallout shelters. If none have been designated, make your own list
of potential shelters near your home, workplace, and school. These places would
include basements or the windowless center area of middle floors in high-rise buildings,
as well as subways and tunnels.
· If you live in an apartment building or high-rise, talk to the manager about
the safest place in the building for sheltering and about providing for building
occupants until it is safe to go out.
· During periods of increased threat increase your disaster supplies to be
adequate for up to two weeks.
Taking shelter during an RDD event is absolutely necessary.
There are two kinds of shelters - blast and fallout.
The following describes the two kinds of shelters:
· Blast shelters are specifically constructed to offer some protection against
blast pressure, initial radiation, heat, and fire. But even a blast shelter cannot
withstand a direct hit from a nuclear explosion.
· Fallout shelters do not need to be specially constructed for protecting against
fallout. They can be any protected space, provided that the walls and roof are thick
and dense enough to absorb the radiation given off by fallout particles.

During a Radiological Dispersion Device Event
While the explosive blast will be immediately obvious, the presence of radiation will
not be known until trained personnel with specialized equipment are on the scene.
Whether you are indoors or outdoors, home or at work, be extra cautious.
It would be safer to assume radiological contamination has occurred—particularly
in an urban setting or near other likely terrorist targets—and take the proper
precautions. As with any radiation, you want to avoid or limit exposure.
This is particularly true of inhaling radioactive dust that results from the explosion.
As you seek shelter from any location (indoors or outdoors)
and there is visual dust or other contaminants in the air, breathe though the cloth
of your shirt or coat to limit your exposure. If you manage to avoid breathing
radioactive dust, your proximity to the radioactive particles may still result in
some radiation exposure.
If the explosion or radiological release occurs inside, get out immediately and seek safe shelter.
Otherwise, if you are:

OUTDOORS INDOORS
Seek shelter indoors immediately in the nearest undamaged building.
If appropriate shelter is not available, move as rapidly as is safe upwind
and away from the location of the explosive blast. Then, seek appropriate
shelter as soon as possible.
Listen for official instructions and follow directions.
If you have time, turn off ventilation and heating systems, close windows,
vents, fireplace dampers, exhaust fans, and clothes dryer vents.
Retrieve your disaster supplies kit and a battery-powered radio and take
them to your shelter room.
Seek shelter immediately, preferably underground or in an interior room of a building,
placing as much distance and dense shielding as possible between you and the outdoors
where the radioactive material may be.
Seal windows and external doors that do not fit snugly with duct tape to reduce
infiltration of radioactive particles. Plastic sheeting will not provide shielding
from radioactivity nor from blast effects of a nearby explosion.
Listen for official instructions and follow directions.

After a Radiological Dispersion Device (RDD) Event
After finding safe shelter, those who may have been exposed to radioactive
material should decontaminate themselves. To do this, remove and bag your clothing
(and isolate the bag away from you and others), and shower thoroughly with soap and
water. Seek medical attention after officials indicate it is safe to leave shelter.
Contamination from an RDD event could affect a wide area, depending on the amount
of conventional explosives used, the quantity and type of radioactive material released,
and meteorological conditions. Thus, radiation dissipation rates vary,
but radiation from an RDD will likely take longer to dissipate due to a potentially
larger localized concentration of radioactive material.

Follow these additional guidelines after an RDD event:
· Continue listening to your radio or watch the television for instructions
from local officials, whether you have evacuated or sheltered-in-place.
· Do not return to or visit an RDD incident location for any reason.

Homeland Security Advisory System
Current Threat Level
September 12, 2006 – The United States government threat level remains at
Code Orange, or High for all domestic and international flights.
The ban on liquids and gels in carry on baggage remains in full effect.
Nationally, in other sectors, the threat level remains at Code Yellow, or Elevated.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) ban for carry on baggage now includes:
· small doses of liquid medications permitted
· removal of shoes now required
· low blood sugar treatments including glucose gel for diabetics permitted
· clarifications include: aerosols prohibited, solid lipstick
and baby food permitted
Travelers will continue to see an increase in visibility and use of canine detection
teams. Random gate inspections and bag searches will continue.
More information is available at
TSA.gov

Recommended Activities
All Americans, including those traveling in the transportation systems,
should continue to be vigilant, take notice of their surroundings,
and report suspicions items or activities to local authorities immediately.
Everybody should establish an emergency preparedness kit as well as a communications
plan for themselves and their family, and stay informed about what to do during an
emergency situation.
Learn More About Preparedness
· All Americans can visit a href="http://www.ready.gov"/target_Blank">READT

About the Homeland Security Advisory System
The Homeland Security Advisory System is designed to target our protective measures
when specific information to a specific sector or geographic region is received.
It combines threat information with vulnerability assessments and provides
communications to public safety officials and the public.

· Homeland Security Threat Advisories contain actionable information about
an incident involving, or a threat targeting, critical national networks or
infrastructures or key assets. They could, for example, relay newly developed
procedures that, when implemented, would significantly improve security or protection.
They could also suggest a change in readiness posture, protective actions, or response.
This category includes products formerly named alerts, advisories, and sector
notifications. Advisories are targeted to Federal, state, and local governments,
private sector organizations, and international partners.
· Homeland Security Information Bulletins communicate information of
interest to the nation’s critical infrastructures that do not meet the timeliness,
specificity, or significance thresholds of warning messages. Such information may
include statistical reports, periodic summaries, incident response or reporting
guidelines, common vulnerabilities and patches, and configuration standards or tools.
It also may include preliminary requests for information. Bulletins are targeted
to Federal, state, and local governments, private sector organizations, and
international partners.
· Color-coded Threat Level System is used to communicate with public safety
officials and the public at-large through a threat-based, color-coded system so that
protective measures can be implemented to reduce the likelihood or impact of an attack.
Raising the threat condition has economic, physical, and psychological effects on
the nation; so, the Homeland Security Advisory System can place specific geographic
regions or industry sectors on a higher alert status than other regions or industries,
based on specific threat information.

Citizen Guidance on the Homeland Security Advisory System (PDF - 1 page, 132 KB)
recommended actions for each level.

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