Terrorism

A terrorist’s primary objective is to create fear. With accurate information and basic emergency preparedness, you can fight back. Keep in mind that accidents can sometimes appear to be terrorist events and vice versa. Your response should be similar in either case.

KNOW THE FACTS AND BE RESPONSIBLE:

  • Know the facts of a situation and think critically. Confirm reports using a variety of reliable sources of information, such as the government or media.

  • Do not spread rumors.

  • Do not accept packages from strangers and do not leave luggage or bags unattended in public areas such as the subway.

EXPLOSIONS:

BIOLOGICAL ATTACKS:

CHEMICAL ATTACKS:

  • The intentional release of hazardous materials constitutes an act of terrorism, however accidents involving hazardous materials may also occur. Your course of action should be the same in either case.

  • See HazMats/Chemical Spills & Radiation Exposure for specific information on this type of emergency.

RADIOLOGICAL ATTACKS:

  • Radiological attacks occur when radioactive material is intentionally released.

  • Radiological Dispersion Device (RDD): An RDD is designed to scatter amounts of radioactive material over a wide area. The further the material disperses, the less harmful it is. In most cases, the amount of material is unlikely to be lethal.

  • "Dirty Bomb": A Dirty Bomb is a kind of RDD that combines conventional explosives and radioactive material. The explosive is intended to scatter the radioactive material. More damage and casualties may result from the explosion than from the radiation itself.

  • See HazMats/Chemical Spills & Radiation Exposure for more information.

A PARCEL OR LETTER MAY BE CONSIDERED SUSPICIOUS WHEN IT HAS MORE THAN ONE OF THE FOLLOWING CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Handwritten or poorly typed address, incorrect titles or titles with no name, or misspellings of common words.

  • Addressed to someone no longer with your organization or not addressed to a specific person.

  • Strange return address or no return address.

  • Marked with restrictions, such as “Personal,” “Confidential,” or “Do not X-ray.”

  • Excessive postage.

  • Powdery substance on the outside.

  • Unusual weight given its size, lopsided, or oddly shaped.

  • Unusual amount of tape on it.

  • Odors, discolorations, or oily stains.

IF YOU RECEIVE A SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE OR ENVELOPE:

  • PUT IT DOWN – preferably on a stable surface.

  • Cover it with an airtight container like a trash can or plastic bag.

  • Call 911 and alert your building’s security officials.

  • Alert others to the presence of the package and evacuate the area.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water if you have handled the package.

  • Make a list of the people who were in the room or area where the suspicious package was recognized, and give it to authorities.

  • Do not stray far from the area if you believe you have been exposed.

IF YOU RECEIVE A BOMB THREAT:

  • Ask the caller as many of the following questions as possible:

    1. When is the bomb going to explode?
    2. Where is the bomb right now?
    3. What does the bomb look like?
    4. What kind of bomb is it?
    5. Where are you calling from?
    6. Why did you place the bomb?
  • Keep the caller on the line for as long as possible and try to write down or record the conversation.

  • Write down the exact time and length of call.

  • Listen carefully to the caller’s voice and background noise.

  • After you hang up, call 911 IMMEDIATELY.