How to Prepare for Disasters and Emergencies

The information found within this document was taken from various websites including ready.gov, nationalterroralert.com, the University of Colorado, and crimanljusticeusa.com. This information is assembled for reference and convenience within one usable document. Version 1.0

Table of Contents How to Prepare for Disasters and Emergencies.......................................................................................................1 Preparedness Guides..............................................................................................................................................10 How to Prepare......................................................................................................................................................10 Introductions..................................................................................................................................................10 What You Can Do to Prepare........................................................................................................................10 If Disaster Strikes...........................................................................................................................................11 A Word on What Could Happen....................................................................................................................12 Evacuation......................................................................................................................................................12 If you’re sure you have time: ........................................................................................................................12 Additional Positive Steps You Can Take.......................................................................................................13 Quick Reference.....................................................................................................................................................14 National Security Emergencies......................................................................................................................14 Terrorism........................................................................................................................................................14 Preparing for terrorism...................................................................................................................................14 Protection against cyber attacks.....................................................................................................................15 Preparing for a building explosion.................................................................................................................15 Bomb Threats.................................................................................................................................................15 Suspicious parcels and letters .......................................................................................................................16 What to do if there is an explosion ...............................................................................................................17 Chemical and Biological Weapons ...............................................................................................................17 Chemical........................................................................................................................................................17 There are six types of agents: ........................................................................................................................18 Biological.......................................................................................................................................................18 What to do to prepare for a chemical or biological attack ............................................................................19 What to do during a chemical or biological attack .......................................................................................19 What to do after a chemical attack ................................................................................................................20 What to do after a biological attack ..............................................................................................................20 Nuclear and Radiological Attack ..................................................................................................................20 In general, potential targets include: .............................................................................................................21 Electromagnetic pulse ...................................................................................................................................22 What to do during a nuclear or radiological attack .......................................................................................23 What to do after a nuclear or radiological attack ..........................................................................................24 Returning to your home ................................................................................................................................24 Homeland Security Advisory System ...........................................................................................................25 Threat Conditions and Associated Protective Measures ...............................................................................26 Biological Attack...................................................................................................................................................28 Protect Yourself.............................................................................................................................................29 Symptoms and Hygiene.................................................................................................................................29 Responding To an Attack...............................................................................................................................29 Warning Signs of an Attack or Incident........................................................................................................30 What to Do In Case of Attack........................................................................................................................30 Choosing a Safe-Haven Room.......................................................................................................................31 Chemical Attack.....................................................................................................................................................31 Possible Signs of Chemical Threat................................................................................................................32 Responding To an Attack...............................................................................................................................32 Warning Signs of a Chemical Attack or Incident..........................................................................................33 What to Do In Case of Attack........................................................................................................................34 Preparing a Safe room....................................................................................................................................35 Hijacking Survival Guidelines...............................................................................................................................35 What to Do In A Hijacking............................................................................................................................35

Explosive Attack....................................................................................................................................................38 If There is an Explosion.................................................................................................................................38 If There is a Fire.............................................................................................................................................38 If You Are Trapped in Debris........................................................................................................................38 Family Disaster Plan..............................................................................................................................................38 4 Steps to Safety:...........................................................................................................................................39 Neighbors Helping Neighbors:......................................................................................................................40 Home Hazard Hunt:.......................................................................................................................................40 Evacuation:....................................................................................................................................................40 Emergency Supplies:.....................................................................................................................................41 UTILITIES ....................................................................................................................................................41 If Disaster Strikes:..........................................................................................................................................41 72 Hour Kit............................................................................................................................................................42 72 Hour Kit List of Items...............................................................................................................................42 72 Hour Kit Info You Need To Know ..........................................................................................................43 Emergency Evacuation Plan..................................................................................................................................43 Preparing an Emergency Evacuation Plan ....................................................................................................43 Emergency Evacuation Inventory..................................................................................................................43 Evacuation Steps............................................................................................................................................44 Household Emergency Evacuation Plan .......................................................................................................44 Choosing an Out-of-Area Contact:................................................................................................................44 Choosing A Place to Meet:............................................................................................................................44 Emergency Water Storage.....................................................................................................................................45 Amount of Emergency Water to Store...........................................................................................................46 Use the following guidelines when storing water:.........................................................................................46 Containers That Can be Used for Water Storage...........................................................................................46 Do I Need to Treat Water?.............................................................................................................................47 Where to Store Water.....................................................................................................................................47 Emergency Sources of Water.........................................................................................................................47 Emergency Outdoor Water Sources...............................................................................................................48 Hidden Water Sources in Your Home...........................................................................................................48 Using Swimming Pool Water........................................................................................................................48 When and How to Treat Water for Storage...................................................................................................48 Food Storage and Preparedness.............................................................................................................................50 When Food Supplies Are Low.......................................................................................................................50 Special Considerations...................................................................................................................................50 How to Cook If the Power Goes Out.............................................................................................................50 Short-Term Food Supplies ............................................................................................................................51 Storage Tips...................................................................................................................................................51 Nutrition Tips.................................................................................................................................................51 So remember: ................................................................................................................................................51 How long can food supplies be stored?.........................................................................................................51 What kinds of food supplies are recommended to store in case of a disaster?..............................................52 Recommended foods include:........................................................................................................................52 Food Options to Avoid:.................................................................................................................................52 Shelf-life of Foods for Storage......................................................................................................................53 Use within six months:...................................................................................................................................53 Use within one year:......................................................................................................................................53 First Aid in an Emergency.....................................................................................................................................53 First Aid Kit List............................................................................................................................................55 Sanitation and Hygiene In An Emergency.............................................................................................................56 Tips for Staying Clean in an Emergency Situation........................................................................................57

.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................58 Solutions for Apartment Dwellers...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................68 The Emergency Alert System Radio and Television Updates......................................................78 Potassium Iodide (KI) Information...............................................................................................69 Wind Up Radios......................................................................................................................................................................................................75 How to Prepare the Sealed Room.............63 Family Radio Service......................................81 Suspicious Activity.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................62 49MHz Personal Communicators..................................................64 General Mobile Radio Service.................................................................................................................................................................64 Amateur Radio........................................65 Final Points...............................................................................................................................................................................................59 Heat..................................................58 Emergency Sewage Storage ..................................................................86 The following should cause a heightened sense of suspicion:...................................................................................................................78 When to take KI..........................................................................................................76 Potassium Iodide KI........... Light and Cooking In An Emergency...........................................68 Accessibility of Emergency Information............................................................................................................................................62 Cell Phones.............................69 Important documentation in an emergency..................70 Shelter-in-Place....................................66 Public Safety Answering Point and Call Dispatch............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ Natural Disaster or State of Emergency.........................................................................................................................................................................67 Network Damage and Black-outs..........57 Emergency Sewage Disposal........................................58 Temporary Toilet Provisions...........................75 Safe Room.........Keep Basic Hygiene Supplies Handy........................................59 Other Supplies.....................................................................................................................72 At School:................................................................86 ...........65 911 Calls..........................................................................80 Gas Masks.............................................................................................78 Who should or should not take KI when the public is told to do so........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................66 Wireless and E911...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................80 Let the Buyer Beware ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................59 Babies.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................74 In Your Vehicle:..........75 Sealing a Safe Room...................................................................................................60 Emergency Communications...........................................................................................................60 Sterno ......62 Here are some criteria for setting up an emergency communications system: ................................................................60 Coleman fuel (white gas).........................................................75 Risk Factors for a Bio-Chemical Attack:.........................85 Unusual Interest in High Risk or Symbolic Targets.................................................................................................................62 CB Radio............................................................................................................................................................................................66 VoIP and E911........................................................................................................................................................85 What to Do If You Spot Suspicious Terrorist Activity..................................................................................60 Sterno Stove........................................................................................................................................................59 Controlling Odors and Insects.........................................60 Charcoal..................59 Matches..............................................................................67 E-mail May Work When Phone Lines Don’t During a Terrorist Attack..........................................79 Medical conditions that make it dangerous to take KI........

.....................................................................................................89 Choosing an Out-of-Area Contact:..............................................................................................................................................................95 How much expertise does it take to make a dirty bomb?.........................................................................................................88 Additional suspicious activity may include:...................................................90 Emergency Preparedness..........................................................................................90 Choosing a Place to Meet:.........................98 Direct Nuclear Radiation............................................................................................................................89 Emergency Evacuation Inventory..................................................................................97 Taking potassium iodide (KI)..........87 Fraudulent ID’s include:.........................................................99 1 Megaton Surface Blast: Pressure Damage....................................................................................................................................................................................96 Sources of the radioactive material in Dirty Bombs........................................................................................96 Dangers of a dirty bomb...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................102 What is Radiation? .........................................................................................................95 Is a dirty bomb a nuclear weapon?.....................95 What is a Dirty Bomb.........................................................105 Effects.................................................................................................................................................................................99 Fallout............................99 1 Megaton Surface Blast: Fallout..........................................................93 If you’re sure you have time …additional emergency preparedness actions.........................................................................................94 Explosive Devices and Weapons..........................................91 Create an emergency communications plan.......100 25 Megaton Air Blast: Pressure Damage.............................................................................................................................................................................106 What To Do In A Bombing..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................89 Household Emergency Evacuation Plan .....................................87 Some signs that may raise your suspicions............................................................................................................................87 Unusual Purchases or Thefts...............................................................................................................................................................92 Assemble a disaster supplies or 72 hour emergency preparedness kit.....................................................91 Emergency Preparedness........................................97 If radioactive materials were involved.....................89 Evacuation Steps.......................................................................88 Emergency Evacuation Plan......98 Thermal Radiation....................................................................................................103 How Can Exposure Occur? ...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................102 How Can I Protect Myself During a Radiation Emergency? ...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................105 Symptoms...............................................98 Explosive Blast.......................................................................................................................................................103 Health Effects of Radiation Exposure .............97 Risk of cancer from a dirty bomb.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................96 Is a dirty bomb a weapon of mass destruction?...............................................................................................................................................................101 What Types of Terrorist Events Might Involve Radiation?......................................104 Suitcase Nukes...............................106 Treatment................................................98 Nuclear.95 Dirty bomb versus atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki......................................................................................................107 ...96 Past use of dirty bombs..........................................................95 Dirty Bomb........94 Additional Steps You Can Take...................................Fraudulent Identification..........................................................................................92 Evacuation in an emergency.....................................................................................................................97 What people should do following the explosion of a dirty bomb....................................89 Preparing an Emergency Evacuation Plan .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................91 Establish meeting places...................................................................................

......................................111 What is cipro (ciprofloxacin)?..................... and then restart the antibiotics?...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................116 The ciprofloxacin.................................................................................116 What happens if I take ciprofloxacin...........................115 Can other fluoroquinolones be used instead of ciprofloxacin for post exposure prophylaxis (PEP)/treatment?............................................................................................ Is there anything I can do to help this?..............................109 Is there a way to distinguish between early inhalational anthrax and flu?..............................................................107 What should I do during a terrorist bombing?..........................................................................................................................................................110 If I have the flu......................................110 How can I know my cold or flu this season is not anthrax?.....................113 Has CDC tested the anthrax isolates for sensitivity to different antibiotics?.............................................................. or amoxicillin I am taking gives me diarrhea............................................111 What are the side effects of cipro?.....................116 If taking one of the recommended antibiotics makes me feel terrible............................................. doxycycline............................................................108 Anthrax..108 What are the signs and symptoms of anthrax?............................................111 Preventative Therapy.......................................... anthracis being given antibiotics for different amounts of time?...............................................................................................116 The ciprofloxacin..........................................................................................................................................................109 Is anthrax contagious?...............................................................................................................................................................111 What are the guidelines for changing from ciprofloxacin to another antibiotic?...................115 Why do I need 60 days of antibiotics?...........115 What is the FDA telling physicians and other health professionals about prescriptions for ciprofloxacin? .......113 What if I develop side effects from the antibiotic?............................................................113 After I have started taking doxycycline to protect me from developing anthrax........................................................ or taste? 110 What would be the approximate size of enough Bacillus anthracis spores to cause infection?.......................................................................................................................... doxycycline.............116 The ciprofloxacin I am taking gives me headaches.....................................................................................................................................................110 What are the case fatality rates for the various forms of anthrax?.......................111 What is the therapy for preventing inhalational anthrax?................................115 Are there different strains of B..................................................116 ............ doxycycline.......................111 How is anthrax diagnosed? .......................................113 Anthrax Treatment........................................... are alternatives available?................................................................................................................................................................111 Does ciprofloxacin have an expiration date?............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ anthracis? Do they all respond to antibiotics?.......................................................................................................................................................112 Should people buy and store antibiotics?.........................................................................................................107 Chemical and Biological Weapons........................................What should I do if I think someone is going to set off a bomb?..........................112 When is a 60-day prescription of prophylactic antibiotics not needed?...........................................114 Why are people who have been exposed to B..........................................................................................113 After I have started taking ciprofloxacin to protect me from developing anthrax.................112 Will antibiotics protect me from a bioterrorist event? Should I stockpile them?........................................ can I switch to another of these antibiotics?............110 Can the presence of Bacillus anthracis spores be detected by a characteristic appearance..................................................................... or amoxicillin for a few days.................................................................... or amoxicillin I am taking makes me feel sick to my stomach.........................................................................................................................................112 Who should receive antibiotics for 60 days?.............. stop......... can I still get anthrax?.................................................108 What specific symptoms should I watch for?.......... Is there anything I can do to help this?...... Is there anything I can do to help this?.... what side effects could I get from taking this antibiotic?.......... what side effects could I get from taking this antibiotic?.............................113 What are the risks of using tetracyclines and fluoroquinolones in children......................................... odor...................................................................................................................................................113 Are there special instructions for taking ciprofloxacin or doxycycline?.............114 Why is CDC recommending doxycycline instead of ciprofloxacin for the treatment and prevention of anthrax?...............................................................................................

....123 How sulfur mustard works...................125 Ricin...................................................................................................................120 How people can be exposed to cyanide.............117 My prescription says to take one pill every 12 hours..............118 Ciprofloxacin and doxycycline look different and come in different doses..................125 Where people can get more information about sulfur mustard........................................117 The ciprofloxacin............................................................121 How cyanide works............................................. or amoxicillin...... and How Is It Used?.................................................................................................124 How people can protect themselves and what they should do if they are exposed to sulfur mustard.... or amoxicillin?........................................................................................................................................................................................118 How do doctors treat inhalational anthrax to reduce the risk of death in patients?...................................................................................................................123 Where sulfur mustard is found and how it is used............................................. Is one better than the other?....................................................123 How people are exposed to sulfur mustard...................................................119 Cyanide.....................................................................................................................118 Why can’t I take a shot.................................................................................................. What should I do?.......................................................................................................................................................................................127 What Is Ricin?.............................................................................................117 The ciprofloxacin........................................................... or take one large dose of the medicine instead of taking it for 60 days?.........I am having terrible yeast infections while taking ciprofloxacin...................................................................... Is there anything I can take for this?................................................... wear a patch....................... Is there anything I can do to help this?.........................................................................................................................................120 What cyanide is:......................119 Besides anthrax.................................................. doxycycline..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................124 How sulfur mustard exposure is treated................. Is that okay?............................................................................................................................................119 Why was ciprofloxacin ever publicized as the best drug for anthrax? How can we know which antibiotic is best?....................................................... doxycycline.................123 Immediate signs and symptoms of sulfur mustard exposure....... If 15 hours have passed since my last dose............................................................ doxycycline...................................128 What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Ricin Exposure? ..........................................................................121 Immediate signs and symptoms of cyanide exposure.. is it still okay to take the pill?................................................................................................120 Where cyanide is found and how it is used.....................122 How people can get more information about cyanide.....................125 Pneumonic Plague..................................................................................................................127 How Does Ricin Work? ......................................... I took the medicine for a couple weeks.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................128 How Is Ricin Poisoning Treated?........................................................ or amoxicillin I am taking makes me feel itchy all over............................................................................................................................121 How cyanide poisoning is treated...127 Where Is Ricin Found.........................................................................117 Can I drink alcohol if I am taking ciprofloxacin................................................... doxycycline.................. 118 Should all patients who have flu-like symptoms be treated with antibiotics?.....................................................................117 I feel much better if I take only one pill of ciprofloxacin.................................................................................................................................................................................123 What sulfur mustard is: ......................................................................... Wouldn’t that weaken any anthrax that’s in my body?..............................119 Is there a generic form of ciprofloxacin?... what else is ciprofloxacin prescribed for? Has there been resistance to ciprofloxacin when used in other instances (historically)?.....................................118 I was told that I had been exposed to Bacillus anthracis and prescribed antibiotics.............................................123 What the long-term health effects may be........................................................ or amoxicillin gave me an allergic reaction and I stopped taking it.....................................127 How Can People Be Exposed to Ricin?............................................................................................................................118 Does a patient have immunity after recovering from anthrax infection?.................................................... doxycycline...........................................................................................119 CBRN..................................117 What side effects are serious enough that I should go to a doctor?.. or amoxicillin each day...................................................................................................................................................122 Sulfur Mustard.....................................................................................................................................128 ................................................

.......................133 Is there any way to treat bad reactions to the vaccine?.129 Sarin..................................................................................................133 Pregnant women are discouraged from getting the vaccine....................................142 Viral Hemorrhagic Fever...........................................................................138 How people can be exposed to tabun....129 What Can People Do If They Think They May Have Been Exposed to Ricin?.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................133 Is a child under the age of 1 year in the household a contraindication to vaccination? ..................................................................141 What Should I Do if I Think I Have Tularemia?..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................135 How soman works:..................................................................................................................................135 Where soman is found and how it is used?...............................................................................................140 How tabun poisoning is treated.............................................................................................................................................................................................144 How Is It Treated?.......................................................................................................................................144 What Are the Symptoms of Exposure?.........................................................................................................................................138 Immediate signs and symptoms of tabun exposure.......................................................131 How sarin poisoning is treated?...............................................................g........................................................................................132 Should you get the smallpox vaccine if you have a weakened immune system (e...................................................................................................................138 Tabun...140 How people can protect themselves and what they should do if they are exposed to tabun .........129 How sarin works?......................130 Immediate signs and symptoms of sarin exposure....................................................................................................................145 .....................129 How people can be exposed to sarin?........137 How soman poisoning is treated....................................................................................................................................................................................144 What is VHF?.......................................................................144 How Is It Spread?...........142 More Questions & Answers...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... increasing the potential for contact with vaccinated people?....................139 What the long-term health effects are..................................................................................................................................................138 How tabun works...........................................................................129 What Sarin is:....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................130 How people can protect themselves and what they should do if they are exposed to sarin?.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................138 What tabun is:.....................................141 Can Tularemia Be Used As a Weapon?...................................................................................... you are immuno compromised)?.......................140 Tularemia..................135 How people can be exposed to soman?...........................................................133 Are there any eye conditions that would preclude vaccination?........................................................................................135 Immediate signs and symptoms of soman exposure...............................................................................................................145 Supplies for a Recession ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................129 Where sarin is found and how it is used?........ Is there a danger to them (or to an unborn child) if broader vaccination occurs...........................................................................................136 How people can protect themselves and what they should do if they are exposed to soman?............................................141 What Can I Do To Prevent Becoming Infected with Tularemia?.............................138 Where tabun is found and how it is used.................................................................................................................144 Who Has It/Where Can It Be Found?...........................................141 How Is Tularemia Treated?.....................................................................135 What soman is:...................................................140 How Soon Do Infected People Get Sick?.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................134 Soman............................................................How Do We Know for Sure Whether People Have Been Exposed to Ricin?........................132 Smallpox vaccine...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

..............................................................................................................145 ......Have a supply of bottled water.

Include “special needs” items for any member of your household (infant formula or items for people with disabilities or older people).” having some essential supplies on hand will make you and your family more comfortable. Develop a disaster plan together. 2. You may even want to make arrangements to stay with a family member or friend in case of an emergency. Your family should know that if telephones are not working. Leave these contact numbers at your children’s schools. and each other’s. 1. Prepare a disaster supplies kit in an easy-to-carry container such as a duffel bag or small plastic trash can. Create an emergency communications plan.Preparedness Guides HOW TO PREPARE Introductions Devastating acts. What You Can Do to Prepare Finding out what can happen is the first step. They have raised uncertainty about what might happen next. Your selected contact should live far enough away that they would be unlikely to be directly affected by the same event. a sleeping . Establish a meeting place. they need to be patient and try again later or try e-mail. e-mail addresses and telephone numbers (home. Once you have determined the events possible and their potential in your community. a change of clothing for each household member. there are things you can do to prepare for the unexpected and reduce the stress that you may feel now and later should another emergency arise. and at your workplace. Taking preparatory action can reassure you and your children that you can exert a measure of control even in the face of such events. it is important that you discuss them with your family or household. Assemble a disaster supplies kit. If you need to evacuate your home or are asked to “shelter in place. such as the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. 3. first aid supplies (including prescription medications). increasing stress levels. since pets are not permitted in shelters and some hotels will not accept them. Be sure to include any pets in these plans. work. pager and cell). Having a predetermined meeting place away from your home will save time and minimize confusion should your home be affected or the area evacuated. and they should know they are the chosen contact. Choose an out-of-town contact your family or household will call or e-mail to check on each other should a disaster occur. Many people flood the telephone lines when emergencies happen but e-mail can sometimes get through when calls don’t. have left many concerned about the possibility of future incidents in the United States and their potential impact. Nevertheless. if you have children. Make sure every household member has that contact’s.

check for injuries. .bag or bedroll for each. Shut off any other damaged utilities. open windows. Check on your neighbors. If Disaster Strikes • • • • • • • • • Remain calm and be patient. birth and marriage certificates. Do not light matches or candles or turn on electrical switches. You may also want to request a copy of Before Disaster Strikes . For more complete instructions. life insurance beneficiary designations and a copy of your will-should also be kept in a safe location outside your home. . request a copy of the brochure titled Your Family Disaster Plan from your local American Red Cross chapter. especially those who are elderly or disabled. bottled water and tools. During times of emergency the school telephones may be overwhelmed with calls. passports and licenses) in your kit. ask what type of authorization the school may require to release a child to someone you designate. And. a battery powered radio or television and extra batteries. A safe deposit box or the home of a friend or family member who lives out of town is a good choice. Follow the advice of local emergency officials. For more information on putting together a disaster plan. How to Make Sure You’re Financially Prepared for specific information on what you can do now to protect your assets. You need to know if they will they keep children at school until a parent or designated adult can pick them up or send them home on their own. ask your local Red Cross chapter for the brochure titled Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit 4. Call your family contact—do not use the telephone again unless it is a lifethreatening emergency. Listen to your radio or television for news and instructions. Be sure that the school has updated information about how to reach parents and responsible caregivers to arrange for pickup. Copies of essential documents-like powers of attorney. fire hazards and other household hazards. turn off the main gas valve. check for damage using a flashlight. If the disaster occurs near your home while you are there. If the disaster occurs near you. insurance policies. if you are not able to pick up your child. Confine or secure your pets. and get everyone outside quickly. food. starting at the water heater. It is also a good idea to include some cash and copies of important family documents (birth certificates. Sniff for gas leaks. Check on the school emergency plan of any school-age children you may have. . Give first aid and get help for seriously injured people. If you smell gas or suspect a leak. Check for fires.

and you should heed the advice immediately. Shut off water and electricity before leaving. and there may be restrictions on domestic and international travel. or find a “pet-friendly” hotel. >Use travel routes specified by local authorities—don’t use shortcuts because certain areas may be impassable or dangerous. 2001. Workplaces and schools may be closed. Listen to your radio or television and follow the instructions of local emergency officials and keep these simple tips in mind. Take your disaster supplies kit. if instructed to do so. You may need gas for heating and cooking. Extensive media coverage. avoiding roads blocked for your safety. follow your plan to go to a relative’s or friend’s home. Listen to local authorities. Your local authorities will provide you with the most accurate information specific to an event in your area. Leave natural gas service ON unless local officials advise you otherwise. Take your pets with you. You and your family or household may have to evacuate an area. they have a good reason to make this request. • • • • • • • Wear long-sleeved shirts. Heavy law enforcement involvement at local. So employers need up-to-date information about any medical needs you may have and on how to contact your designated beneficiaries. state and federal levels follows a terrorist attack due to the event’s criminal nature. Staying tuned to local radio and television. the following things can happen after a terrorist attack: • • • • • • • There can be significant numbers of casualties and/or damage to buildings and the infrastructure. maybe even overwhelmed. do not leave them behind. Stay away from downed power lines. Evacuation If local authorities ask you to leave your home.A Word on What Could Happen As we learned from the events of September 11. and following their instructions is your safest choice. and only a professional can restore gas service in your home . strong public fear and international implications and consequences can continue for a prolonged period. If you’re sure you have time: • • Call your family contact to tell them where you are going and when you expect to arrive. Lock your home. Because pets are not permitted in public shelters. long pants and sturdy shoes so you can be protected as much as possible. Clean-up may take many months. Health and mental health resources in the affected communities can be strained to their limits.

including possibly assisting injured people to evacuate a building if necessary. you need to tend to your own well-being first and then consider first aid for others immediately around you. Local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in your community. To enroll in a first aid and AED/CPR course. unedited footage of terrorism events and people’s reaction to those events can be very upsetting. and make sure the radio is working. Using duct tape. contact your local American Red Cross chapter. Turn off all fans. . an above-ground location is preferable because some chemicals are heavier than air. They have raised uncertainty about what might happen next. especially to children. Another useful preparation includes learning some basic first aid. Listen to the advice of local officials on the radio or television to determine what steps you will need to take to protect yourself and your family.once it’s been turned off. there are things you can do to prepare for the unexpected and reduce the stress that you may feel now and later should another emergency arise. Adults may also need to give themselves a break from watching disturbing footage. Close and lock all windows and exterior doors. We do not recommend that children watch television news reports about such events. and may seep into basements even if the windows are closed. Get your disaster supplies kit. People who may have come into contact with a biological or chemical agent may need to go through a decontamination procedure and receive medical attention. So you may want to make some arrangements to take turns listening to the news with other adult members of your household. only call 9-1-1 about life-threatening emergencies. In an emergency situation. seal all cracks around the door and any vents into the room. have left many concerned about the possibility of future incidents in the United States and their potential impact. Young children do not realize that it is repeated video footage.” what they mean is for you to remain inside your home or office and protect yourself there. Additional Positive Steps You Can Take Raw. Go to an interior room without windows that’s above ground level. such as the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Close the fireplace damper. increasing stress levels. and think the event is happening again and again. heating and air conditioning systems. As emergency services will likely be overwhelmed. Keep listening to your radio or television until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate. especially if the news reports show images over and over again about the same incident. However. If you are advised by local officials to “shelter in place. Taking preparatory action can reassure you and your children that you can exert a measure of control even in the face of such events. In the case of a chemical threat. listening to local radio and television reports will provide you with the most accurate information from responsible governmental authorities on what’s happening and what actions you will need to take. In a disaster situation it could take weeks for a professional to respond. Nevertheless. Devastating acts.

The following is general information about national security emergencies. you would need to rely on police. Take precautions when traveling. suspicious packages and strange devices should be promptly reported to the police or security personnel. subway or congested public area or traffic. to the use of chemical. These threats to national security include acts of terrorism and acts of war. water and food supplies. biological and nuclear weapons. Terrorists might also target large public gatherings. Learn where emergency exits are located in buildings you frequent. Terrorists often use threats to create fear among the public. international airports. bomb scares and bombings. 3. Be familiar with different types of fire extinguishers and how to locate them. High-risk targets include military and civilian government facilities. and corporate centers. coercion or ransom.QUICK REFERENCE National Security Emergencies In addition to the natural and technological hazards described in this publication. . Notice where exits are when you enter unfamiliar buildings. they are capable of spreading fear by sending explosives or chemical and biological agents through the mail. Do not accept packages from strangers. Notice heavy or breakable objects that could move. Acts of terrorism range from threats of terrorism. and to get immediate publicity for their causes. kidnappings. Out of a building. Be aware of conspicuous or unusual behavior. be aware of your surroundings. utilities. 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. Assemble a disaster supply kit at home and learn first aid. cyber attacks (computer-based). 4. Do not leave luggage unattended. In the immediate area of a terrorist event. Do not be afraid to move or leave if you feel uncomfortable or if something does not seem right. 6. 8. Preparing for terrorism 1. you can prepare in much the same way you would prepare for other crisis events. Plan how to get 5. to try to convince citizens that their government is powerless to prevent terrorism. Note where staircases are located. Know the location and availability of hard hats in buildings in which you spend a lot of time. and put them in a backpack 7. Wherever you are. However. The very nature of terrorism suggests there may be little or no warning. assassinations. Separate the supplies you would take if you had to evacuate quickly. ready to go. fall or break in an explosion. 2. or container. Further. large cities and high-profile landmarks. Americans face threats posed by hostile governments or extremist groups. Unusual behavior. hijackings. fire and other officials for instructions.

because of hazardous materials releases. First. 3. get as much information from the caller as possible. Learn first aid. natural gas. Be prepared to respond to official instructions if a cyber attack triggers other hazards. Building owners should keep the following items in a designated place on each floor of the building. 4. Cyber attacks target information technologies (IT) in three different ways. Then notify the police and the building management. traffic control systems. Preparing for a building explosion Explosions can collapse buildings and cause fires. Third. 2.Protection against cyber attacks Cyber attacks target computer or telecommunication networks of critical infrastructures such as power systems. and learn how to use them. general evacuation. * Portable. cash registers. ATM machines. gasoline pumps. telephone. People who live or work in a multilevel building can do the following: 1. Contact the local chapter of the American Red Cross for information and training. is a direct attack against an information system “through the wires alone (hacking). Second. the attack can be from the inside as a result of compromising a trusted party with access to the system. Know where emergency exits are located. Keep fire extinguishers in working order. Keep the caller on the line and record everything that is said. dam or flood control system failures. and internet transactions. Be prepared to do without services you normally depend on that could be disrupted electricity. Review emergency evacuation procedures. nuclear power plant incident. or shelter-in-place. the attack can be a physical assault against a critical IT element. . evacuation to shelter. Know where they are located. battery-operated radio and extra batteries * Several flashlights and extra batteries * First aid kit and manual * Several hard hats * Fluorescent tape to rope off dangerous areas Bomb Threats If you receive a bomb threat. for example. or financial systems.

Wash your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading any powder to your face. Have protruding wires or aluminum foil. or are lopsided or oddly shaped. such as Personal. Suspicious parcels and letters Be wary of suspicious packages and letters. paper. Have inappropriate or unusual labeling. Some typical characteristics postal inspectors have detected over the years. take these additional steps against possible biological and chemical agents. With suspicious envelopes and packages other than those that might contain explosives. • • • • • • • Refrain from eating or drinking in a designated mail handling area. etc. If you are at work. or section off the area to prevent other from entering. List all people who were in the room or area when this suspicious letter or package was recognized. Do not block sidewalk or streets to be used by emergency officials or others still exiting the building. which ought to trigger suspicion. Are marked with any threatening language. Are marked with restrictive endorsements. don’t stand in front of windows..) and do not remove the cover. clothing. Are not addressed to a specific person. trash can.g. Have handwritten or poorly typed addresses. Be particularly cautious at your place of employment. who should notify police and other authorities without delay. Place suspicious envelopes or packages in a plastic bag or some other type of container to prevent leakage of contents. then cover the envelope or package with anything available (e. Never sniff or smell suspect mail. If you do not have a container. chemical or biological agents. given their size. Have incorrect titles or title without a name. . do not touch any suspicious packages. They can contain explosives. Have misspellings of common words. Show a city or state in the postmark that doesn’t match the return address. Are of unusual weight. In evacuating a building. or have one that can’t be verified as legitimate. glass doors or other potentially hazardous areas. Are addressed to someone no longer with your organization or are otherwise outdated. Clear the area around suspicious packages and notify the police immediately. report the incident to your building security official or an available supervisor. Give a copy of this list to both the local public health authorities and law enforcement officials for follow-up investigations and advice. strange odors or stains. include parcels that • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Are unexpected or from someone unfamiliar to you. Confidential or Do not x-ray.If you are notified of a bomb threat. Have excessive postage or excessive packaging material such as masking tape and string. Leave the room and close the door. Have no return address.

or used as a liquid to create a hazard to people and the . middle and upper parts of the door. This may be to evacuate the area immediately. If there is a fire: o Stay low to the floor and exit the building as quickly as possible. boats. watching for weakened floors and stairs and falling debris as you exit. Then leave quickly. leave immediately through the door. They can be released by bombs. Use a whistle if one is available. get under a sturdy table or desk until they stop falling. If things are falling around you. Never use the palm of your hand or fingers to test for heat: burning those areas could impair your ability to escape a fire (i. liquids or solids that have toxic effects on people. What to do if there is an explosion Leave the building as quickly as possible. alerting fire fighters to your presence. If you cannot escape.  If the door is NOT hot. If you are trapped in debris: o Do not light a match. Chemical Chemical warfare agents are poisonous vapors. or to take immediate shelter where you are and seal the premises. ladders and crawling). The best way to protect yourself is to take emergency preparedness measures ahead of time and to get medical attention as soon as possible. If clear. report the incident to local police. Cover your mouth with a handkerchief for clothing.• If you are at home. o When approaching a closed door. Chemical and Biological Weapons In case of a chemical or biological weapon attack near you. authorities will instruct you on the best course of action.e. o Do not move about or kick up dust. open slowly and ensure fire and/or smoke is not blocking your escape route. Escape through a window.  If the door is hot. Shout only as a last resort when you hear sounds and think someone will hear you—shouting can cause a person to inhale dangerous amounts of dust. sprayed from aircraft. Do not stop to retrieve personal possessions or make phone calls. such as a window. use the back of your hand to feel the lower. 2. 1. if needed. o Cover your nose and mouth with a wet cloth. Stay below the smoke at all times. The air is clearer and cooler near the floor. or vehicles.. Be prepared to crawl. Smoke and heat rise. hang a white or light-colored sheet outside the window. o Rhythmically tap on a pipe or wall so that rescuers can hear where you are. aerosols. to seek shelter at a designated location. shut the door immediately and use an alternate escape route. animals or plants. If your escape route is blocked. do not open it. o Heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect first along the ceiling.

and extracted from. 3. Toxins. living plants. The diseases they produce often respond to treatment with antibiotics. and toxins. GF. and Riot-control agents (similar to MACE). or microorganisms. GD (soman). 2. . Nerve agents such as GA (tabun). Outdoors. Inhaling the agent may cause disease in people or animals. There are six types of agents: • • • • • • Lung-damaging (pulmonary) agents such as phosgene. chemical agents are difficult to deliver in lethal concentrations. Many break down quickly when exposed to sunlight and other environmental factors. Incapacitating agents such as BZ. • Aerosols—Biological agents are dispersed into the air. animals. 1. Chemical agents are also difficult to produce. forming a fine mist that may drift for miles. Most biological agents are difficult to grow and maintain. Bacteria. viruses. while others such as anthrax spores are very long lived. or infecting animals which carry the disease to humans as well through food and water contamination. Viruses. Cyanide. The three basic groups of biological agents which would likely be used as weapons are bacteria. Bacteria are small free-living organisms that reproduce by simple division and are easy to grow. They can be dispersed by spraying them in the air. Some toxins can be treated with specific antitoxins and selected drugs. livestock and crops.environment. Some chemical agents may be odorless and tasteless. Viruses are organisms which require living cells in which to reproduce and are intimately dependent upon the body they infect. Viruses produce diseases which generally do not respond to antibiotics. GB (sarin). Vesicants or blister agents such as mustard. some toxins can be produced or altered by chemical means. the agents often dissipate rapidly. Toxins are poisonous substances found in. antiviral drugs are sometimes effective. They can have an immediate effect (a few seconds to a few minutes) or a delayed effect (several hours to several days). While potentially lethal. However. and VX. Biological Biological agents are organisms or toxins that can kill or incapacitate people.

Listen to your radio for instructions from authorities such as whether to remain inside or to evacuate. What to do to prepare for a chemical or biological attack • • • • • • • Assemble a disaster supply kit (see the “Emergency Planning and Disaster Supplies” chapter for more information) and be sure to include: Battery-powered commercial radio with extra batteries. 2. windows and vents for the room in which you will shelter in place —this should be an internal room where you can block out air that may contain hazardous chemical or biological agents. water and bleach. and be sure to take your battery-operated radio with you. . The effect was to disrupt mail service and to cause a widespread fear of handling delivered mail among the public. Food and water contamination—some pathogenic organisms and toxins may persist in food and water supplies. (See “Shelter” chapter. Plastic for doors. If you are caught in an unprotected area. To save critical time during an emergency. Deliberately spreading diseases through livestock is also referred to as agro-terrorism.• • Animals—Some diseases are spread by insects and animals. you should: o Attempt to get up-wind of the contaminated area. Most microbes can be killed. the building where you are. 3. First aid kit. What to do during a chemical or biological attack 1. Non-perishable food and drinking water. Ten square feet of floor space per person will provide sufficient air to prevent carbon dioxide build-up for up to five hours. Seal the room with duct tape and plastic sheeting. such as fleas. Postal sorting machines and the opening of letters dispersed the spores as aerosols. by cooking food and boiling water. If you are instructed to remain in your home. or other shelter during a chemical or biological attack: o Turn off all ventilation. Roll of duct tape and scissors. vent sand fans. Person-to-person spread of a few infectious agents is also possible. Sanitation supplies including soap.) o Remain in protected areas where toxic vapors are reduced or eliminated. and toxins deactivated. o Attempt to find shelter as quickly as possible. including furnaces. sheeting should be pre-measured and cut for each opening. mice. flies. air conditioners. Humans have been the source of infection for smallpox. plague. preferably one without windows. o Listen to your radio for official instructions. o Seek shelter in an internal room. Several deaths resulted. and mosquitoes. Anthrax spores formulated as a white powder were mailed to individuals in the government and media in the fall of 2001. and the Lassa viruses.

Put on clean clothes and seek medical assistance. Contaminated clothing normally removed over the head should be cut off to avoid contact with the eyes. Put into a plastic bag if possible. visit the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If this is the case.) 1. 7. (However. Use extreme caution when helping others who have been exposed to chemical agents: o Remove all clothing and other items in contact with the body. fires started by the heat pulse. difficulty breathing and nausea.bt. and you should seek immediate medical attention for treatment. the first evidence of an attack may be when you notice symptoms of the disease caused by an agent exposure. 2. 4. In such situations. people may be alerted to a potential exposure. Flush eyes with lots of water.cdc. nose. If medical help is not immediately available. Gently wash face and hair with soap and water. eye irritation. Decontaminate other body areas likely to have been contaminated. 6. and emergency alert systems. Nuclear and Radiological Attack Nuclear explosions can cause deadly effects—blinding light. initial nuclear radiation. proceed to a medical facility for screening. If possible. pay close attention to all official warnings and instructions on how to proceed. Change into uncontaminated clothes. If your skin or clothing comes in contact with a visible. you should not leave the safety of a shelter to go outdoors to help others until authorities announce it is safe to do so. then thoroughly rinse with water. The delivery of medical services for a biological event may be handled differently to respond to increased demand. people will not know they have been exposed to an agent. In some situations. television. Put glasses in a pan of household bleach to decontaminate. potentially infectious substance. like the anthrax letters sent in 2001. For more information. it will be important for you to pay attention to official instructions via radio.What to do after a chemical attack Immediate symptoms of exposure to chemical agents may include blurred vision. and mouth. Blot (do not swab or scrape) with a cloth soaked in soapy water and rinse with clear water. Remove eyeglasses or contact lenses. www. Decontamination is needed within minutes of exposure to minimize health consequences. What to do after a biological attack In many biological attacks. decontaminate yourself and assist in decontaminating others. you should remove and bag your clothes and personal items and wash yourself with warm soapy water immediately. Again.gov. 5. 3. Clothing stored in drawers or closets is likely to be uncontaminated. Decontaminate hands using soap and water. blast. and secondary . A person affected by a chemical or biological agent requires immediate attention by professional medical personnel. Remove all items in contact with the body. intense heat (thermal radiation).

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. The strength of such a weapon would be in the range of the bombs used during World War II. but the area and severity of the effects would be significantly more limited. used widely in medicine. industrial. potential targets include: • • • • • • Strategic missile sites and military bases. Terrorist use of a nuclear device would probably be limited to a single smaller “suitcase” weapon. These radiological weapons are a combination of conventional explosives and radioactive material designed to scatter dangerous and sub-lethal amounts of radioactive material over a general area. some terrorists have been supported by nations that have nuclear weapons programs.fires caused by the destruction. and state capitals. Major ports and airfields. The danger of a massive strategic nuclear attack on the United States involving many weapons receded with the end of the Cold War. Taking shelter during a nuclear attack is absolutely necessary. initial radiation. these radioactive materials. Such radiological weapons appeal to terrorists because they require very little technical knowledge to build and deploy compared to that of a nuclear device. There are two kinds of shelters—blast and fallout.. There is no way of knowing how much warning time there would be before an attack by a terrorist using a nuclear or radiological weapon. If there were threat of an attack from a hostile nation. A surprise attack remains a possibility. They can be any protected space. or in the middle of a large building. Petroleum refineries. Terrorist use of a radiological dispersion device (RDD)—often called ”dirty nuke” or “dirty bomb”—is considered far more likely than use of a nuclear device. electrical power plants and chemical plants. industry and research. heat and fire. but even a blast shelter could not withstand a direct hit from a nuclear detonation. Fallout shelters do not need to be specially constructed for that purpose. are much more readily available and easy to obtain compared to weapons grade uranium or plutonium. Also. Centers of government such as Washington. In general. Blast shelters offer some protection against blast pressure. Protection from radioactive fallout would require taking shelter in an underground area. The nature of the effects would be the same as a weapon delivered by an inter-continental missile. provided that the walls and roof are thick and dense enough to . technology and financial centers.C. Manufacturing. Important transportation and communication centers. They also produce radioactive particles called fallout that can be carried by wind for hundreds of miles. agriculture. However. D.

000 miles of a high-altitude nuclear detonation could be affected. Distance. Radioactive fallout poses the greatest threat to people during the first two weeks. The more heavy. how they will be used. medications. bricks. The more distance between you and the fallout particles. but start there. concrete. the better. Time. it could harm those with pacemakers or other implanted electronic devices. nor is a floor adjacent to a neighboring flat roof. It may have been years ago. (Seethe “Emergency Planning and Disaster Supplies” chapter for more information). water. 3. 2. offers more protection than the first floor of a building. In time. What to do before a nuclear or radiological attack 1. o Call your local emergency management office. however temporary. depending on what is nearby at that level on which significant fallout particles would collect. and automobile or aircraft ignition systems. distance. books and earth—between you and the fallout particles. The damage could range from a minor interruption to actual burnout of components. a nuclear weapon detonated in or above the earth’s atmosphere can create an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). the better. the better. you will be able to leave the fallout shelter. A floor near the middle of a high-rise may be better. Most electronic equipment within 1. many of the signs have been removed from the buildings previously designated. such as a home or office building basement. Although EMP is unlikely to harm most people. o Look for yellow and black fallout shelter signs on public buildings. is better than none at all. and what you should do if you hear them. Electromagnetic pulse In addition to other effects. and the more shielding. Find out what public buildings in your community may have been designated as fallout shelters. and time. The three protective factors of a fallout shelter are shielding. fuel and personal items adequate for up to 2 weeks—the more the better. electrical appliances. computers. what they mean. Remember that any protection. This include communication systems. by which time it has declined to about 1% of its initial radiation level. Battery powered radios with short antennas generally would not be affected. Make sure you know what the signals are. and learn which buildings are still in use and could be designated as shelters again. EMP acts like a stroke of lightning but is stronger. a high-density electrical field. . EMP can seriously damage electronic devices connected to power sources or antennas.absorb the radiation given off by fallout particles. distance and time you can take advantage of. • • • Shielding. Flat roofs collect fallout particles so the top floor is not a good choice. Assemble and maintain a disaster supply kit with food. Fallout radiation loses its intensity fairly rapidly. An underground area. faster and briefer. Note: With the end of the Cold War. dense materials—thick walls. Learn the warning signals and all sources of warning used in your community.

o A basement. o o o Take cover as quickly as you can. keep the following in mind. and about providing for building occupants until it is safe to go out. as long as you can move them quickly to the shelter. (When they are removed. make your own list of potential shelters near your home. few major changes are needed. Often. If you hear an attack warning: 1. especially if the structure has two or more stories and its basement—or one corner of it—is below ground. Do not look at the flash or fireball—it can blind you. If the explosion is some distance away. What to do during a nuclear or radiological attack 1. BELOW GROUND IF POSSIBLE. If you are considering building a fallout shelter at home. 7. as well as subways and tunnels.If no noticeable or official designations have been made. take cover behind anything that might offer protection. or the windowless center area of middle floors in high-rise buildings. workplace and school: basements. 4. especially in a home without a basement. There are few public shelters in many suburban and rural areas. it could take 30 seconds or more for the blast wave to hit. talk to the manager about the safest place in the building for sheltering. o Give your household clear instructions about where fallout shelters are located and what actions to take in case of attack. If you live in an apartment building or high-rise. relocation sites. or any underground area. See the “For More Information” chapter at the end of this guide. 5. o See the “Evacuation” chapter for more information. dense.) o See the “Tornadoes” section in the “Thunderstorms” chapter for information on the “Wind Safe Room. If you are caught outside. is the best place to shelter from fallout. Lie flat on the ground and cover your head. o All the items you will need for your stay need not be stocked inside the shelter itself but can be stored elsewhere. . Such plans may include evacuation routes. but only store things there that can be very quickly removed. unable to get inside immediately. Learn about your community’s evacuation plans. 6. Acquire other emergency preparedness booklets that you may need. o Fallout shelters can be used for storage during non-emergency periods. and stay there unless instructed to do otherwise. heavy items may be used to add to the shielding.” which could be used as shelter in the event of a nuclear detonation or for fallout protection. how the public will be notified and transportation options for people who do not own cars and those who have special needs.

o A missile-delivered nuclear weapon from a hostile nation would probably cause an explosion many times more powerful than a suitcase bomb. Although it may be difficult. 4. even if you are many miles from ground zero—radioactive fallout can be carried by the winds for hundreds of miles. if necessary. especially for children. Local instructions should always take precedence: officials on the ground know the local situation best. What to do after a nuclear or radiological attack In a public or home shelter: 1. Follow their instructions when leaving. where to go. The length of your stay can range from a day or two to four weeks. and listen for official information. 5. the fallout will arrive in about20 minutes. Keep a battery-powered radio with you. depending on the amount of conventional explosives used. Follow the instructions given. the ill or elderly. Keep listening to the radio for news about what to do.2. o People in most of the areas that would be affected could be allowed to come out of shelter and. Take shelter. Remember the three protective factors: shielding. If you are close enough to see the brilliant flash of a nuclear explosion. Use them prudently but do not impose sever rationing. make every effort to maintain sanitary conditions in your shelter space. o The heaviest fallout would be limited to the area at or downwind from the explosion. o The decay rate of the radioactive fallout would be the same. and provide a greater cloud of radioactive fallout. most of the country would not be affected by fallout. o Because of these facts and the very limited number of weapons terrorists could detonate. Water and food may be scarce. 3. and 80% of the fallout would occur during the first24 hours. 2. o A “suitcase” terrorist nuclear device detonated at or near ground level would produce heavy fallout from the dirt and debris sucked up into the mushroom cloud. Protect yourself from radioactive fallout. If in a fallout shelter. 3. stay in your shelter until local authorities tell you it is permissible or advisable to leave. o Contamination from a radiological dispersion device could affect a wide area. distance and time. and places to avoid. Returning to your home 1. making it necessary for those in the areas with highest radiation levels to remain in shelter for up to a month. . Cooperate with shelter managers. Living with many people in confined space can be difficult and unpleasant. Do not leave the shelter until officials say it is safe. evacuate to unaffected areas within a few days. the quantity of radioactive material and atmospheric conditions.

7.” Homeland Security Advisory System The Homeland Security Advisory System was designed to provide a comprehensive means to disseminate information regarding the risk of terrorist acts to federal. If your home was within the range of a bomb’s shock wave. state and federal governments and other organizations will help meet emergency needs and help you recover from damage and losses. At each threat condition. Stay away from areas marked “radiation hazard” or “HAZMAT. This system provides warnings in the form of a set of graduated “Threat Conditions” that increase as the risk of the threat increases. o Overturned bookcases. If you turned gas. . Stay away from damaged areas. o Turn electricity back on at the main switch only after you know the wiring is undamaged in your home and the community electrical system is functioning. federal departments and agencies would implement a corresponding set of “Protective Measures” to further reduce vulnerability or increase response capability during a period of heightened alert. check first for any sign of collapse or damage. 9. 8. wall units or other fixtures. pictures and mirrors. water and electricity off at the main valves and switch before you went to shelter: o Do not turn the gas back on. Although the Homeland Security Advisory System is binding on the executive branch. 3. state. and other potentially hazardous materials. and local authorities and to the American people. the higher the threat condition. 5. o Fallen light fixtures. such as: o Toppling chimneys. Monitor the radio and your television for information on assistance that maybe provided. falling bricks. plaster falling from ceilings. The danger may be aggravated by broken water mains and fallen power lines. Immediately clean up spilled medicines. o Fires from broken chimneys. flammable liquids. o Ruptured gas and electric lines. each identified by a description and corresponding color. Risk includes both the probability of an attack occurring and its potential gravity. or you live in a highrise or other apartment building that experienced a non-nuclear explosion. The greater the risk of a terrorist attack. o Check to see that sewage lines are intact before using sanitary facilities. it is voluntary to other levels of government and the private sector. Local. Listen to your battery-powered radio for instructions and information about community services. drugs. o Broken glass from windows.2. There are five threat conditions. The gas company will turn it back on for you or you will receive other instructions. 6. collapsing walls. o Turn the water back on at the main valve only after you know the water system is working and water is not contaminated. 4.

Members of the public can: • Develop a household disaster plan and assemble a disaster supply kit. • • • Refine and exercise prearranged protective measures. Federal departments and agencies will consider the following protective measures. Threat Conditions and Associated Protective Measures There is always a risk of a terrorist threat. In addition to the measures taken in the previous threat condition. or they may be set for a particular geographic area or industrial sector.Threat conditions are assigned by the Attorney General in consultation with the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security. . and Provide the public with any information that would strengthen its ability to act appropriately. Develop a more detailed household communication plan. Hold a household meeting to discuss what members would do and how they would communicate in the event of an incident. in addition to the actions taken for the previous threat condition. (see “Emergency Planning and Disaster Supplies” chapter). Members of the public. Each threat condition assigns a level of alert appropriate to the increasing risk of terrorist attacks. Assigned threat conditions will be reviewed at regular intervals to determine whether adjustments are warranted. can: • • • • Update their disaster supply kit. and all reasonable measures are taken to mitigate these vulnerabilities. This condition is declared when there is a low risk of terrorist attacks. Beneath each threat condition are some suggested protective measures that the government and the public can take. and Institute a process to assure that all facilities and regulated sectors are regularly assessed for vulnerabilities to terrorist attacks. This condition is declared when there is a general risk of terrorist attacks. Guarded Condition (Blue). federal departments and agencies will consider the following protective measures: • • • Check communications with designated emergency response or command locations. recognizing that the heads of federal departments and agencies are responsible for developing and implementing appropriate agency-specific Protective Measures: Low Condition (Green). Ensure personnel receive proper training on the Homeland Security Advisory System and specific prearranged department or agency protective measures. Threat conditions may be assigned for the entire nation. Review and update emergency response procedures. Review their household disaster plan.

in addition to the actions taken for the previous threat conditions. and Restrict access to a threatened facility to essential personnel only. in addition to the actions taken for the previous threat condition. family or employers. can: • • • Review preparedness measures (including evacuation and sheltering) for potential terrorist actions including chemical. A Severe Condition reflects a severe risk of terrorist attacks. and local law enforcement agencies. Check with school officials to determine their plans for an emergency and procedures to reunite children with parents and caregivers. Members of the public. can: • • • • Be observant of any suspicious activity and report it to authorities. In addition to the measures taken in the previous threat conditions. Prepare to execute contingency procedures. A High Condition is declared when there is a high risk of terrorist attacks. Assess whether the precise characteristics of the threat require the further refinement of prearranged protective measures. the protective measures for a Severe Condition are not intended to be sustained for substantial periods of time. and People with special needs should discuss their emergency plans with friends. biological. federal departments and agencies will consider the following protective measures: • • • • Coordinate necessary security efforts with federal. possibly considering alternative venues or even cancellation. An Elevated Condition is declared when there is a significant risk of terrorist attacks. and Exercise caution when traveling.• • Apartment residents should discuss with building managers steps to be taken during an emergency. Severe Condition (Red). Elevated Condition (Yellow). state. and Update the household communication plan. National Guard or other security and armed forces. federal departments and agencies will consider the following protective measures: • • • • Increase surveillance of critical locations. Coordinate emergency plans with nearby jurisdictions as appropriate. and radiological attacks. Take additional precautions at public events. Contact neighbors to discuss their plans and needs. Avoid high profile or symbolic locations. In addition to the protective . High Condition (Orange). contingency and emergency response plans. In addition to the measures taken in the previous threat conditions. as appropriate. Under most circumstances. such as moving to an alternate site or dispersing the workforce. and Implement. Members of the public.

or constrain transportation systems. Listen to the radio and TV for possible advisories or warnings. do not cause contagious diseases. can result in diseases you can catch from other people. federal departments and agencies also will consider the following general measures: • • • • Increase or redirect personnel to address critical emergency needs. Many agents must be inhaled. redirect. it is perhaps more likely that local health care workers will report a pattern of unusual illness or there will be a wave of sick people seeking emergency medical attention. in addition to the actions taken for the previous threat conditions. you should watch TV. a biological attack may or may not be immediately obvious. While it is possible that you will see signs of a biological attack. Others. and who is in danger. However. can: • • • • • Avoid public gathering places such as sports arenas. listen to the radio. like the smallpox virus. such as anthrax. You might get a telephone call or emergency response workers may come to your door. or other high risk locations. public health officials may not immediately be able to provide information on what you should do. Contact employer to determine status of work.measures in the previous threat conditions. and Close public and government facilities not critical for continuity of essential operations. enter through a cut in the skin or be eaten to make you sick. In the event of a biological attack. or some other signal used in your community. and Prepare to take protective actions such as sheltering-in-place or evacuation if instructed to do so by public officials. Assign emergency response personnel and pre-position and mobilize specially trained teams or resources. If There Is A Biological Threat Unlike an explosion. or check the Internet for official news including the following: • • • • • Are you in the group or area authorities consider in danger? What are the signs and symptoms of the disease? Are medications or vaccines being distributed? Where? Who should get them? . Monitor. Some biological agents. how it should be treated. as was sometimes the case with the anthrax mailings. A biological attack is the deliberate release of germs or other biological substances that can make you sick. Members of the public. BIOLOGICAL ATTACK Biological weapons and the use of bio terror is one of the greatest terrorist threats we face. It will take time to determine exactly what the illness is. especially public safety. Follow official instructions about restrictions to normal activities. You will probably learn of the danger through an emergency radio or TV broadcast. holiday gatherings.

. Otherwise. often for days. such as botulism toxin. Quickly get away. There are many different potential chemical and biological agents that a terrorist could use as a weapon. This dictates an upward safe-haven strategy. Thorough scrubbing with large amounts of warm soapy water or a mixture of 10 parts water to 1 part bleach (10:1) will greatly reduce the possibility of absorbing an agent through the skin. but we can make the following broad generalizations: • • Although food or water contamination or absorption through the skin are possible attack routes. Basic decontamination procedures are generally the same no matter what the agent. if a family member becomes sick. Chemical agents are generally liquids. Responding To an Attack Aside from their common lethality. most experts agree that inhalation of chemical or biological agents is the most likely and effective means.• Where should you seek emergency medical care if you become sick? Protect Yourself If you become aware of an unusual and suspicious release of an unknown substance nearby. however. Wash with soap and water and contact authorities. Use common sense. occur typically in less than a day. it is important to be suspicious. Do not automatically assume. Many likely agents are heavier than air and would tend to stay close to the ground. several layers of tissue or paper towels may help. Protection of breathing airways is therefore the single most important factor in a situation where chemical or biological agents may be present. Symptoms and Hygiene At the time of a declared biological emergency. Biological agents have no odor or color and can be in either liquid or powder form. Biological agents differ in that the effects are delayed. and seek medical advice. handkerchief or towel. Cover your mouth and nose with layers of fabric that can filter the air but still allow breathing. generally take 2-5 days for symptoms to appear. and most have immediate effects or are delayed for a few hours. Living biological agents. The effects of toxins. such as anthrax or plague. often aerosolized. Examples include two to three layers of cotton such as a t-shirt. Many chemical agents have a unique odor and color. practice good hygiene and cleanliness to avoid spreading germs. it doesn’t hurt to protect yourself. that you should go to a hospital emergency room or that any illness is the result of the biological attack. Symptoms of many common illnesses may overlap. there is no one size fits all when it comes to describing the types and effects of possible chemical or biological agents.

Warning Signs of an Attack or Incident A chemical or biological attack or incident won’t always be immediately apparent given the fact that many agents are odorless and colorless and some cause no immediately noticeable effects or symptoms. or suspended. evacuation from the area of attack is always advisable unless you are properly equipped with an appropriate breathing device and protective clothing or have access to collective protection. Other basic steps one can take to avoid or mitigate exposure to chemical or biological agents include: .If water is not available. cover your mouth and nose with a handkerchief. disorientation. convulsions. the only sure way to protect an airway is to put distance between you and the source of the agent. absent a handy gas mask. medical attention should be sought immediately. possibly colored. (Note: the powder absorbs the agent so it must be brushed off thoroughly. Low-lying clouds or fog unrelated to weather. or dissipated in high winds. While evacuating the area. People dressed unusually (long-sleeved shirts or overcoats in the summertime) or wearing breathing protection particularly in areas where large numbers of people tend to congregate. Be alert to the possible presence of agents. If available. In most cases. or patterns of illness inconsistent with natural disease. talcum powder or flour are also excellent means of decontamination of liquid agents. No matter what the agent is or its concentration. diluted with water. coat sleeve or any piece of cloth to provide some moderate means of protection. rubber gloves should be sued when carrying out this procedure. whereas many biological agents will take days before symptoms appear. difficulty breathing. Indicators of such an attack include: • • • • • • • • Droplets of oily film on surfaces Unusual dead or dying animals in the area Unusual liquid sprays or vapors Unexplained odors (smell of bitter almonds. chemical agents tend to present an immediately noticeable effect. In either case. Sprinkle the flour or powder liberally over the affected skin area. clouds of dust. such as subways or stadiums What to Do In Case of Attack Protection of breathing airways is the single most important thing a person can do in the event of a chemical or biological incident or attack. newly mown hay or green grass) Unusual or unauthorized spraying in the area Victims displaying symptoms of nausea. particles. and brush off with a rag or gauze pad. Most chemical and biological agents that present an inhalation hazard will break down fairly rapidly when exposed to the sun.) Generally. wait 30 seconds. peach kernels. even if exposure is thought to be limited.

Avoid choosing rooms with window or wall air conditioners. an entire city or neighborhood could become endangered by lethal gas. medical assistance should be sought as soon as possible.• • • • • • • • • • • • Stay alert for attack warning signs. Choose a large room with access to a bathroom and preferably with a telephone. If gas masks are not available. Remember many agents are heavier than air and will tend to stay close to the ground. CHEMICAL ATTACK . Cover bare arms and legs and make sure any cuts or abrasions are covered or bandaged. Once indoors. An improvised mask can be made by soaking a clean cloth in a solution of 1 tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of water. At the office. Late model cars may provide some protection from toxic agents. Letters from unknown sources should first be screened by security personnel. familiarize yourself in advance with established emergency procedures and equipment at your post. If evacuation from the immediate area is impossible. If opened. you may want to plan and prepare a sealed chemical/biological safe-haven at your residence as follows: Choosing a Safe-Haven Room • • • • • Select an inner room on an upstairs floor with the least number of windows and doors. While this is not highly effective. Early detection enhances survival. If conditions at your post make this a possibility. close all windows and exterior doors and shut down air conditioning or heating systems to prevent circulation of air. If splashed with an agent. If in a car. In any case of suspected exposure to chemical or biological agents. Carefully place such a letter and its envelope in a sealed plastic pouch. they are more difficult to seal. shut off outside air intake vents and roll up windows if no gas has entered the vehicle. it may provide some protection. Thoroughly wash face and hands with warm soapy water before calling for assistance. Preparing a Safe-Haven In some remote but possible scenarios. no matter what the origin. See your regional or post security officer for details. immediately wash it off using copious amounts of warm soapy water or a diluted 10:1 bleach solution. plan and prepare a chemical/biological safe-haven in your residence using guidelines listed in this guide. Cover your mouth and nose. letters allegedly containing anthrax or another toxin should be handled carefully. Shut down all window and central air and heating units. move indoors (if outside) and upward to an interior room on a higher floor. use a surgical mask or a handkerchief. If circumstances dictate. Move upwind from the source of the attack. even if no symptoms are immediately evident. Seal The Room. Note if there was a puff of dust or particles from the envelope when it was opened and be sure to report that when assistance arrives.

A chemical attack is the deliberate release of a toxic gas, liquid or solid that can poison people and the environment Possible Signs of Chemical Threat Many people suffering from watery eyes, twitching, choking, having trouble breathing or losing coordination. Many sick or dead birds, fish or small animals are also cause for suspicion.

Quickly try to define the impacted area or where the chemical is coming from, if possible. Take immediate action to get away. If the chemical is inside a building where you are, get out of the building without passing through the contaminated area, if possible. Otherwise, it may be better to move as far away from where you suspect the chemical release is and “shelter-in-place.” If you are outside, quickly decide what is the fastest escape from the chemical threat. Consider if you can get out of the area, or if you should follow plans to “shelter-in-place.” If You Think You Have Been Exposed to a Chemical If your eyes are watering, your skin is stinging, and you are having trouble breathing, you may have been exposed to a chemical. If you think you may have been exposed to a chemical, strip immediately and wash. Look for a hose, fountain, or any source of water, and wash with soap if possible, being sure not to scrub the chemical into your skin. Seek emergency medical attention.

• •

• •

Responding To an Attack Aside from their common lethality, there is no one size fits all when it comes to describing the types and effects of possible chemical or biological agents. Chemical agents are generally liquids, often aerosolized, and most have immediate effects or are delayed for a few hours. Many chemical agents have a unique odor and color. Biological agents differ in that the effects are delayed, often for days. The effects of toxins, such as botulism toxin, occur typically in less than a day. Living biological agents, such as anthrax or plague, generally take 2-5 days for symptoms to appear. Biological agents have no odor or color and can be in either liquid or powder form.

There are many different potential chemical and biological agents that a terrorist could use as a weapon, but we can make the following broad generalizations: Although food or water contamination or absorption through the skin are possible attack routes, most experts agree that inhalation of chemical or biological agents is the most likely and effective means. Protection of breathing airways is therefore the single most important factor in a situation where chemical or biological agents may be present. Many likely agents are heavier than air and would tend to stay close to the ground. This dictates an upward safe-haven strategy.

Basic decontamination procedures are generally the same no matter what the agent. Thorough scrubbing with large amounts of warm soapy water or a mixture of 10 parts water to 1 part bleach (10:1) will greatly reduce the possibility of absorbing an agent through the skin. If water is not available, talcum powder or flour are also excellent means of decontamination of liquid agents. Sprinkle the flour or powder liberally over the affected skin area, wait 30 seconds, and brush off with a rag or gauze pad. (Note: the powder absorbs the agent so it must be brushed off thoroughly. If available, rubber gloves should be sued when carrying out this procedure.) Generally, chemical agents tend to present an immediately noticeable effect, whereas many biological agents will take days before symptoms appear. In either case, medical attention should be sought immediately, even if exposure is thought to be limited. Most chemical and biological agents that present an inhalation hazard will break down fairly rapidly when exposed to the sun, diluted with water, or dissipated in high winds. No matter what the agent is or its concentration, evacuation from the area of attack is always advisable unless you are properly equipped with an appropriate breathing device and protective clothing or have access to collective protection.

Warning Signs of a Chemical Attack or Incident

A chemical or biological attack or incident won’t always be immediately apparent given the fact that many agents are odorless and colorless and some cause no immediately noticeable effects or symptoms. Be alert to the possible presence of agents. Indicators of such an attack include: Droplets of oily film on surfaces Unusual dead or dying animals in the area Unusual liquid sprays or vapors

• • •

Unexplained odors (smell of bitter almonds, peach kernels, newly mown hay or green grass) Unusual or unauthorized spraying in the area Victims displaying symptoms of nausea, difficulty breathing, convulsions, disorientation, or patterns of illness inconsistent with natural disease Low-lying clouds or fog unrelated to weather; clouds of dust; or suspended, possibly colored, particles People dressed unusually (long-sleeved shirts or overcoats in the summertime) or wearing breathing protection particularly in areas where large numbers of people tend to congregate, such as subways or stadiums

• •

What to Do In Case of Attack Protection of breathing airways is the single most important thing a person can do in the event of a chemical or biological incident or attack. In most cases, absent a handy gas mask, the only sure way to protect an airway is to put distance between you and the source of the agent. While evacuating the area, cover your mouth and nose with a handkerchief, coat sleeve or any piece of cloth to provide some moderate means of protection. Other basic steps one can take to avoid or mitigate exposure to chemical or biological agents include:
• • •

Stay alert for attack warning signs. Early detection enhances survival. Move upwind from the source of the attack. If evacuation from the immediate area is impossible, move indoors (if outside) and upward to an interior room on a higher floor. Remember many agents are heavier than air and will tend to stay close to the ground. Once indoors, close all windows and exterior doors and shut down air conditioning or heating systems to prevent circulation of air. Cover your mouth and nose. If gas masks are not available, use a surgical mask or a handkerchief. An improvised mask can be made by soaking a clean cloth in a solution of 1 tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of water. While this is not highly effective, it may provide some protection. Cover bare arms and legs and make sure any cuts or abrasions are covered or bandaged. If splashed with an agent, immediately wash it off using copious amounts of warm soapy water or a diluted 10:1 bleach solution. Letters from unknown sources should first be screened by security personnel. If opened, letters allegedly containing anthrax or another toxin should be handled

• • • Preparing a Safe room In some remote but possible scenarios. or it may be quiet and methodical with little more than an announcement by a crew member. they are more difficult to seal. Either way. • • • HIJACKING SURVIVAL GUIDELINES What to Do In A Hijacking Hijacking is extremely rare. In any case of suspected exposure to chemical or biological agents.carefully. Avoid choosing rooms with window or wall air conditioners. See your regional or post security officer for details. If conditions at your post make this a possibility. It is well to consider how you should react if you end up being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Note if there was a puff of dust or particles from the envelope when it was opened and be sure to report that when assistance arrives. Choose a large room with access to a bathroom and preferably with a telephone. but it does happen. If in a car. no matter what the origin. The physical takeover of the aircraft by the hijackers may be accompanied by noise. shut off outside air intake vents and roll up windows if no gas has entered the vehicle. Shut down all window and central air and heating units. . Carefully place such a letter and its envelope in a sealed plastic pouch. and possibly shooting and yelling. Late model cars may provide some protection from toxic agents. medical assistance should be sought as soon as possible. familiarize yourself in advance with established emergency procedures and equipment at your post. Thoroughly wash face and hands with warm soapy water before calling for assistance. • If circumstances dictate. plan and prepare a chemical/biological safe-haven in your residence At the office. even if no symptoms are immediately evident. commotion. an entire city or neighborhood could become endangered by lethal gas. you may want to plan and prepare a sealed chemical/biological safe-haven at your residence as follows: Choosing a Safe room • Select an inner room on an upstairs floor with the least number of windows and doors. how you and others react during these first few minutes of the hijacking may be crucial to the outcome.

sex. keep your head down or drop to the floor. etc. lack of food and drink. Government has not developed new guidelines for how to react to a hijacking. You may need to stay that way for some time. follow these guidelines. take hostages to gain publicity for a political movement. * Do not challenge the hijackers physically or verbally. Although they may appear calm. the U. passengers may be separated by citizenship. or a simple desire to escape to another country. Give innocuous reasons for traveling. they cannot be trusted to behave reasonably or rationally. This guidance was developed prior to September 11. food. This will be the longest phase of the hijacking * If you are told to keep your head down or maintain another body position. keep answers short and limited to nonpolitical topics. The hijackers may enter into a negotiation phase which could last indefinitely and/or the crew may be forced to fly the aircraft to a different destination.S. race. * Be aware that all hijackers may not reveal themselves at the same time. etc. * If shooting occurs. Remember that the hijackers will be extremely nervous and probably as scared as you are. To promote a peaceful resolution of the situation. During this phase passengers may be used as a bargaining tool in negotiations. Once the takeover of the aircraft has occurred. 2001 when two hijacked airliners were flown into the World Trade Center and one into the Pentagon. or hostile looks. As of this writing. A lone hijacker may be used to draw out security personnel for neutralization by other hijackers. The aircraft may be diverted to another country. The appropriate reaction may depend upon the presumed purpose of the hijacking — the hijackers’ goal a suicide mission to use the airplane itself as a bomb. * Blend in with the other airline passengers. Minimize the importance of your job. One wrong move by either a victim or a hijacker could easily set off a defensive spate of violence. * Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for a long ordeal with possible verbal or physical abuse. respond in a calm tone of voice. Your passport may be confiscated and your carry-on luggage ransacked. . Do not struggle or try to escape unless you are absolutely certain of success. Since then.The guidance below focuses on avoiding violence and achieving a peaceful resolution to a hijacking. lives may be threatened. If interrogated. * Stay calm and encourage others around you to do the same. Fear can trigger a disaster. Avoid eye contact with your captors. verbal remarks. Don’t draw attention to yourself with sudden body movements. and unsanitary conditions. talk yourself into relaxing into the position. there has been considerable public discussion of a more active and aggressive reaction to the initial announcement that a plane is being hijacked. * If addressed by the hijackers. landing/departure rights. or a number of passengers may be released in exchange for fuel. Comply with their instructions. Never admit to any accusations.

putting your hands up in the air or behind your head. If you are carrying both an official passport and a tourist passport. The last phase of the hijacking is resolution. put your head down or drop to the floor. * If you hear shots fired inside or outside the aircraft. give your tourist passport in response to a general demand for identification. . be responsive but do not volunteer information. The rescue may be similar to the hijacker’s takeover — noisy. either by a hostage rescue team or through negotiation. The following guidelines apply in the case of a rescue operation. If an assault force attempts a rescue. immediately take a protective position. agencies in relating information about the hijacking. * If you are singled out by the hijackers. Embassy. Consulate or other U. * Cooperate with local authorities and members of the U. * Once you are on the tarmac. In that case. mentally attach nicknames to each one and notice their dress. follow the instructions of the rescue force or local authorities. In the latter instance.S. do so quickly. attempt to get emergency exits open and use the inflatable slides or exit onto the wing. solicit the assistance of a crew member first — do not attempt to approach a hijacker unless similar assistance has been rendered by them for other passengers. The termination of any hijacking incident is extremely tense.S. * If fire or smoke appears. The rescue force is re-taking control of the aircraft. facial features and temperaments. Make no sudden moves or take any action by which you could be mistaken for a terrorist and risk being injured or killed. the rescue force may have no way of knowing whether you are a hijacker or a victim. it is imperative that you remain calm and out of the way. * Initially. crew and passengers. and possibly with shooting. If neither is there to guide you. Occupy your mind by memorizing this information so that you can report it after your release. * Use your time wisely by observing the characteristics and behavior of the hijackers. They may treat you as a hijacker or co-conspirator until they can determine that you are not part of the hijacking team. chaotic. be prepared to explain that you always travel on your personal passport and that no deceit was intended. move as quickly as possible away from the aircraft and eventually move towards the terminal or control tower area. * If you or a nearby passenger is in need of assistance due to illness or discomfort. Confirm your military status if directly confronted with the fact. the hijackers may simply surrender to authorities or abandon the aircraft.* Do not attempt to hide your passport or belongings. * If instructed by a rescue force to move.

Do not use elevators If you catch fire. Follow the steps listed in this brochure to create your family’s disaster plan. Families can–and do–cope with disaster by preparing in advance and working together as a team. If the door is not hot. Crawl low if there is smoke Use a wet cloth. use a whistle to signal rescuers. do not open it. brace yourself against it and open slowly. If You Are Trapped in Debris • • • • • • If possible. Look for another way out. Cover your nose and mouth with anything you have on hand. Do not use elevators. and middle parts of closed doors. It can force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home. Never go back into a burning building. Take your emergency supply kit if time allows. do not run. to cover your nose and mouth. Check for fire and other hazards. If There is a Fire • • • • • • • • • • • Exit the building ASAP. If you are at home. Avoid unnecessary movement so that you don’t kick up dust. What would you do if basic services–water. Knowing what to do is your best protection and your responsibility. Exit the building ASAP. Try to breathe through the material. Stop-drop-and-roll to put out the fire. If the door is hot. . (Dense-weave cotton material can act as a good filter. If possible. Use the back of your hand to feel the upper. use a flashlight to signal your location to rescuers. Shout only as a last resort. gas.) Tap on a pipe or wall so that rescuers can hear where you are. Shouting can cause a person to inhale dangerous amounts of dust. go to a previously designated meeting place. electricity or telephones–were cut off? Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster. if possible. but they cannot reach everyone right away. Account for your family members and carefully supervise small children.EXPLOSIVE ATTACK If There is an Explosion • • • • • Take shelter against your desk or a sturdy table. lower. FAMILY DISASTER PLAN Disaster can strike quickly and without warning.

Remember. 4. Meet with your family and discuss why you need to prepare for disaster. 5. 2. Show each family member how and when to turn off the water. 3. etc." After a disaster. Ask an out-of-state friend to be your "family contact. Request information on how to prepare for each. and electricity at the main switches.). Explain the dangers of fire. and earthquake preparedness to children. and another location outside your neighborhood in case you can’t return home. it’s often easier to call long distance. Explain what to do in each case. Install smoke detectors on each level of your home. Take a Red Cross first aid and CPR class. Discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to happen. 2. Everyone must know your contact’s phone number. Find out how to help elderly or disabled persons. Contact your local Red Cross chapter or emergency management office–be prepared to take notes. 4. Ask about animal care after a disaster. ambulance. 3. Find Out What Could Happen to You: 1. especially near bedrooms. everyone must know the address and phone number. . police.4 Steps to Safety: I. Complete This Checklist: • • • • • • • • • Post emergency telephone numbers by phones (fire. your children’s school or day care center. Check if you have adequate insurance coverage. severe weather. 5. and other places where your family spends time. Conduct a home hazard hunt. Stock emergency supplies and assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit. Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1 or your local Emergency Medical Services number for emergency help. Get training from the fire department for each family member on how to use the fire extinguisher (ABC type). gas. Discuss what to do in an evacuation. if needed. like a fire. and show them where it’s kept. Ask what types of disasters are most likely to happen. Pick two places to meet: Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency. Plan how to take care of your pets. 6. Plan to share responsibilities and work together as a team. II. III. Animals are not allowed inside emergency shelters because of health regulations. Create a Disaster Plan: 1. Learn about your community’s warning signals: what they sound like and what you should do when you hear them. Other family members should call this person and tell them where they are. Find out about the disaster plans at your workplace.

g. break. such as a home association or crime watch group. 5. Also. 4. Test and recharge your fire extinguisher(s) according to manufacturer’s instructions. Inspect your home at least once a year and fix potential hazards.• • IV. or cause a fire is a home hazard. If you’re a member of a neighborhood organization. gas. Evacuation: • • • • • • Evacuate immediately if told to do so: Listen to your battery-powered radio and follow the instructions of local emergency officials. it would be a good idea to contact your local fire department to learn about home fire hazards. 3. medical. technical) and consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs. Anything that can move. . Know your neighbors’ special skills (e. For example. Take your Disaster Supplies Kit with you. Neighbors Helping Neighbors: Working with neighbors can save lives and property. Practice and Maintain Your Plan: Quiz your family every six months or so. If you’re sure you have time: • • Shut off your water. Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills. such as disabled and elderly persons. 1. Find two ways out of each room. if instructed to do so. Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes. Make arrangements for your pets. Test your smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. Determine the best escape routes from your home. and electricity before leaving. a hot water heater or a bookshelf can fall. ordinary objects in your home can cause injury or damage. Use travel routes specified by local authorities–don’t use shortcuts because certain areas may be impassable or dangerous. Determine the safest places in your home or office for each type of disaster. 2. Lock your home. Replace stored water every six months and stored food every six months.. Meet with your neighbors to plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster until help arrives. fall. Home Hazard Hunt: During a disaster. introduce disaster preparedness as a new activity. Make plans for child care in case parents can’t get home.

If you smell gas or suspect a leak. A first aid kit that includes your family’s prescription medications. Do not light matches or turn on electrical switches. Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit with items you may need in an evacuation. Listen to Your Battery-Powered Radio for News and Instructions Evacuate. (You will need a professional to turn gas back on. Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes. open windows. or covered trash containers. easy-to-carry containers such as back-packs. duffle bags. and natural gas main. Put your plan into action. or disabled family members. If you turn the gas off. Sanitation supplies. One change of clothing and footwear per person. Keep important family documents in a waterproof container. Learn how and when to turn these utilities off. An extra pair of glasses. cash or traveler’s checks. Teach all responsible family members. you will need a professional to turn it back on. Shut off any other damaged utilities. Emergency tools including a battery-powered radio. if advised to do so. especially elderly or disabled persons. Include: • • • • • • • A three-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and food that won’t spoil. Remember to… o Confine or secure your pets. and one blanket or sleeping bag per person. bleaches. turn off the main gas valve. If Disaster Strikes: • • • • • • • • • • Remain calm and patient. UTILITIES • • Locate the main electric fuse box. turn off the utilities only if you suspect the lines are damaged or if you are instructed to do so. Keep a smaller version of this kit in the trunk of your car. Check for Injuries Give first aid and get help for seriously injured people. water service main. starting at the water heater. and other flammable liquids immediately. and plenty of extra batteries. Special items for infant. gasoline. An extra set of car keys and a credit card. o Call your family contact–do not use the telephone again unless it is a lifethreatening emergency. . Sniff for gas leaks. and get everyone outside quickly.Emergency Supplies: Keep enough supplies in your home to meet your needs for at least three days. Remember. if you suspect damage. o Check on your neighbors. elderly. Store these supplies in sturdy. flashlight.) Clean up spilled medicines. Keep necessary tools near gas and water shut-off valves. Check for Damage in Your Home… Use flashlights.

We recommend purchasing your 72 Hour Kit only through an established and reputable company. Plan your 72 hour kit according to your family’s’ size. 72 HOUR KIT A 72 Hour Kit is essential for any emergency. Stay away from downed power lines. In many cases. It would be wise to consider a 72 hour kit that you could live on for 7-10 days. fires. Your 72 Hour Kit could mean the difference between life and death. If you live in a disaster prone area a 72-hour kit is the minimum you should have available. a 72 hour kit could mean the difference between life and death. 72 Hour Kit List of Items . hurricanes and tornadoes. In such a case. it may take up to three days for relief workers to reach some areas. It is estimated that after a major disaster.o o Make sure you have an adequate water supply in case service is cut off. earthquakes. There are many types of disasters and emergencies: floods.

trying to think of what to save is very difficult. Personalize your 72 hour kit. clothing and water. personal documents. light sticks. An evacuation plan for your home is useful not only for disasters. Enclose the extra clothing. smoke detectors. Inspect your 72 hour kit at least twice a year. Under these circumstances. For people with medical conditions or disabilities. Don’t forget to check your medications. Rotate food and water every six months. you may have as little as 10 minutes. store diapers. Adjust clothing for winter or summer needs. washcloth. Important points to remember when creating an evacuation plan for your home are: • • • • • You should have at least two (2) escape routes from each room. For example: for babies.72 Hour Kit Info You Need To Know • • • • • • • Your 72 hour kit should be in a portable container located near an exit of your house or better. Take some time now to think about what items you would try to take with you. Keep a light source in the top of your 72 hour kit. first aid kits. You should mark the locations of any escape ladders. EMERGENCY EVACUATION PLAN Preparing an Emergency Evacuation Plan An emergency evacuation plan has two parts: evacuation from your house and evacuation from your neighborhood. and other special supplies. but also for fires or other incidents in your home. and electricity. so you can find it quickly in the dark. and other items damageable by smoke or water in plastic to protect them. warm packs. or other special equipment. Check children’s clothing for proper fit. Distribute heavy items between kits. you may have to carry everything. Write down a list of the high priority items you would take if you only had 10 minutes to evacuate your house. Make sure you fill the needs of each family member. sheltered in your backyard. . mark their location as well as the location of any special equipment they will immediately need. Remember. food and water. You should mark the locations of the shutoffs for gas. disaster 72 hour kit. Each family member should have their own 72 hour kit with food. Check expiration dates on batteries. You should mark the locations of fire extinguishers. water. matches. bottles and pacifiers. Consider the needs of elderly people as well as those with handicaps or other special needs when building your 72 hour kit. ointment. Emergency Evacuation Inventory If you have to evacuate your house.

Ensure that every family member knows that they should listen to the radio or TV for telephone use instructions. It is important to choose family meeting places. and then phone your out-of-area contact person to say how and where they are and what their plans are.Evacuation Steps If you have time during an evacuation. . and if possible. arrange to call the contact person back at a specified time for another check-in. Make one drawing for each story of the building. East and West directions. Draw your evacuation routes and a meeting place. open area. Household Emergency Evacuation Plan • • • • • • Draw your building’s floor plan. Keep in a safe place and review often with your family. Choosing an Out-of-Area Contact: During an emergency local phone service may be limited. For example: I live approximately 50 miles east of a nuclear power plant. Take into account where each of you will likely be at different times and on different days. and that are in an accessible. South. Should there be an accident or an attack and the wind is blowing in an Easterly direction. Remember that bridges may be out and roads may be blocked by debris. Keep calls short. Choosing A Place to Meet: At the time of an emergency. Your contact person should have voice mail or an answering machine. your family may not be together. Have maps ready for the following: Closest evacuation centers. so you should arrange with someone outside your area to be your family contact. our plan is to head north and meet up in a town approximately 60 miles north of my home. Meet up spots outside the affected areas. Pick places that are easy to identify. that can be reached on foot if necessary. so choose your meeting places carefully with access in mind. Give some thought to what things you need to do to secure your house. Write down your plans and keep the paper in a safe and accessible location. you may want to take steps to secure your house. Main and Alternative routes for leaving the city in North.

outside of your area. You can minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool. If supplies run low. Establish plans with other family members for meeting up outside of the evacuated area. and try to find more for tomorrow. maps and telephone numbers. or routes which are likely to be impassible in a disaster. You should also allow for an evacuation scenario. To ensure a safe supply of water in an emergency we recommend SteriPEN Water Purifiers. (North. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. West. South. clean water is a top priority in an emergency. Hot environments can double that amount. In an emergency. Each family member should carry a personal copy of this list. You will also need water for food preparation and hygiene. Having an ample supply of safe. East. EMERGENCY WATER STORAGE Water storage is important. By plotting out potential routes on a city map before the disaster. You should store at least a two-week supply of water for each member of your family. Family members can contact the persons out of the emergency area to pass along messages and to check on the welfare of other family members. Drink the amount you need today. Things to think about when crafting your neighborhood evacuation plan include: You should plan two (2) routes for each direction. while at work. per day. Be sure that each family member has a copy of the evacuation plan. Make sure each member knows the location of the established meeting points. You should have a phone list of 3 contacts. you will save yourself from having to figure something out while in a hurry.) You should avoid routes with obvious hazards. Store a total of at least one gallon per person. . Children. communications may be down in your area. Keep your emergency evacuation plans in a safe location with your 72 hour kit. nursing mothers and ill people will need even more. (You probably will want to drive the routes before deciding.) And avoid common routes that may be congested during an emergency. Read our recent review of the Steripen Hand-held Emergency Water Purifier here.The emergency evacuation plan for your neighborhood can be handy in a large disaster. never ration water.

Use clean used containers and lids with hot soapy water.and five-gallon water containers can be purchased from most outdoor or hardware stores. three. and to wash dishes. Personally. Check the pull date on the container. Stainless steel can be used to store water which has not been or will not be treated with chlorine. 4. the bottom will be stamped with HDPE (High Density PolyEthylene) and coded with the recycle symbol and a “2″ inside. kerosene. Use the following guidelines when storing water: 1. or similar substances. punch or milk jugs. it is recommended that a gallon of water per day per person be stored for food preparation and drinking. An additional one-half to 1 gallon per day is recommended for bathing and hygiene. Keep away from stored gasoline. DO NOT store in direct sunlight. but are of a tremendous value in an emergency . chlorine is corrosive to most metals. designed specifically for water storage can be difficult to transport. How much water should I store? The rule of thumb is to store at least one gallon per person per day for at least 3 days (for earthquake preparedness). non-corrosive. if the need arises. I recommend at least a 10 day supply of water and a 30 day supply if it all possible. HDPE containers are FDA-approved for food. also may be used. rinse them with water and sanitize the containers and lids by rinsing . Containers That Can be Used for Water Storage Food-grade plastic or glass containers are suitable for storing water. That’s 2 quarts for drinking and 2 quarts for food preparation and sanitation. This practice helps insure you don’t have water stored longer than one year. Stored tap water should be rotated every 6 months. Any plastic or glass container that previously held food or beverages such as 2-liter soda bottles or water. juice. 3. Prepackaged bottled water should be rotated once a year. as long as the water treatment process includes ozonation. Self Serve Bottled Water should be rotated once a year. 55 gal drums. Be sure it didn’t sit on the store’s shelf for a year before you purchased it. pesticides. Containers without these designations aren’t OK because of possible chemical interactions between the water and the plastic. Store drinking water in carefully cleaned. according to the Department of Defense and the Office of Civil Defense. A family of four should store a minimum of 12 gallons of water. A gallon provides added comfort and accommodates increased fluid needs at higher altitudes or warm climates. One-. 2. Rotate your stored water with the water you use on a regular basis. Polyethylene plastics (prepackaged milk and water bottles) are somewhat permeable to hydrocarbon vapors.Amount of Emergency Water to Store Whereas a quart of water or other fluid daily will sustain life. tightly covered containers. Once the containers have been thoroughly cleaned.When looking for additional food grade containers. Store containers in a cool dark place.

This precaution protects you against any lingering organisms in storage containers that may have been inadvertently missed during the cleaning process. Discard the first few gallons if they contain rust or sediment. Do I Need to Treat Water? Once you properly clean containers. fill them with potable. the frozen water will help keep foods in your freezer frozen until the power is restored. open the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater and salvage the water stored in the heater. Once water has been drained into clean. it’s a good idea to use and replace the stored water every 6 – 12 months. kerosene. place the container in boiling water for 10 minutes. about 1/8 teaspoon. Let it set 30 minutes before use. Where to Store Water Clearly label all water containers “drinking water” with the current date. of chlorine bleach per gallon of water stored. however. Do not store it near gasoline. Emergency Sources of Water In an emergency. or safe. It also serves as an additional precaution against bacteria or viruses growing in containers which may not have been thoroughly or properly cleaned and sanitized. and stir or shake the solution to mix it. it should have an indefinite shelf life. drain water from your plumbing system. Never use containers that previously held chemicals. storing some water in the freezer is a good idea. dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Remember to remove the paper or plastic lid liners before washing the lids. If you lose electricity. so carefully clean hard-to-reach places like the handles of milk jugs. All public water supplies are already treated and should be free of harmful bacteria. Rotating water this way provides you with an opportunity to experiment and check the amount of stored water against what you require. A typical water heater holds 30-60 gallons of water. If you have freezer space. as an additional precaution. add 5-7 drops of chlorine bleach* per gallon of water. Leave the containers wet for two minutes. Turn off the electricity or gas to the water heater to prevent the heater from operating without water. Unless you are advised that the public water supply has been contaminated and is not safe. sanitized containers. To sanitize stainless steel containers. . Let the water heater cool before draining it from the heater so it does not scald you. pesticides or similar substances. When potable water is properly stored. it is recommended that you add 5-7 drops. However. Make sure you leave 2 to 3 inches of space in containers because water expands as it freezes. Store the water in a cool. if you have not previously stored water and commercial or public sources of water are not available. It is very difficult to effectively remove all residues from many containers.them with a solution of 1 tablespoon chlorine bleach per gallon of water. and then rinse them again with water. drinking water.

(See Water Purification for detailed information on purifying pool water.Emergency Outdoor Water Sources If you need to find water outside your home. Try to keep the cover clean and wash the area you put it on when removing it from the pool. Try to avoid water with floating material. Be sure to treat the water first. Do not turn on the gas or electricity when the tank is empty. remove the necessary pool water and boil it or just treat with chlorine to the normal 5ppm. you can use these sources. To use the water in your hot-water tank. Start the water flowing by turning off the water intake valve and turning on a hot-water faucet. the water is safe to . Then obtain water from the lowest faucet in the house. you can use the water in your hot-water tank. you never know when it will be needed! The maintenance of the free chlorine residual will prevent establishment of any microorganisms. an odor or dark color. pipes and ice cubes. keep the water treated. Using Swimming Pool Water You should always view your pool as “backup” water. and open the drain at the bottom of the tank. Covering the pool at all times when not in use is a very good idea. you can use water in the reservoir tank of your toilet (not the bowl).) If other stored water stocks are not available. It is best to err on the side of caution. depending on altitude. A small amount of water will trickle out. Hidden Water Sources in Your Home If a disaster catches you without a stored supply of clean water. The maintenance level should be kept about 3-5ppm free chlorine. Use saltwater only if you distill it first. Boiling times may vary from state to state. You should not drink flood water. be sure the electricity or gas is off. rivers and other moving bodies of water Ponds and lakes Natural springs. if you do not have water that you know is safe. Additional sources include: Rainwater Streams. it’s possible to purify water for drinking. Start with the cleanest water you can find and treat with one of the following methods: • Boiling and chlorinating: Water can be purified by boiling. To use the water in your pipes. let air into the plumbing by turning on the faucet in your house at the highest level. As a last resort. Do you know the location of your incoming water valve? You’ll need to shut it off to stop contaminated water from entering your home if you hear reports of broken water or sewage lines. When and How to Treat Water for Storage In an emergency. In Colorado.

or 1/8 teaspoon. it’s recommended that 5-7 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of chlorine bleach* be added per gallon of filtered water (1/2 teaspoon for 5 gallons). or cap the containers and store them in a cool. They are not recommended to clean large volumes of water. The condensed vapor will not include salt and other impurities. dry place. To distill. it’s important to be as accurate as possible when measuring. Filtering eliminates parasites such as giardia and cryptosporidium. Do not use bleaches with fresheners or scents as they may not be safe to consume. Use the following guidelines to determine if filtration equipment is adequate to use with microbiologically contaminated water: Filtration Equipment Carbon Filter Reverse Osmosis Deionization Filter Pitcher Filter Faucet Mount Filter Steam Distiller UV Sterilizer No No No No No Yes – but requires electricity Yes – but requires electricity Safe on Microbiologically Contaminated Water? . Chlorine may not be effective against these parasites. Don’t assume they are safe to use on contaminated water. dry place. Check with the manufacturer to be sure. If you plan to store boiled water. Wait 30 minutes before using the water. Most water filtration devices are designed for use on microbiologically safe water. Since adding too much chlorine to water can be harmful. sanitized containers and let it cool to room temperature. pour it into clean. Tie a cup to the handle on the pot’s lid so that the cup will hang right-side-up when the lid is upside-down (make sure the cup is not dangling into the water) and boil the water for 20 minutes. Therefore. of chlorine bleach* per gallon of water (1/2 teaspoon per 5 gallons).• use once after it has been boiled for three to five minutes and has cooled. fill a pot halfway with water.25 percent hypochlorite. The above treatment methods use a two-step approach so less bleach is needed. Filtering and chlorinating: You can filter water if you have a commercial or backpack filter that filters to 1 micron. The water that drips from the lid into the cup is distilled. • Distillation involves boiling water and then collecting the vapor that condenses back to water. Then add 5-7 drops. yet giardia and cryptosporidium are destroyed through boiling or eliminated by filtering. Stir or shake the solution to mix it. Cap the containers and store them in a cool. These are available in sporting good stores and are recommended for use when back-packing. *Use liquid household bleach that contains 5. but it may not eliminate all bacteria and viruses. Stir or shake the solution to mix it.

If you heat it in the can. Individuals with special diets and allergies will need particular attention. chafing dishes and fondue pots. unlike water. If your water supply is limited. juices and soups may be helpful for ill or elderly people. How to Cook If the Power Goes Out For emergency cooking you can use a fireplace. dry mixes and other staples on your cupboard shelves. They can lift morale and give a feeling of security in time of stress. since they will make you thirsty. take into account your family’s unique needs and tastes. Try to eat salt-free crackers. Following are recommended short-term food storage plans. Make sure you have a manual can opener and disposable utensils. Nursing mothers may need liquid formula. And don’t forget nonperishable foods for your pets. Special Considerations As you stock food. You can also heat food with candle warmers. except for children and pregnant women. Food. preparation or cooking are best. Also. and don’t stock salty foods. Canned dietetic foods.Ceramic Filter Some – but only if rated for bacteriological protection Equipment that is safe to use on contaminated water is often slow. as will babies. healthy people can survive on half their usual food intake for an extended period and without any food for many days. be sure to open the can and remove the label first. Foods that require no refrigeration. inconvenient and/or high maintenance. water or special preparation. . It makes the most sense to use the filtration equipment that best meets your normal daily needs and shift to water storage or alternative methods of water treatment in times of emergencies. canned foods won’t require cooking. costly. in case they are unable to nurse. In fact. Try to include foods that they will enjoy and that are also high in calories and nutrition. may be rationed safely. Canned food can be eaten right out of the can. toddlers and elderly people. FOOD STORAGE AND PREPAREDNESS When Food Supplies Are Low If activity is reduced. whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content. or a charcoal grill or camp stove can be used outdoors. try to avoid foods that are high in fat and protein. familiar foods are important. You can use the canned foods. You don’t need to go out and buy unfamiliar foods to prepare an emergency food supply.

Some households find it helpful to pull food products for their regular meals from their disaster supplies kit and replace them immediately on an ongoing basis. If you can not find a date on the product. then the general recommendation is to store food products for six months and then replace them. Inspect all food for signs of spoilage before use. The easiest way to develop a two-week stockpile is to increase the amount of basic foods you normally keep on your shelves. Open food boxes or cans care-fully so that you can close them tightly after each use. There are numerous. dried fruits and nuts into screw-top jars or airtight cans to protect them from pests. How long can food supplies be stored? To judge how long you can store food supplies. Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in front. so the food supplies are always fresh. Take in enough calories to enable you to do any necessary work. Storage Tips • • • • • • • • Keep food in a dry. Wrap cookies and crackers in plastic bags. Use foods before they go bad. it will be vital that you maintain your strength. and replace them with fresh supplies. cool spot – a dark area if possible. dated with ink or marker. and keep them in tight containers. So remember: • • • • Eat at least one well-balanced meal each day. Nutrition Tips • During and right after a disaster. mineral and protein supplements in your stockpile to assure adequate nutrition. Keep food covered at all times. you should prepare a supply that will last that long. Drink enough liquid to enable your body to function properly (two quarts a day). Empty opened packages of sugar.Short-Term Food Supplies Even though it is unlikely that an emergency would cut off your food supply for two weeks. Include vitamin. Consider building a special storage unit for your supplies. . look for an “expiration date” or “best if used by” date on the product. DIY prefab garage kits available that are sturdy and would work well.

They are generally too heavy and bulky. if necessary. Snack-sized canned goods. Freeze-dried foods. Comfort foods. Instant coffee. Prepackaged beverages. jelly.What kinds of food supplies are recommended to store in case of a disaster? Try to avoid foods that are high in fat and protein. although they need water for reconstitution. . are lightweight. whole grain cereals and canned food with high liquid content. Try to include foods that they will enjoy and that are also high in calories and nutrition. and don’t stock salty foods. granola bars and trail mix. Food Options to Avoid: • • Commercially dehydrated foods. such as hard candy. Bottled foods. Try to eat salt-free crackers. You need to have these items packed and ready in case there is no time to gather food from the kitchen when disaster strikes. milk and soup (if powdered. They can be nutritious and satisfying. Take into account your family’s unique needs and tastes. Compressed food bars. Familiar foods can lift morale and give a feeling of security in time of stress. tea bags. such as peanut butter. canned foods won’t require cooking. Select foods that require no refrigeration. candy bars and cookies. High energy foods. Those in foil packets and foil-lined boxes are suitable because they are tightly sealed and will keep for a long time. Also. Read the label. Store supplies of non-perishable foods and water in a handy place. fruits and vegetables. Good because they generally have pull-top lids or twist-open keys. They store well. and little or no water. water or special preparation. elderly persons or persons on special diets. Foods that are compact and lightweight are easy to store and carry. Foods for infants. but have some have a lot of salt content. but will need water for reconstitution. store extra water). It is available as a prepackaged product or you can assemble it on your own. They can require a great deal of water for reconstitution and extra effort in preparation. sweetened cereals. Trail mix. and break easily. preparation or cooking. crackers. which promotes thirst. Recommended foods include: • • • • • • • • • • • • • Ready-to-eat canned meats. Sufficient supplies to last several days to a week are recommended. since they will make you thirsty. Instant Meals. taste good and are nutritious. They are tasty and lightweight. Dried foods. (Be sure to include a manual can opener) Canned juices. Cups of noodles or cups of soup are a good addition.

• • Meal-sized canned foods. Preparation could be complicated under the circumstances of a disaster. fruit juices and vegetables Ready-to-eat cereals and uncooked instant cereals (in metal containers) Peanut butter Jelly Hard candy and canned nuts Vitamin C May be stored indefinitely (in proper containers and conditions): • • • • • • • • • • • • Wheat Vegetable oils Dried corn Baking powder Soybeans Instant coffee. tea and cocoa Salt Noncarbonated soft drinks White rice Bouillon products Dry pasta Powdered milk (in nitrogen-packed cans) FIRST AID IN AN EMERGENCY First Aid Resources and Information. beans. • Knowing what to do ahead of time will potentially prevent an emergency. Use within six months: • • • • Powdered milk (boxed) Dried fruit (in metal container) Dry. Whole grains. . They are usually bulky and heavy. crisp crackers (in metal container) Potatoes Use within one year: • • • • • • • Canned condensed meat and vegetable soups Canned fruits. Shelf-life of Foods for Storage Here are some general guidelines for rotating common emergency foods. pasta. possibly even save a life.

After doing everything we can to prevent an emergency. Protect your health by determining whether you’re at risk for any life-threatening conditions. A basic class will teach CPR and proper methods for treating burns. so carry it with you. you might not be able to speak for yourself. recognize. Being prepared means keeping a list of emergency numbers by the phone. act. What steps can I take to prevent emergencies? A. For example. While it may seem negative to prepare for the worst. Recognize the difference between a minor crisis and a life-threatening emergency. and there’s never enough time. we can handle it calmly. We’re all busy people. preparation takes prevention one step further. The key is knowing what to do. upper abdominal pain can be indigestion. For details and examples of what to include. ulcers. ambulance service. The police. quickly. wrapping sprains. • Q. applying splints. Have a complete First Aid Kit available at all times and know how to use it. quit. and effectively to minimize its impact. Take a first-aid class. remaining calm. don’t start. Quick action can save a life. especially drug allergies or those with severe reactions. If you do smoke. Preventing emergencies means getting yearly doctor’s exams and regular exercise. In an emergency. poison control center. Also make a list of allergies. How can I prepare for an emergency? A. and follow your doctor’s suggestions to reduce any risk factors that can be dangerous to your health. if you don’t smoke. local hospital. This list could help prevent serious drug interactions. and the initial minutes after an injury or medical crisis are frequently the most important. Calling 9-1-1 is one of the most important things you can do. and performing the Heimlich maneuver. the next step is to prepare for one. but is it easier to handle a heart attack in progress or to prevent it in the first place with regular exercise and visits to the doctor? If we don’t prevent now. Being prepared means making a list of all the medications you and your family take and their dosages. and making a decision to act. It means that if an emergency does occur. please refer to our First Aid Checklist.• Every emergency can be handled by remembering four things: prevent. or an early sign of a heart attack. How do I recognize an emergency? A. prepare. Firstaid classes also will help you learn how to remain calm and how to calm others in an emergency. fire department. A toddler who falls down in the yard unconscious may have tripped or he could . Q. Q. This list will help ensure that the care you receive won’t make matters worse. and your family doctor’s office should all be included. we’ll pay later. For example.

Not every cut needs stitches. 3" x 3" and 4" x 4" each Bandages.have been stung by an insect and be having an allergic reaction. gauze. First Aid Kit List • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 1 2 4 2 1 2 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 4 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 each Basic First Aid Book. gauze. 2" x 2" each Bandages. (for medical and hygiene purposes) tube Insect Repellent bottle Isopropyl Alcohol box Moistened Towelettes each Nail Clipper box Razor Blades. reusable box Cotton Swabs box Dental Floss box Epsom Salts each Eyedropper rolls First Aid Tape. single edge box Safety Pins. lightweight rubber. 1/2" x 10 yards and 1" x 5 yards pair Gloves. But it’s always best to err on the side of caution. flexible and moisture resistant best box Bicarbonate of Soda box Butterfly sutures or Leukostrips each Cold/heat Pack. always call 9-1-1 or the local hospital for assistance. it’s best to call an ambulance. When should you call an ambulance instead of driving to the emergency department? Ask yourself the following questions: • • Is the victim’s condition life-threatening? Could the victim’s condition worsen and become life-threatening on the way to the hospital? Could moving the victim need the skills or equipment of paramedics or emergency medical technicians? Would distance or traffic conditions cause a delay in getting the victim to the hospital? • • If the answer to any of these questions is yes. in plain language each Bandages (Ace) elastic. or if you are unsure. gauze. 4" each Bandages. Part of handling an emergency is being able to evaluate warning signs and make a fast decision. In an emergency. 18" x 36" each Bandages for burns (Second Skin) 3" x 3-1/2" each Triangular Bandages box Band-Aids in assorted sizes. assorted sizes each SAM splint . nor does every burn require advanced medical treatment.

Calamine) tube Itching (Dibucaine.• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 1 1 1 1 6 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 each Scalpel each Scissors. do not flush the toilet. Repetabs) bottle Eye Drops (Visine) tube Hemorrhoid Relief (Preparation H. Tinactin. Meclizine) box Non-Aspirin Pain Reliever (Tylenol) box Pain. Blistex) tube Lubricant. Insect/Rash (Caladril. . disposal OR 1 digital. Durolax) bottle Cough Syrup (Robitussen. Lotrimin) box Antihistamine (Benadryl. It also attracts flies and promotes the spread of diseases. Dramamine. Claratyne) tube Antiseptic Ointment (Neosporin. Avoid digging holes in the ground and using these. Dettol) each Anti-toxin (DMSO) 1 tube Burns (Hydrocortisone. Paraderm Plus) box Antacid (Mylanta. Lomotil) box Anti-fungal (Desenex. Sudafed. (no breakables with mercury) each Tweezers tube Analgesic Cream (Camphophenique. Travacalm. Paraderm. Mobigesic) box Pain Reliever with Codeine (Panamax. Activated charcoal) tube Yeast Infection Treatment (Gyne-Lotrimin. Repetabs) box Constipation (Ex-Lax. liquid. Tums. Ornex) box Nausea. If the water lines are damaged or if damage is suspected. Motion Sickness (Kwells. Surgical pointed each Snake bite kit bottle Soap. Tylenol 3) Prescription (A supply of any you are taking) jar Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline) bottle Poison Ivy/Oak packet Poison Absorber (Activated Charcoal) bottle Radiation Protection (Potassium Iodide-[KI] or Potassium Iodate-[KIO3] either is fine) can Sunburn Relief (Solarcaine. Paxyl) bottle Sunscreen (SPF 15 at least) bottle Vomit Inducer (Ipecac. Dimetap) box Decongestant (Actifed. Micatin. Derm-Aid) box Cold/Flu Tablets (Nyquil. Fever Reducer (Panadeine. Paracetamol) bottle Itching. Nurofen. Monistat SANITATION AND HYGIENE IN AN EMERGENCY The lack of sanitation facilities following major disaster can quickly create secondary problems unless basic guidelines are followed. Lanacane) tube Lip Balm (ChapStick. Diasorb. Water Soluble (K-Y Jelly) bottle Nasal Decongestant (Sinex. Dulcolax. Untreated raw sewage can pollute fresh round water supplies. Anusol) box Ibuprofen (Advil. antibacterial each Tongue Depressors each Thermometers. Pepto-Bismal) series Antibiotic (Tetracycline for general infections) box Anti-Diarrheal (Imodium.

disinfectant. you develop vomiting or diarrhea. and toilet paper A good disinfectant that is easy to use is a solution of 1 part liquid bleach to 10 parts water. Avoid handling food with your hands.) Keep your clothing as clean and dry as possible. Sterilize your eating utensils by heat. If the toilet is NOT able to be flushed. Line it with a heavy-duty plastic bag. the city will provide a means to dispose of these bags. Remove all the bowl water. This large trash can should also be lined with a sturdy trash bag. Portable camp toilets. Those with tight fitting lids are best.• • • • Store a large supply of heavy-duty plastic bags. in small amounts at frequent intervals. washing your face. You can also rinse dishes in purified water that has additional chlorine bleach added to it. particularly water. especially under-clothing and socks. Take fluids. Use chlorine bleach. Tips for Staying Clean in an Emergency Situation As much as possible. • • If. • • Keep your fingers out of your mouth. twist ties. during an emergency situation. Purify your drinking water. purification tablets (check bottle for expiration dates). it can still be used. Keep Basic Hygiene Supplies Handy These basic supplies should be kept in your Safe Room. As soon as can be tolerated. Eventually. (Use 2 1/2 teaspoons bleach per gallon of purified water. combing your hair and even washing your body with a wet washcloth. rest and stop eating solid foods until the symptoms ease up. continue regular hygiene habits such as brushing your teeth. This will help prevent the spread of disease and irritation as well as help relieve stress. add a small amount of deodorant or disinfectant. securely tie the bag. and dispose of it in a large trash can with a tight fitting lid. Go Pack and Car. or by boiling for 10 minutes. • • • • • • Cornstarch Fingernail clippers and files Sanitary napkins Insect repellent Toilet paper Moistened Towelettes or Baby Wipes . Normal salt intake should be maintained. Dry bleach is caustic and not safe for this type of use. resume eating semi-solid foods. This is less stressful for most people than using some other container. When finished. small trash cans or sturdy buckets lined with heavy-duty plastic bags can also be used.

Clogging may result and your living conditions then become just that much more uncomfortable. laundering. Empty your emergency toilet into this storage can as often as necessary. It is necessary for every family to know emergency methods of waste disposal in case such conditions arise. which would make it impossible to carry off such waste. Your first task is to make some temporary toilet provision for your family. Emergency Sewage Storage Keep on the premises at least one extra 10-gallon garbage can or other waterproof container with a tight fitting cover. a 5-gallon bucket. Almost any covered metal or plastic container will do. At the same time. . Anything that has a cover and will hold the contents until you can dispose of them will serve for sanitary purposes at first. In that case. you may not have a large garbage can or room to keep one. or until other arrangements can be made. Failure to properly dispose of human wastes can lead to epidemics of such diseases as typhoid. and other fixtures connected with soil pipes. you will probably not have the time and tools to prepare a complex emergency sanitation system. or during one. If you live in an apartment. Temporary Toilet Provisions Right after an emergency. two smaller covered pails or other containers will do just as well. wash basins. bathing. and other domestic purposes. The sewer mains may be broken or clogged. dysentery. or water may be needed for fire fighting or other emergencies. Even if water is available. Such a can may be used for the emergency storage of body wastes until the public sewage system can be put back into action. or a small kitchen garbage container with a foot operated cover for an emergency toilet.• • • • • • A few bath towels Small hand-held mirror Liquid all-purpose soap Vaseline Petroleum Jelly Liquid Chlorine Bleach Ammonia (disinfecting aid) Emergency Sewage Disposal Water flush toilets cannot be used when water service is interrupted. A small amount of household disinfectant should be added after each use. Here are simple steps that any family can take to prevent such dangers and discomforts. especially the children. If there is a delay of several days in restoring sewage service to your neighborhood. sewage must be disposed of in ways that will prevent contamination of water supplies used for drinking. local authorities may ask you not to use flush toilets. And the lid should be fastened to the can to prevent its loss. You can use a covered pail. you may find that disposal is a big problem. and diarrhea. cooking. The water remaining in the fixture is not sufficient to flush the wastes down the sewer. This should be lined with paper and/or a plastic bag.

during the winter cook on top of your heating unit while heating your home. any moisture resistant material can be cut and folded to diaper size and lined with absorbent material. the used containers may be stored in tightly covered garbage cans or other water tight containers fitted with lids. you may find diaper laundering a problem under emergency conditions. You should have sufficient grocery bags on hand for possible emergencies. remove the pressure cooker and place inside a large box filled with . such as wrapping garbage and lining larger containers. It is even possible to cook without using fuel at all. LIGHT AND COOKING IN AN EMERGENCY To conserve your cooking fuel storage needs always do your emergency cooking in the most efficient manner possible. Or. Homemade soil bags for this purpose can be prepared very easily by putting one large grocery bag inside another. and a layer of shredded newspaper or other absorbent material between. At least 2 pints of household bleach solution should be kept on hand for disinfecting purposes. and lining clothes against cold. plan your meals ahead of time to consolidate as much cooking as possible. office buildings. Other Supplies Keep on hand an extra supply of toilet tissue. If there is illness in the house that requires rubber sheeting or other special sanitary equipment. For example. Babies If you have a baby in your home. as well as for the sanitary uses already mentioned. It is best to keep an ample supply of disposable diapers on hand for emergency use. A supply of old newspapers will come in handy for other sanitary uses also. Before collection. Then turn off the heat. Building managers should plan for the collection of such containers and for their final disposal. to cook dry beans you can place them inside a pressure cooker with the proper amount of water and other ingredients needed and place it on your heat source until it comes up to pressure.Solutions for Apartment Dwellers Persons in city apartments. At least a week’s accumulation of daily newspapers will come in handy for insulating bedding from floors. such disposable containers offer a practical method of emergency waste collection and disposal. make sure that adequate supplies are available. Where flush toilets cannot be used and open ground is not available for the construction of privies. Controlling Odors and Insects Insecticides and deodorants should be used when necessary to control odors and insects breeding in containers that cannot be emptied immediately. HEAT. or homes without yards should keep a supply of waterproof paper containers on hand for emergency waste disposal. Keep enough fuel to provide outdoor cooking for at least 7-10 days. extinguish the fire as soon as you finished. plus a supply of sanitary napkins. Don’t boil more water than you need. and cook in a pressure cooker or other fuel efficient container as much as possible.

Sterno Stove A Sterno Stove can be purchased at any sporting goods store and will retail between $3 and $8. having cooked for two and a half hours with no heat. out of doors. One can of Sterno fuel. it is highly volatile. about the diameter of a can of tuna fish and twice as high. Chafing dishes and fondue pots can also be used with Sterno. Sterno is not without some problems. It will evaporate very easily. Like Sterno. Charcoal Charcoal is the least expensive fuel per BTU that the average family can store. They fold up into a very small. Matches Store matches in a waterproof airtight tin with each piece of equipment that must be lit with a flame. The fuel is readily available at all sporting goods stores and many drug stores. simply wrap it in several blankets and place it in the corner. It is also safe for use indoors. it will explode under the right conditions and should therefore never be stored in the home. If you use Sterno in your 72 hour kit you should check it every six to eight months to insure that it has not evaporated beyond the point of usage. Remember that it must always be used out of doors because of the vast amounts of poisonous carbon monoxide it produces. compact unit ideal for carrying in a pack. Because of its highly flammable nature great care should always be exercised when lighting stoves and lanterns that use Coleman fuel. depending upon the model you choose. Coleman fuel (white gas) When used with a Coleman stove.newspapers. Leave it for two and a half hours and then open it. It is not as portable or as lightweight as Sterno. but produces a much greater BTU value. your meal will be done. Sterno is very light weight and easily ignited with a match or a spark from flint and steel but is not explosive. Charcoal will store for extended period of time . Coleman fuel has a tendency to evaporate even when the container is tightly sealed so it is not a good fuel for long-term storage. If you don’t have a large box in which to place the pressure cooker. blankets. however. Many serious burns have been caused by carelessness with this product. but is extremely convenient and portable. Because of this problem it is not a good fuel for long-term storage. Sterno Sterno Fuel a jellied petroleum product is an excellent source of fuel for inclusion in your back pack as part of your 72 hour kit. Always store Coleman fuel in the garage or shed. Unlike Sterno. or other insulating materials. It is a very expensive fuel to use compared to others fuel available. this is another excellent and convenient fuel for cooking. will allow you to cook six meals if used frugally. even when the lid is securely fastened.

Lift the can slightly and light the newspaper.if it is stored in air tight containers. Burn charcoal only in a well-ventilated area. select twigs. You will also want to store a small amount of charcoal lighter fluid (or kerosene). Prop a foil-covered cardboard lid over the open side. crumpled up. If you are baking bread. Set the can down so the punches holes are on the bottom. The briquettes will be ready to use in about 20-30 minutes. Transfer it to airtight metal or plastic containers and it will keep almost forever. When the coals are ready remove the chimney and place them in your cooker. Place the crumpled newspaper in the bottom of the can and place the charcoal briquettes on top of the newspaper. Prop a small rock under the bottom edge of the can to create a good draft. put a lid on the can and place the can in a hot fire. and branches of fruit. and cover it with aluminum foil inside and out. place in a large can which has a few holes punched in it. Broken or torn bags of briquettes are usually sold at a big discount. leaving a large crack for air to get in (charcoal needs a lot of air to burn) and bake your bread. To make your own charcoal. etc. Newspapers will also provide an excellent ignition source for charcoal when used in a funnel type of lighting device. Each briquette will produce about 40 degrees of heat. remove the can from the fire and allow it to cool. for example. nut and other hardwood trees. Fifty or sixty dollars worth of charcoal will provide all the cooking fuel a family will need for an entire year if used sparingly. To light charcoal using newspapers use two or three sheets. and a #10 tin can. Never place burning charcoal directly on concrete or cement because the heat will crack it. One excellent way to do this is to cook inside a cardboard oven. cookies. cake. The best time to buy briquettes inexpensively is at the end of the summer. Cut both ends out of the can. Turn the box on its side so that the opening is no longer on the top but is on the side. Place ten burning charcoal briquettes between the bricks (if you need 400 degrees). Take a cardboard box. One of the nice things about charcoal is that you can regulate the heat you will receive from them. about the size of an orange crate. Store the briquettes in a moisture-proof container. A wheelbarrow or old metal garbage can lid makes an excellent container for this type of fire. When the flames from the holes in the can turn yellow-red. limbs. and then place your bread pans or whatever else you are using on top of the cookie sheet. It readily absorbs moisture from the surrounding air so do not store it in the paper bags it comes in for more than a few months or it may be difficult to light. Your results will amaze you. Punch holes every two inches around the lower edge of the can with a punch-type can opener (for opening juice cans). . simply use ten briquettes. just like you would in your regular oven. and need 400 degrees of heat for your oven. black walnuts and peach or apricot pits may also be used. Place some small bricks or other noncombustible material inside upon which you can rest a cookie sheet about two or three inches above the bottom of the box. To conserve heat and thereby get the maximum heat value from your charcoal you must learn to funnel the heat where you want it rather than letting it dissipate into the air around you. Cut wood into desired size. Be sure that the shiny side is visible so that maximum reflectivity is achieved. place the support for your cooking vessels.

and national – the importance of our country’s communications system. when police.” truck drivin’ cowboys. cable. The following information will help you better understand what happens with our communications system during an emergency and how best to use the various components of our communications system during a crisis or disaster. earthquakes. With a little forethought and a few bucks. you should examine your own needs and match them with the appropriate system. low power. ease of operation and channelized tuning. becomes clear. Here are some criteria for setting up an emergency communications system: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) It should be easy to operate have effective range have a modest amount of protection against interference be inexpensive (i. But the service was a relative sleeper ’til the ’70s when movies like “Smokey and the Bandit” and popular tunes like “Convoy. fire. others minor ones. in fact. floods and so on. broadcast. phones go out and the internet is down. low maintenance and no monthly fees) be readily available be able to operate “off the grid” There are at least five communications systems that more or less meet these criteria. fires. captured the American imagination. They have. While there is no doubt that our country has one of the world’s most extensive and dependable communications systems. When the power is off. been there in virtually all disasters in recent memory. unusual conditions can put a strain on it.” with their “rachet jawin’. and satellite systems. state. and hospital services are overwhelmed. During emergencies – local. you can prepare yourself for similar events in the future and avoid being incommunicado when you need it the most. including telecommunications.e. That sent a stampede of otherwise respectable Americans onto the airwaves and the .EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS Emergency communications information. Cell Phones CB Radio In the late ’50s. Some have big drawbacks. the FCC took a set of frequencies from the Amateur Radio service and designated it as the Citizen’s Band. Hurricanes. amateur radio operators are there to take up the slack as emergency communications volunteers. low initial cost. We use our phones to call 911 or to call our family members to make sure they are safe. ice storms. We turn on our televisions and radios to get information updates. In making your choice. The rules were simple: a rubber stamp license.

They built small. electronic keyboard speakers. can be anywhere from one to fifteen miles. Disadvantages of CB’s are few. Aside from the low price tag. If you haven’t used a CB in the last 20 years. . Usually single channel operation only. corded telephones. their effective range is drastically reduced. The Commission’s only response to the millions of yahoos yelling at each other over CB was to expand the band to 40 channels. Antennas are sold separately and range from $28 to $75 and usually have attached cables and connectors to simply plug into the back of the unit. While much smaller antennas are sold. Most sets are powered by only 2 or 3 AA batteries and can be in service for months. This can be seen as an advantage when you don’t want to battle hundreds of other people on your frequency. depending on antenna type and placement. Transmissions tend to “leak” into all kinds of other electronic devices. 3) In many areas. 2) Prices for complete systems are cheap. Their range. Expect under a quarter mile coverage with these systems. some models are sold with as many as five frequency channels. joggers or motorcyclists. All feature PTT (push-to-talk) mikes as well as VOX (voice operated) transmitters. The VOX feature makes them ideal “hands free” systems for cyclists. low power systems which featured a single headset with boom mike attached to the transmitter/controller which could be clipped onto the user’s belt or pants pocket. This was an aspect the FCC came to regret as the Commission was faced with hundreds of thousands of complaints from frustrated neighbors. the CB channels are relatively quiet. electrical system and can be easily operated from home using a small.Interstate and overwhelmed the sluggish FCC which promptly abandoned the band to the mayhem that ensued. Advantages of using CB radios for emergency communications are considerable. Antennas tend to be large (4′ to 8′ on vehicles and larger for “base” or home stations). In the home. self-contained. I recommend units with built-in Weather Radio receivers. cheap motorcycle battery. Prices for CB radios range from US$50 to $150 for full-sized mobile-mount radios to $230 for handheld portable units with AM/Single Side Band (SSB) capabilities. lightweight. a few things may surprise you: 1) The units themselves are virtually unchanged (which leads one to wonder if they’re still selling off excess inventory from the initial craze). Their size makes them perfect for traveling light and taking up very little space. Without speakers. during favorable atmospheric propagation. Another problem is that sometimes. baby monitors and a few other devices share this band. 49MHz Personal Communicators After the CB fiasco and before the Family Radio Service was established. Thousands of people all hitting their mike buttons at the same time sets up an unearthly squeal and nobody gets through. range can be as great as several thousand miles. lack of licensing and fees. CBers will often be heard on TV speakers. but persistent. manufacturers took advantage of FCC rules regarding transmissions in the 49MHz band. the audio is heard only through the earphone. The advantage of this system is the extremely low power drain. etc. Early cordless phones. they are operated on your car’s 12v. The big disadvantage is limited range.

GMRS radios are bigger than FRS units and have more features. They assigned the band frequencies in the UHF region (around 462MHz) which limits the propagation-induced range. While manufacturers claim up to two miles. depending on terrain and antenna position. The UHF frequency means they have very short antennas (typically only a few inches). Other notable features include a programmable scan feature and automatic “power off” (shuts down if not used after a certain period of time). don’t expect more than a mile. but brings with it disadvantages of government oversight and stringent frequency assignment. They also limited the output to one-half watt and transmissions use Frequency Modulation (FM). The main disadvantage of these units is the relatively short range. allowing a range of coverage from 5 to 25 miles. There are 23 GMRS channels used on an unassigned basis and dependent on the cooperation of all users. uses small handi-talkies and is intended to be used by individuals to communicate with immediate family members.Prices for 49MHz Personal Communicators range from $30 to $50 each. the FCC recommends monitoring existing frequencies in your area before making your application and requesting your channels.5″ d) and weighing 6-10 ounces. . audible low battery alert and transmit LED. battery-powered “handi-talkies” which can easily fit into a pocket. Higher power means more batteries (as many as 6 AAs) and a higher price. the FCC has tried to give the average citizen a chance to use the airwaves with a new scheme they call the “Family Radio Service” (FRS). General Mobile Radio Service The General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) is like the FRS in that it operates in the 460MHz region. Advantages of FRS units are that they are very compact (typically 4″ h x 2. Some units feature 38 “interference eliminator codes” which are subaudible tones which let your unit respond only to other units transmitting a designated tone. The advantage of the GMRS is that this is the most useful of the previously listed services. In order to avoid interference or conflicts in use. Expect to pay $50 each for basic FRS models. The big differences are that GMRS requires an FCC license with a fee and users must be 18 years or older.5″ w x 1. The channels are split up for base. mobile relay and fixed station or mobile station use. the output of these units is considerably greater (1 to 5 watts). All are small. Some units also have such useful features as optional headset/boom mikes for VOX operation. In addition. Family Radio Service Once again. Here the Commission sought to re-dress the problems of the first citizen’s band. Expect to pay $200 for handheld 2 watt units and considerably more for 5 watt base station transceiver. Each license is assigned one or two of eight possible channels or pairs as requested by the license applicants. The Commission has again chosen channelized operation and this time has allowed 14 channels for use. $90-$190 for higher-end models with additional features.

you must pass a written exam. none of these services offer privacy. These repeaters are built. and even international. This class allows the user to operate (among others) in the 2 meter band (144MHz). Despite what sales people might tell you. power and whether or not you’re using a repeater. This is particularly useful in winter when you need to know about road conditions in your immediate area. There’s no fee for the license (which is good for ten years). Small handi-talkies for 2 meters are relatively cheap and give a range of 20-50 miles depending on terrain. Any license above the entry level also requires a proficiency in Morse Code. it can end up being the most expensive. no age requirement and operators are allowed to use any frequency for which their license qualifies them. You don’t need to buy any of these transceivers to find out what’s happening in your area in an emergency. Many repeaters provide access to 911 services through the handi-talkie. Unfortunately. A nationwide system of repeaters on the 144MHz and 440MHz bands allows nearly seamless communications as hams travel around the country. communications. . All hams and their stations must be licensed by the FCC. If you’re planning to use Amateur Radio for your family. installed and maintained by active and well-populated local amateur radio clubs. or manufacturers’ claims. national. there’s not one radio for all of these capabilities which is why hams typically have three or four separate radios and antennas. and in order to receive a license. Any scanner capable of tuning the VHF or UHF bands can tune in. Expect to pay $200-$500 for 2 meter transceivers depending on features. regional. Final Points The FCC has made it illegal to modify any of these radios to operate in any band other than the one for which they were intended or to make it possible to place telephone calls from the radios. but it can also be the most versatile and powerful. Any shortwave radio capable of tuning as high as 27MHz can monitor the Citizen’s Band. AR is also the most regulated of the non-commercial services.Amateur Radio The great grand pappy of the two way radio scene is the Amateur Radio service whose operators are known as Hams and who have pioneered radio communications since the first decade of this century. Traditional amateur frequencies in the shortwave bands provide excellent coverage for local. The easiest way into ham radio is via the “Technician” class license which requires a written test based on a text available through many sources. each member needs a Technician license and their own handi-talkie. Anyone with a similar unit or a scanner can tune into your conversations.

dispatchers. etc. police. . This network is constantly being upgraded to provide emergency help more quickly and effectively. radio systems frequently are used by emergency units and officers at the scene to coordinate activities among all emergency personnel – fire. 911 is the official national emergency number in the United States and Canada. Once the call is processed. Communities that don’t have PSAPs rely on public safety emergency operators and communications centers to process emergency calls. rescue. a single primary PSAP will answer for an entire region. determines the nature of the emergency. Dialing 911 quickly connects you to a PSAP dispatcher trained to route your call to local emergency medical. Public Safety Answering Point and Call Dispatch The emergency dispatcher uses location information to direct public safety personnel responding to the emergency to ensure the shortest possible emergency response time. most traditional wire line 911 systems now automatically report to the PSAP the telephone number and location of calls. the operator verifies the caller’s location. In an effort to increase the ability of emergency personnel to respond to wireless 911 calls. Traditional wire line E911 is available in most parts of the country. or ambulance dispatch centers. the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted rules requiring wireless telephone carriers to provide Enhanced 911 (E911). Sometimes. For example.911 Calls Emergency personnel and others often learn about emergencies through 911 calls. the PSAP operator or dispatch center alerts the appropriate emergency response team. the mobility of wireless telephone service makes determining a wireless user’s location more complicated than is true for traditional wireline services. Secondary PSAPs are sometimes located at fire dispatch offices. municipal police headquarters. and decides which emergency response teams should be notified. the PSAP is able to call back in the event the call gets disconnected. During emergencies. they sometimes create special challenges for public safety personnel. fire. Wireless and E911 While new telecommunications technologies can be important tools for public safety. In most cases. The PSAP is also able to determine the location of the caller by cross-referencing the telephone number against a location database. which are associated with a fixed location or address. – with the emergency units on their way and with dispatchers at command bases. The 911 network is a vital part of our nation’s emergency response and disaster preparedness system. For example. At the PSAP. the caller is then transferred to a secondary PSAP from which help will be sent.” By receiving the telephone number of the caller. a capability called “Enhanced 911″ or “E911. and law enforcement agencies.

interconnected VoIP technology works by either placing an adapter between a traditional phone and a broadband connection. in a black-out.Wireless carriers have begun to deploy technologies to meet the FCC’s E911 rules. If only your electricity goes out (a “black-out”). Interconnected VoIP service allows you to make and receive calls to and from traditional wireline phone numbers using any high-speed (broadband) Internet connection (i. Unless .e. if it changes. like a residence. VoIP providers may not allow their customers to “optout” of E911 service. or by using a special VoIP phone that connects directly to your computer or Internet connection. the operator can call you back. When fully implemented. too. all interconnected VoIP providers must automatically provide E911 services to all customers as a standard. wireless. DSL. Network Damage and Black-outs If the telecommunications network is damaged in a disaster. it is important for consumers to follow a few basic steps when calling 911 from their mobile phones: • • • Tell the emergency operator the location of the emergency right away. you still may be able to use your traditional wire line phone because electricity and telephone transmissions travel on different wires. If your wireless phone is not “initialized” (i. Cable Modem). VoIP and E911 The FCC also has imposed E911 obligations on providers of “interconnected” Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. VoIP can be used in place of traditional phone service. Interconnected VoIP providers must also provide one or more easy ways for all customers to update the physical location they have registered with the provider. Typically. interconnected VoIP services can be used wherever you travel as long as a broadband Internet connection is available. wireless E911 will provide PSAPs with information about the location of consumers dialing 911 from mobile phones. your traditional wireline. Give the emergency operator your wireless phone number so that if the call gets disconnected. you must call the emergency operator back because he or she does not automatically receive your telephone number and therefore cannot contact you. Before interconnected VoIP service providers can activate a new customer’s service. In a black-out. While you may choose to use interconnected VoIP service from a single location. since wireless E911 will not be available everywhere immediately. your traditional telephone may still work. If you keep the battery on your wireless phone and text pager fully charged. you do not have a contract for service with a wireless service provider) and your emergency call gets disconnected. you should be able to use these. or VoIP phone and text pager may not work... By the end of 2005. providers must obtain from the customer the physical location at which the service will first be used so that emergency services personnel will be able to locate callers who dial 911.e. However. mandatory feature without customers having to specifically request this service.

many people rely on local radio and/or television stations to receive updates on what is happening and what to do. if Internet traffic is heavy enough. cable. VoIP phones may not work. then some calls will be blocked. digital cable television providers. E-mail May Work When Phone Lines Don’t During a Terrorist Attack. 2005. Text pagers have a built-in radio transmitter/ receiver. a nationwide network of radio towers that transmit data. if during a disaster or emergency the number of calls exceeds that peak (or if the network transmission capacity is reduced). Messages are transmitted over the wireless network. your VoIP phone will not work if your broadband connection is down or in a black-out. although dial-up Internet users may experience some blocking when they try to dial their Internet Service Provider (ISP). but national. transmission circuits are assigned and dedicated between the two users for the length of the call. There is a nationwide broadcast system in place for national disaster or other large-scale disasters. All broadcast stations and cable systems currently are required to broadcast emergency alerts and messages for national security emergencies initiated by the President. whose effective date is . the call will be blocked. In October. Some text pagers can subscribe to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service for any weather alerts. The telephone network is engineered so that during normal usage there are adequate facilities that can be assigned and dedicated to handle the number of calls during the peak period. And. except for DBS. albeit perhaps more slowly. if the phone being called is already in use. The Internet backbone uses shared rather than dedicated transmission facilities so that even during heavy usage the Internet will work. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) currently provides not only the President. These rules are effective as of December 31. However.you have a backup power supply. Natural Disaster or State of Emergency When a telephone call is completed on the public telephone network. 2006. E-mail itself is an Internet application which has the additional characteristic that the recipient doesn’t have to be available at the same time as the sender. of course. and wireless cable systems. and instead can connect to his or her own mail system at his or her convenience to retrieve messages that have been delivered there. and Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) systems. digital broadcast radio. the FCC expanded its rules to require EAS participation by digital television (DTV) broadcasters. Cable modem and DSL users who have dedicated Internet access can generally get through to their e-mail systems. Digital Audio Radio Service (DARS). However. either because the local telephone system is congested or all ISP’s lines are busy. and local authorities with the ability to give emergency information to the general public via broadcast. The Emergency Alert System Radio and Television Updates In the event of an emergency. state.

The FCC requires that any information that is intended to further the protection of life. AM/FM. and when the battery gets low. 2007. receive EAS alerts. The Baygen Freeplay wind up radio is the best alternative power. an aural tone is required to indicate to persons who are blind or who have low vision that emergency information is being provided. A fully charged battery will run the Freeplay Plus wind up radio for over 40 hours. These rules apply to all local broadcasters. however.May 31. be accessible to persons with disabilities. or simple visual means. or even handlettered signs. evacuation orders. If crawls or scrolls are provided during regular programming. health. you may not receive the signal. you’ll wish you had a Freeplay wind up radio. Accessibility of Emergency Information The FCC has separate requirements to meet the needs of persons with disabilities in cases of local emergencies. the solar cells. so that if one link in the dissemination of alert information is broken. etc.. It’s the one we use and recommend. school closings. scrolls. All EAS alerts should be accessible by audio and visual means. Information about local natural disasters is often broadcast via EAS. The Baygen Freeplay wind up radio can be charged with the built-in NiMH battery pack through the wind-up generator. and satellite television service providers. including closed-captioning. you can always wind it up. Wind Up Radios Wind up radios are available through a variety of sources however the quality in wind up radios varies. or the optional AC adapter. Shortwave you can buy and is the only one we recommend. but the FCC encourages them to transmit emergency alerts as a public service. such as open captions. civil disorder. or property. relief assistance. The FCC continues to consider ways to enhance the EAS to ensure that all Americans. such as immediate weather situations. . safety. Simply stated there is no better choice for a dependable radio of any type in an emergency. The critical details must also be provided in an aural format. EAS participants are not required to broadcast EAS alerts and messages initiated by state and local authorities. open-captioning.. crawls or scrolls. Exception: If your local television/radio tower or studio is damaged during a natural disaster like a tornado. EAS was designed. Critical details about the emergency must be provided in a visual format. the public has multiple alternate sources of warning. If you don’t have a radio that works during a power failure. including those with hearing and vision disabilities and those who speak languages other than English. cable operators.

Size: 11″ W x 8″ H x 8″ D. such as at a vacation house or cabin. A wind up radio is a radio that is powered by clockwork wind-up mechanism driving an internal electrical generator. Take one with you. You’ll only be disappointed when you really need it. including children’ Current prescriptions. the Baygen Freeplay wind up radios are a must and that’s why it’s the one we use. making it the perfect combination of essentials you need during a power failure. Regardless of the type of emergency. the Baygen Freeplay Plus wind up radio can go where you need it. Bank account number Credit card number Insurance policy number Car registration. Wind up radios sometimes incorporate a flashlight or other useful device and some models include alternative power sources including conventional supplies such as batteries. a wind up radio it is intended for camping. Weight: 5 lbs. when you want it. emergencies and for use in areas of the world where there is no electrical grid and replacement batteries are hard to obtain. leave the other in a secured deposit box. • • • • • • • • • • • Passport numbers and dates of issue. It is also useful when it will not be used on a regular basis. and license number U. The wind up radio is a patented design by Trevor Baylis through Baygen. With four ways to power it. Its superior AM. driver’s license number Social Security numbers. Continuous coverage of 10 SW bands from 3. FM and Shortwave reception also make it an excellent everyday radio. and without the need for any external power. serial.The Freeplay Plus wind up radio comes with a detachable. Built-in stereo headphone jack.1 MHz. Update it periodically and carry it with you when moving from one locale to another.0 to 18.S. including eyeglasses Contents and location of safe deposit box(es). . 3-White LED light with a magnetic base. Assets and debts Names and address book Make copies of the following. Like other self-powered equipment. IMPORTANT DOCUMENTATION IN AN EMERGENCY Leave a copy of this list with a trusted contact. Don’t purchase a knock-off or imitation wind up radio.

Make several copies as well. . test scores. not in safe depository. Decide what to take and what to leave. Originals should be left with lawyer or executor. Keep the pets’ records updated and with you. house. These are needed to transact business on behalf of spouse or other adult. Put checkbooks. credit cards. etc. including jewelry and clothing. and household effects (HHE) School records. Additional steps to consider. Consolidate all personal records. Consider putting items into storage that can’t be replaced. • • • • • • • • • • • • • Establish credit that will be adequate for emergencies. enabling each spouse to work from either in the event they are separated for a period of time. and taxes. Obtain individual credit cards for spouse. auto registration. report cards. Make advance arrangements for their care. immunization cards Power of attorney (one of the originals Birth and marriage certificate Naturalization papers Deeds Mortgages Driver’s license. You may not be able to take them with you. Update scrapbook and photo albums. and a small amount of cash in a safe (but easily accessible) place. if applicable Stocks (or leave with broker in case you want to sell) Bonds (or leave with broker in case you want to sell) Insurance papers – life. check registers. Get an automatic teller machine (ATM) card for your bank account that can be used all over the country and internationally. Consider leaving sentimental photos and negatives or duplicate photos in storage or with a relative. Prepare your house for evacuation — secure valuables. bank books.• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Copy of will(s). Establish a joint checking account. School Records (yours and children’s) Medical/dental records. car. etc. Keep a list of regular billing dates for all recurring expenses — insurance. mortgages. financial documents. food. latest bank statement Execute a current power of attorney for each adult family member and have several originals made. Make sure both spouses know the personal identification number (PIN). medical. school records. Make and continually update an inventory of all your possessions. some traveler’s checks. Plan for pets. and current samples of work Current household effects inventory Personal checks. Give some thought to other important documentation that would be useful to you during or after an emergency. Consider personal property insurance. and title. Put photos on CDs! Make duplicates of all personal address lists. or two joint checking accounts. auto insurance policies.

Call your emergency contact and have the phone available if you need to report a lifethreatening condition.) Shelter-in-place means selecting a small. If you are told to shelter-in-place. Bring your pets with you. Because information will most likely be provided on television and radio. In the case of a chemical threat. even during the workday. Who will pay bills? Will you continue to use the joint checking account? Additional needs. it is important to keep a TV or radio on. and may seep into basements even if the windows are closed. Why You Might Need to Shelter-in-Place: Chemical. follow the instructions provided in this Fact Sheet. or radiological contaminants may be released accidentally or intentionally into the environment. Use duct tape and plastic sheeting (heavier than food wrap) to seal all cracks around the door and any vents into the room. Cellular telephone equipment may be overwhelmed or damaged during an emergency. interior room. Allow for enough to sustain you through an emergency. and be sure to bring additional food and water supplies for them. Close the fireplace damper. blinds. If you are told there is danger of explosion. SHELTER-IN-PLACE What Shelter-in-Place Means: One of the instructions you may be given in an emergency where hazardous materials may have been released into the atmosphere is to shelter-in-place. Keep a small amount of cash set aside in a safe place. . It is ideal to have a hard-wired telephone in the room you select. and taking refuge there. with no or few windows. or curtains. Turn off all fans. At Home: • • • • • • • • • Close and lock all windows and exterior doors. Should this occur. Go to an interior room without windows that’s above ground level. close the window shades. (This is not the same thing as going to a shelter in case of a storm. This is a precaution aimed to keep you safe while remaining indoors.• Decide how money will be handled. an above-ground location is preferable because some chemicals are heavier than air. heating and air conditioning systems. Get your family disaster supplies kit and make sure the radio is working. information will be provided by local authorities on television and radio stations on how to protect you and your family. The important thing is for you to follow instructions of local authorities and know what to do if they advise you to shelter-in-place. It does not mean sealing off your entire home or office building. biological.

they want everyone to take those steps now. bottled water. visitor. Large storage closets. Gather essential disaster supplies. battery-powered radios. utility rooms. first aid supplies. or disabled. Unless there is an imminent threat. provide for their safety by asking them to stay – not leave. or visitors in the building. duct tape. Some systems automatically provide for exchange of inside air with outside air – these systems. client. clients. Turn on call-forwarding or alternative telephone answering systems or services. flashlights. and any other openings to the outside. and plastic garbage bags. Write down the names of everyone in the room. Bring everyone into the room(s). customer. blinds. Cellular telephone equipment may be overwhelmed or damaged during an emergency. heating and air conditioning systems. It is ideal to have a hard-wired telephone in the room(s) you select. Avoid selecting a room with mechanical equipment like ventilation blowers or pipes. customers. Close and lock all windows. close the window shades. clients.) Keep listening to the radio or television until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate. Avoid overcrowding by selecting several rooms if necessary.• Keep listening to your radio or television until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate. plastic sheeting. exterior doors. and call your business’ designated emergency contact to report who is in the room with you. When authorities provide directions to shelterin-place. If you are told there is danger of explosion. Local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in your community. because this equipment may not be able to be sealed from the outdoors. where they are. pantries. Use duct tape and plastic sheeting (heavier than food wrap) to seal all cracks around the door(s) and any vents into the room. sealed. and that staff and visitors are remaining in the building until authorities advise it is safe to leave. and visitors to call their emergency contact to let them know where they are and that they are safe. Have employees familiar with your building’s mechanical systems turn off all fans. Call emergency contacts and have the phone available if you need to report a lifethreatening condition. copy and conference rooms without exterior windows will work well. in particular. Shut and lock the door(s). If there are customers. such as nonperishable food. If the business has voice mail or an automated attendant. Local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in your community. change the recording to indicate that the business is closed. with the fewest windows or vents. and not drive or walk outdoors. The room(s) should have adequate space for everyone to be able to sit in. ask employees. need to be turned off. Select interior room(s) above the ground floor. or curtains. and their affiliation with your business (employee. batteries. . At Work: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Close the business.

Shut and lock the door. or curtains be closed. provide for their safety by asking them to stay – not leave. bottled water. battery-powered radios. Avoid overcrowding by selecting several rooms if necessary. Classrooms may be used if there are no windows or the windows are sealed and can not be opened. If the school has voice mail or an automated attendant. This room should also be sealed. It is ideal to have a hard-wired telephone in the room(s) you select. Listen for an official announcement from school officials via the public address system. faculty. allow them to use them to call a parent or guardian to let them know that they have been asked to remain in school until further notice. heating and air conditioning systems. and that they are safe. Have employees familiar with your building’s mechanical systems turn off all fans. Bring everyone into the room. Select interior room(s) above the ground floor. Cellular telephone equipment may be overwhelmed or damaged during an emergency. Follow reverse evacuation procedures to bring students. If there are visitors in the building.At School: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Close the school. or disabled. and plastic garbage bags. duct tape. plastic sheeting. There should be a way to communicate among all rooms where people are sheltering-in-place in the school. or person designated to answer these calls. and call your schools’ designated emergency contact to report who is in the room with you. If you are told there is danger of explosion. first aid supplies. Provide directions to close and lock all windows. change the recording to indicate that the school is closed. Some systems automatically provide for exchange of inside air with outside air – these systems. Write down the names of everyone in the room. and staff indoors. and even a gymnasium without exterior windows will also work well. The room(s) should have adequate space for everyone to be able to sit in. and any other openings to the outside. If children have cell phones. blinds. such as nonperishable food. need to be turned off. provide for a way to make announcements over the school-wide public address system from the room where the top school official takes shelter. and stay where you are until you are told all is safe or you are told to . in particular. Ideally. they want everyone to take those steps now. where they are. Provide for answering telephone inquiries from concerned parents by having at least one telephone with the school’s listed telephone number available in the room selected to provide shelter for the school secretary. exterior doors. direct that window shades. Gather essential disaster supplies. utility rooms. Large storage closets. and not drive or walk outdoors. sealed. flashlights. batteries. Use duct tape and plastic sheeting (heavier than food wrap) to seal all cracks around the door(s) and any vents into the room. When authorities provide directions to shelter-in-place. with the fewest windows or vents. students and staff are remaining in the building until authorities advise that it is safe to leave. Activate the school’s emergency plan. meeting rooms. Call emergency contacts and have the phone available if you need to report a lifethreatening condition.

. Listen to the radio regularly for updated advice and instructions. Local officials on the scene are the best source of information for your particular situation. The concept of a safe room is simple…prepare a room within the interior of the home where the family can safely retreat during a home invasion or other terrorist threat and summon help. Stay where you are until you are told it is safe to get back on the road. How to Prepare the Sealed Room All supplies should already be in the room. There is little danger that the room in which you are taking shelter will run out of oxygen and you will suffocate. If possible. ? Close windows and vents. or if possible. Turn off the engine. Follow the shelter-in-place recommendations for the place you pick described above. pick a room with water. Remember that instructions to shelter-in-place are usually provided for durations of a few hours. not days or weeks. it is preferable to stop under a bridge or in a shady spot. Sealing a Safe Room • • • • • Pick a room with few. no windows. Local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in your community. Stop your vehicle in the safest place possible. Keep inexpensive breathing filters in the room. If possible. Be aware that some roads may be closed or traffic detoured. then pull over to the side of the road. Follow the directions of law enforcement officials. food. If you are unable to get to a home or building quickly and safely. In Your Vehicle: If you are driving a vehicle and hear advice to “shelter-in-place” on the radio. your office. If it is sunny outside. windows and vents. water.evacuate. Set aside plenty of duct tape for sealing. take these steps: • • • • • • If you are very close to home. SAFE ROOM A safe room is an ultra-secure location within a residence. Following their instructions during and after emergencies regarding sheltering. toilet and a phone. Higher stories are better because chemical agents sink. Prepare a 72 hour Go Pack and keep it in the room. seal the heating/air conditioning vents with duct tape. to avoid being overheated. rated at N95 or better for each family member. go there immediately and go inside. doors. and clean up methods is your safest choice. or a public building.

Changes in ph of air quality. Anthrax is. When all the members of the family have entered the room. Wait for an “All Clear” from the radio or from local municipal rescue/defense. complete the sealing of the room by using adhesive tapes between the door and the frame and between the frame and the wall. please notify me and send me the information. Get into the sealed room. Leave the front door unlocked. Ideally. it tends to end its delivery cycle. Your room is still not perfectly air tight. People who shelter in sealed rooms would have . Anthrax has a very small rate of “secondary uptake. But if anybody knows of a manufacturer. for all intents and purposes. against inner walls or with their backs towards the outer walls. where the sill meets the frame. I’d pack that in firmly and seal it with duct tape as well. The minimum fatal dose for a person is one Anthrax spore. and over all window seams and joins. I don’t think you can buy any “quick-install devices” that you can simply hook into an open window and rely upon (and you would need one that can be manually powered as well as electrically powered). and take your gas mask with you if you have one. The space between the door and the floor should be covered with a wet towel.” which means that once it hits the ground. Risk Factors for a Bio-Chemical Attack: All biological weapons have a high failure rate in terrorist attacks because even though they are quite deadly dispersal/delivery of them in an effective way is difficult. ceiling fans. attic fans. and life span of the entity itself make efficient delivery of these bacteria and viruses difficult. changes in environment. But those who get a warning signal and retreat into sealed rooms would have a good chance of survival. If your home is heated with gas or uses gas appliances. the wait could last for several hours. and I will post it here.To seal a room in a bio-chemical emergency. heads down on their arms with knees drawn up. anchoring the sheeting on every side on the wall around the window. which then make them too big to infiltrate the lungs. first shut off all air intakes into the house (heat. so as to allow rescue units to get into the house if needed. Turn on the radio to get information. etc. 100 percent deadly when it enters the lungs of human beings. They clump together and adhere to dust and dirt particles. Yet spores that are small enough to infiltrate the blood vessels of the human lungs also tend to be highly static. Entirely cover the windows with polyethylene sheeting.. For example. and seal the sheeting to the wall thoroughly with duct tape. Everybody needs to sit absolutely still. but the air intake is quite diminished. a sealed room has its own emergency filter that blocks particles and purifies the air from toxins. run sturdy duct tape along any windows where the glass joins the sill. In the selected room. changes in temperature and humidity.). shut off the gas. air. This problem of Anthrax delivery means that any people at “ground zero” of an Anthrax attack would probably be infected if they were directly exposed to a cloud or vapor falling on them.

Mustard gas canisters can be opened and their vapors simply allowed to disperse—no explosions. We know from the Tokyo subway attack that subways. which have no windows and are dark. but as long as they remained calm and secluded from sprayed or “treated” (i.. and loss of life two days after the fact of exposure. 2001. but that scenario is not nearly as likely as a crowded building being sealed off from the outside and a chemical agent introduced into the ventilation system or simply opened up in the corners. But the plane would have to fly quite low to drop enough of a concentration in a stable medium. a city might just get bombed by chemical warheads. most effective scenario yet envisioned. Dispersing biological agents in a crop dusting plane is currently the quickest. But as of this writing. it has not yet been attempted.the unpleasant task of waiting it out for hours (as long as 24 hours) before they could move. But once it has been identified. using crop dusting equipment has at least entered the minds of some terrorist planners. blindness. injury. Smallpox is far more persistent than Anthrax. Do not stand in any area where vapors are escaping. Granted. infected) areas. terminals. Iraq used mustard gas in smoke bombs. Filtering and water purification in the home may hinder the effectiveness of such a plan. The more likely and dangerous alternative is for a biological weapon to be entered into the water supply. Yet it is one that an educated public can prevent. they could escape infection. no bursts of munitions. to me. As difficult as this is. with a mortality rate at about 33% – 66%). is one of the most realistic and horrifying of scenarios. . and people at ground zero of an attack would fare the worst. This. and then would have to wait for days to see if they were infected or not. From the evidence of one would-be terrorist who was arrested on September 22. Chemical warfare terrorism is much more likely in terms of past successes with chemical agents. and certainly boiling water for six minutes would probably kill any biological entity. An unsuspecting and crowded public could suffer catastrophic pain. People in crowded or enclosed places are in the greatest danger of a terrorist chemical agent attack. thus enticing Iranian soldiers to run into the smoke to pursue supposedly retreating enemy soldiers. Their damage would not be known for a couple days. Teach your children not to stand in plumes of smoke or run through any vaporous substance. people secure from the initial infection would have to be prepared to quarantine themselves to avoid contact from victims whose symptoms would not appear for several weeks. Drinking bottled water or at least boiling all water that comes from the tap (for six minutes) before you drink it might be a good precautionary step. (though less fatal.e. But poisoning could occur and last for several days before symptoms appear. if you fear a biological attack. our society is better equipped to do this than it’s ever been before. It was a highly successful ruse. even trains and planes are in the most danger of attacks like these. As are crowded buildings—especially theaters. Telecommuting is a fact of life. just quiet vapors.

as we learned on September 11.People do buy gas masks (including me). Don’t linger. And for the terrorist. If a nuclear incident occurs. that’s the ideal situation. (Remember. People should listen to emergency management officials for recommendations after an incident. enclosed building. and terrorists are just another version of criminals. Visit enclosed buildings only when it’s necessary. another dose should be taken every 24 hours. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has prepared this fact sheet to further explain when KI might be appropriate and what people should consider before making a decision to take KI. officials will have to find out which radioactive substances are present before recommending that people take KI. According to the FDA. our enemies like to make grand displays in very public places. . Simply being very aware of your immediate environment has always been the first good defense against crime. in their off-peak hours. but chemical-bio weapons can strike when a gas mask and bio-suit are out of range.) For example. Taking KI will not protect people from other radioactive substances that may be present along with the radioactive iodine.) If you are in a crowded. a single dose of KI may be all that is required. • Adults should take one 130-mg tablet. then taking KI will not protect people. So the answer is to be smarter than terrorists. KI comes in tablets of 130 mg. However. then taking KI will help protect a person’s thyroid gland from the radioactive iodine. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that KI be taken as soon as the radioactive cloud containing iodine from the explosion is close by. Taking potassium iodide (KI) tablets after an incident involving radioactive materials may or may not limit the risk of damage to a person’s thyroid gland from ionizing radiation. I don’t. If radioactive iodine is present. if a person expects to be exposed to radioactive iodine for more than 24 hours. KI may still have some protective effect even if it is taken 3 to 4 hours after exposure to radioactive iodine. A one-time dose at the levels recommended in this fact sheet is usually all that is required. Don’t go to movies. If radioactive iodine is not present. (But then. Avoid crowded and dark. Because the radioactive iodine will be present in the initial blast and decays quickly. just complete your tasks and leave. POTASSIUM IODIDE KI Potassium Iodide (KI) Information Recent terrorist events have many people concerned about potential future attacks using radioactive materials. I hate the movies. I go to the mall as soon as it opens or at around three in the afternoon on weekdays: NOT on Saturdays at noon. always know where the exits are and your path to reach them. When to take KI Local emergency management officials will tell people when to take KI. enclosed building interiors that rely heavily on a ventilation system rather than open windows and fresh air.

especially young children. Infants from birth to 1 month of age should be given one-eighth of a 130-mg tablet (16 mg). Why KI would be important in the event of a nuclear incident.• • • • • Children between 3 and 18 years of age should take one-half of a 130-mg tablet (65 mg). and the amount of radioactive iodine the person is exposed to. The KI will saturate the thyroid gland with iodine and help prevent it from absorbing radioactive iodine. can damage the cells of the thyroid gland. people may need to take KI tablets soon after an incident that involves radioactive iodine. will not offer more protection and can cause severe illness and death due to allergic reaction. KI tablets can be stored for at least 5 years without losing their potency. However. Because the thyroid will rapidly absorb any iodine that is in the body. Women who are breastfeeding should take the adult dose. KI does not prevent the effects of other radioactive elements. the thyroid would rapidly absorb radioactive iodine just as it does iodine from a person’s diet. and it will not protect a person from other radioactive materials that may be released. The FDA and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that children from newborn to 18 years of age all take KI unless they have a known allergy to iodine. It will not protect other parts of the body from radioactive iodine. and their infants should receive the recommended infant dose. The radioactive iodine releases energy (radiation) that. However. The thyroid gland. Children between 1 month and 3 years of age should take one-fourth of a 130-mg tablet (32 mg). Iodized table salt will not provide enough iodine to protect the thyroid and should not be used as a substitute. how much iodine is already in the person’s thyroid. People should remember that taking a higher dose of KI. including when a person takes it. What KI is KI is a salt of iodine? It is one of several ingredients that can be added to table salt to make it iodized. this damage can cause thyroid cancer or other diseases of the thyroid within a few years of the exposure. Its effectiveness will depend on a variety of factors. or taking KI more often than recommended. how fast the person’s body processes it. cannot tell the difference between radioactive and nonradioactive forms of iodine. according to the FDA and WHO. Using KI will only protect the thyroid gland from radioactive iodine. However. In some people. Children who are approaching adult size (greater than or equal to 150 pounds) should take the adult dose regardless of their age. KI has also been approved by the FDA as a nonprescription drug for use as a “blocking agent” to prevent the human thyroid gland from absorbing radioactive iodine. How a nuclear incident might cause thyroid damage Some types of radioactive incidents release radioactive iodine. KI may not provide people with 100% protection against all radioactive iodine. . Who should or should not take KI when the public is told to do so Children are the most susceptible to the dangerous effects of radioactive iodine. Because of this. breastfeeding infants should still be given the recommended dosage of KI to protect them from any radioactive iodine that they may breathe in or drink in breast milk. in high concentrations. Women who are breastfeeding should also take KI. to protect both themselves and their breast milk. which will use any iodine that is in a person’s bloodstream.

but they have a greater chance of having an allergic reaction to the high dose of iodine in KI. Without the required amounts of iodine. a release of a biological agent is most likely to be done “covertly. This includes pregnant and breast-feeding women. To wear a gas mask continuously or “just in case” a bioterrorist attack occurs is impractical. That means you would not know ahead of time to put on your gas mask. Unfortunately. a right lobe and a left lobe. thyroid nodules. Educate yourself about gas masks to avoid a mistake that could cost you your life. the thyroid will not be able to make these hormones. store. and wearers must be trained in their use. Because of this. Adults over the age of 40 have the smallest chance of developing thyroid cancer or thyroid disease after an exposure to radioactive iodine. Most of the iodine in people’s bodies comes from the food they eat. and release thyroid hormones. masks must be specially fitted to the wearer. that are connected by a small strip of tissue called the isthmus. To work effectively. People should listen to emergency management officials for recommendations after an incident. . These hormones regulate the body’s metabolism. People should not take KI if they: • • • Have ever had thyroid disease (such as hyperthyroidism. A gas mask would only protect you if you were wearing it at the exact moment a bioterrorist attack occurred. they are not recommended to take KI unless a very large dose of radioactive iodine is expected. Consider the following information before purchasing and purchase only from a recognized dealer or manufacturer. Have certain skin disorders (such as dermatitis herpetiformis or urticaria vasculitis).” that is. The main function of the thyroid gland is to create. However. The thyroid has two parts. Know they are allergic to iodine (as in x-ray dye or shellfish). the FDA and WHO still recommend that people ages 18 to 40 take the recommended dose of KI. Medical conditions that make it dangerous to take KI The high concentration of iodine in KI can be harmful to some people.Young adults between the ages of 18 and 40 have a smaller chance of developing thyroid cancer or thyroid disease from exposure to radioactive iodine than do children. People should consult their doctor if they are unsure whether or not to take KI. if not impossible. who should take the same dose as other young adults. or goiter). Facts about the thyroid gland The thyroid is a small gland located in a person’s neck on either side of the breathing tube (trachea). without anyone knowing it. Why iodine is important to the thyroid gland? The thyroid gland takes iodine from the bloodstream and uses it to make thyroid hormones. GAS MASKS Gas mask purchases are a personal decision each family must make.

If you purchase masks. In fact. Before buying a surplus mask. More serious is the fact that the masks can be dangerous. Although the $19 price tag is enticing.00 Let the Buyer Beware Information provided by Approved Gas Masks. KNOW what you are purchasing and understand that a gas mask that will actually work in an attack. these prices are low because the mask is obsolete. as happened to some Israeli civilians during the Persian Gulf War. There are reports of accidental suffocation when people have worn masks incorrectly. will cost you upwards of $125. avoid this ineffective mask. that would not be the best time to be donning it. no guarantees whatsoever are provided. this mask is 30+ years old & does NOT provide NBC protection. If you are forced to use the gas mask in an attack. one national chain of surplus stores provides the following statement: “(X) has been selling gas masks as a novelty item since 1948. do your homework. In most cases. We have never been able to warrant their effectiveness and we cannot do so at this time… We do not know what each type of gas mask we sell might or might not be effective against…We do not know the age of each gas mask…” In brief.This is usually done for the military and for workers in industries and laboratories who face routine exposure to chemicals and germs on the job. recalled or replaced due to design flaws or defective components. Gas masks purchased at an Army surplus store or off the internet carry no guarantees that they will work. be sure to get properly trained in their use. Military personal goes through extensive training in the use of gas masks. And again.com The truth about surplus gas masks: Many models of surplus masks & filters are available in nearly unlimited quantities at low prices. Become familiar with putting the mask on and using it correctly. . Here are a few of the most widely advertised surplus masks that should be avoided: Russian Gas Mask Unless you are assembling your Halloween costume. take time to review recalled gas mask models. for the first time.

EVAC-U-8 Hood Advertised by some unscrupulous vendors for protection against NBC agents. Canadian M69 C-3 The entire Canadian military has removed the C3 from service (replaced by a completely different model.400 have been recalled. (These will most likely not provide this protection as they are ALL more than 20 years expired) . Over 27. This type of protective mask should NEVER be used for protecting against any NBC warfare agents. USAGE: Designed ONLY for protection against tear-gas. this mask is actually intended for smoke/fire protection. designated as the C4) The C3 60mm filter port does not accept NATO threaded filters without plastic adapter. GAS MASK: Russian/German M-10-M Protective Mask STATUS: INEFFECTIVE 100% obsolete DETAILS: Very old model.

USAGE: Tear Gas. GAS MASK: Russian SMS Snorkel Protective Mask STATUS: INEFFECTIVE 100% obsolete DETAILS: Complete waste of money. These Russian masks are a triumph in the world of completely useless gas masks. possibly the worst mask still being sold by unscrupulous surplus stores & internet vendors. as they are 40+ years . These Russian masks are another triumph in the world of completely useless gas masks. Not used since 1960’s. USAGE: Russian/ Outdated (over 20-30 years old) could be used as a Halloween costume or conversation piece but it will provide 0% protection. GAS MASK: M9 or M9A1 Protective Masks STATUS: OBSOLETE/ineffective (made in the 50’s) Details: Uses a 60 mm threaded filter which is very hard to find with a modern & effective filter.GAS MASK: Russian M41 Aardvark Protective Mask STATUS: INEFFECTIVE 100% obsolete DETAILS: Complete waste of money. possibly the worst mask still being sold by unscrupulous surplus stores & Internet vendors. USAGE: Russian / Outdated (over 20-30 years old) could be used as a Halloween costume or conversation piece but it will provide 0% protection. these will provide NO protection.

Unmodified Simple Anthrax & other other non-micronized biological agents. HEPA ONLY.9% HEPA filtration and prior to expiration would be effective against P100 (small particles) agents. USAGE: German mfg. DETAILS: This filter is rated at 99. Look for the serial number on the can: . it provides 0% protection and may be toxic on it’s own GAS MASK FILTER: AMERICAN C2 (check exp.GAS MASK FILTER: WEST GERMAN (various model #’s) STATUS: EXPIRED. for riot & tear gas protection. Ineffective against ALL chemical warfare agents. Use of this filter is highly discouraged. (Most from the 50’s) USAGE: US issue during prior to 1950. date) & C2A1 STATUS: EXPIRED -If more than 10 years old ** (old filters are known to have Chromium Toxicity ** and are considered highly dangerous) DETAILS: To find out if your filter is expired. Manufactured prior to 1980. all lots are EXPIRED. Examples: Tear Gas. you must find the printed date of manufacture. GAS MASK FILTER: AMERICAN M-9 (circa 1940) 60 mm threaded filter STATUS: 100% EXPIRED DETAILS: Common American issue.

time.Equipment (Describe vehicle. Often they will need training or equipment that will arouse suspicion. They may be your neighbor. and physical descriptions) A . We must train ourselves to be on the lookout for things that are out of the ordinary and arouse suspicions. camera. Need to conduct surveillance on possible targets and gather information on the planned attcak location.Activity (Describe exactly what they are doing) L . It can be a fine line. license plate.Location (Provide exact location) U – Uniform (Describe what they are wearing. But Caution: C2A1 filters provide no protection against ammonia based agents. gender. etc) Suspicious activity is often recalled after an event. by those watching for certain characteristics. Both protect against all NBC agents and are 100% current issue / used in federal agencies. including shoes) T – Time (Provide date. SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY What to Do If You Spot Suspicious Terrorist Activity Take note of the details: S – Size (Jot down the number of people.For Example: RFT 920000CF24054 (sample serial #) (first 2 digits are the year of manufacture) In this example the mfg date: RFT [92] is 1992 These are 100% military surplus filters. etc. All of these things make terrorists vulnerable to detection. student or friend. ages. Keep in mind. those who commit terrorist acts: Usually live among us without appearing suspicious while planning and preparing for their attack. make. Learn to recognize the difference between normal and abnormal behavior. Stay alert in your daily travels and routines and get to know: • • Who your neighbors are What cars are normally in your neighborhood . and duration of activity) E .. It is recommended you upgrade to a MSA or M95 filter (the same threads/mask fitting). guns. color etc. USAGE: Obsolete/US Military Surplus only. The military discontinued use of the C2 in favor of the new/better C2A1 filters.

perhaps a National Monument and you notice a person nearby taking several photos. Your suspicions will need to be based on: • • • Experience Judgment Common sense Unusual Interest in High Risk or Symbolic Targets Maybe you are at a high profile location or. It is impossible to Identify a terrorist by • • • Appearance Nationality Language You CAN only identify a terrorist threat by observing or hearing about suspicious activity that may lead to a criminal act. but be aware of the following suspicious behaviors: . entrence crash barriers and access control procedures. Staying alert is being aware of one’s surroundings. Identifying suspicious activity is not a difficult science. But then you notice that the person is only taking photos of the locations surveillance cameras. That’s not unusual. Controversial issues being debated. They may include: • • • • • A local activity that could indicate problems in your community. Your suspicion of a threat could be confirmed with only one incident or it could take a series of incidents. One of the clues that led to the recent break-up of a terrorist plot was that several of the cell members were spotted celebrating in an apartment complex on the anniversary of 911.• Who regularly makes deliveries at work and in your neighborhood Staying alert is NOT about becoming paranoid. Rely on your judgment. Suspicious thefts. The following should cause a heightened sense of suspicion: • • • • • • • suspicious or unusual interest surveillance (suspicious in nature) inappropriate photographs or videos note-taking drawing of diagrams annotating maps using binoculars or night vision devices Unusual or suspicious activity does not necessarily mean that terrorist activity is happening. Is that normal for a tourist? Not. Be alert to indications of possible trouble. Previous activity or crimes.

when not acting alone. need to meet with their conspirators and often times work within a cell. Allow law enforcements to do the investigating. • • • • • • • they they they they they they they only let you into the apartment or house with plenty of prior notice change the locks often keep certain rooms off limits cover tables and other pieces of furniture never allow maid service in a hotel room only take hotel room service outside the door only accept deliveries at the hotel’s front desk or outside a closed door . Terrorists. Do NOT request to see another person’s ID when not appropriate. other than the engine or gas tank Over dressed for the type of weather Fraudulent Identification Many of the 9/11 terrorists were in the country illegally and using fraudulent IDs. Altering or using false government identification in any way and for any purpose is against the law. Pay attention to visitors and guests that • • • • • • arrive and leave at unusual hours try not to be noticed act in a suspicious manner park an unusual distance from the meeting have an unusual number of unrelated people living together Not all people who maintain privacy are terrorists. Fraudulent ID’s include: • • • • • drivers license social security card passport birth certificate INS identification If you believe someone is using or has altered government identification. Some signs that may raise your suspicions. please notify the law enforcement authorities. But people intent on doing illegal acts want to be left alone.• • • • • • • • Individuals acting furtively and suspiciously Individuals avoiding eye contact Individuals departing quickly when seen or approached Individuals in places they don’t belong A strong odor coming from a building or vehicle An overloaded vehicle Fluid leaking from a vehicle.

Suspicious packages. government building. (Stay away from the letter or package and don’t shake. Pay attention to purchases. Any type of activity or circumstance that seems frightening or unusual within the normal routines of your neighborhood. or tourist attraction. or around a school or playground. or mail that have been abandoned in a crowded place like an office building. community.Deliveries are a common method for terrorists to carry out their attacks. wash hands thoroughly with soap and water. mail carrier. a school. security. bridge. rentals or thefts of: • • • • • • • police. Anyone asking a lot of questions ‹ especially concerning routes or loads or drop-off times. • • • • • • . an airport. Someone suspiciously exiting a secured. non-public area near a train or bus depot. or a shopping center. and workplace. luggage. or airline uniforms and equipment explosives weapons ammunition propane bottles toxic chemicals vehicles able to contain or haul hazardous materials Additional suspicious activity may include: • Someone bragging or talking about plans to harm citizens in violent attacks or who claims membership in a terrorist organization that espouses killing innocent people. Someone unfamiliar loitering in a parking lot. tunnel. Be aware of: • • • • • a vehicle with hazardous material parked or driving in an inappropriate area unusual deliveries of chemicals or fertilizer unattended bags or boxes in a public access place fire extinguishers that may have been moved or tampered with unusual or unexpected mail Unusual Purchases or Thefts Terrorists need supplies to carry out their attacks and accomplish their goals. bump or sniff it. airport. public utility. Suspicious letter or package that arrives in your mailbox. government building.

first aid kits. you may have as little as 10 minutes.• Recruiters should be alert for unusual employment applications. Write down a list of the high priority items you would take if you only had 10 minutes to evacuate your house. Remember. • Emergency Evacuation Plan Preparing an Emergency Evacuation Plan An emergency evacuation plan has two parts: evacuation from your house. disaster 72 hour kit. but also for fires or other incidents in your home. and evacuation from your neighborhood. Main and Alternative routes for leaving the city in North. For people with medical conditions or disabilities. Under these circumstances. mark their location as well as the location of any special equipment they will immediately need. Take some time now to think about what items you would try to take with you. then draw your evacuation routes and a meeting place. You should mark the locations of fire extinguishers. Emergency Evacuation Inventory If you have to evacuate your house. smoke detectors. Evacuation Steps If you have time during an evacuation. you may have to carry everything. you may want to take steps to secure your house. Have maps ready for the following: Closest evacuation centers. Important points to remember when creating an evacuation plan for your home are: • • • • • You should have at least two (2) escape routes from each room. You should mark the locations of any escape ladders. Give some thought to what things you need to do to secure your house. . Household Emergency Evacuation Plan • • • • • Draw your building’s floor plan. and electricity. water. South. Write down your plans and keep the paper in a safe and accessible location. Keep in a safe place and review often with your family. Watch out for walk-arounds. Don’t assume it couldn’t be an inside job. A trucker returning to his or her vehicle from a restaurant or truck stop should make sure no one is loitering around the truck. Make one drawing for each story of the building. trying to think of what to save is very difficult. East and West directions. You should mark the locations of the shutoffs for gas. or other special equipment. An evacuation plan for your home is useful not only for disasters.

or routes which are likely to be impassible in a disaster. The emergency evacuation plan for your neighborhood can be handy in a large disaster. so you should arrange with someone outside your area to be your family contact. and if possible. Take into account where each of you will likely be at different times and on different days. (You probably will want to drive the routes before deciding. West. Choosing an Out-of-Area Contact: During an emergency local phone service may be limited. Establish plans with other family members for meeting up outside of the evacuated area. that can be reached on foot if necessary. Remember that bridges may be out and roads may be blocked by debris. Your contact person should have voice mail or an answering machine. By plotting out potential routes on a city map before the disaster. South. For example: I live approximately 50 miles east of a nuclear power plant. Make sure each member knows the location of the established meeting points. Keep calls short. Should there be an accident or an attack and the wind is blowing in an Easterly direction.• Meet up spots outside the affected areas.) And avoid common routes that may be congested during an emergency. your family may not be together. . Things to think about when crafting your neighborhood evacuation plan include: You should plan two (2) routes for each direction. East. arrange to call the contact person back at a specified time for another check-in. (North. open area. Choosing a Place to Meet: At the time of an emergency. It is important to choose family meeting places. and that are in an accessible. so choose your meeting places carefully with access in mind.) You should avoid routes with obvious hazards. then phone your out-of-area contact person to say how and where they are and what their plans are. our plan is to head north and meet up in a town approximately 60 miles north of my home. Pick places that are easy to identify. Ensure that every family member knows that they should listen to the radio or TV for telephone use instructions. you will save yourself from having to figure something out while in a hurry.

maps and telephone numbers. provides you your best chance of survival. Introduction To Emergency Preparedness Devastating acts. Emergency Preparedness Emergency Preparedness – Planning Ahead Preparing for an emergency now. Your selected contact should live far enough away that they would be unlikely to be directly affected by the same event. and they should know they are the chosen contact. such as 911 and the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. while at work. Keep your emergency evacuation plans in a safe location with your 72 hour kit. Emergency preparedness should always be considered in the home and workplace for any unexpected event. Each family member should carry a personal copy of this list. EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS Finding out what can happen is the first step. There are specific steps you can take to prepare for the unexpected and reduce the stress that you may feel now and later should another emergency arise. Create an emergency communications plan.You should have a phone list of 3 contacts. it is important that you discuss them with your family or household. You should also allow for an evacuation scenario. . Taking preparatory action can reassure you. As you make your emergency plan. your family and co-workers n that you can exert a measure of control even in the face of such events. This site provides a step-by-step approach to emergency preparedness by walking the reader through emergency plans in a variety of scenarios. In an emergency. carefully consider the information you’ll find throughout this website. in the event of an actual attack. Once you have determined the events possible and their potential in your community. communications may be down in your area. Be sure that each family member has a copy of the evacuation plan. Develop a disaster/ emergency preparedness plan together. outside of your area. Choose an out-of-town contact your family or household will call or e-mail to check on each other should a disaster occur. They have raised uncertainty and heightened our awareness of the importance of emergency preparedness. Family members can contact the persons out of the emergency area to pass along messages and to check on the welfare of other family members. have left many concerned about the possibility of future events and their potential impact.

ask what type of authorization the school may require to release a child to someone you designate. Check on the school emergency preparedness plan of any school-age children you may have. they need to be patient and try again later or try e-mail. Prepare an emergency preparedness kit in an easy-to-carry container such as a duffel bag or small plastic trash can. e-mail addresses and telephone numbers (home. birth and marriage certificates. You need to know if they will they keep children at school until a parent or designated adult can pick them up or send them home on their own. if you have children. food. You won’t know. Copies of essential documents-like powers of attorney. A safe deposit box or the home of a friend or family member who lives out of town is a good choice. And. passports and licenses) in your kit. a sleeping bag or bedroll for each. Establish meeting places. insurance policies. first aid supplies (including prescription medications). Assemble a disaster supplies or 72 hour emergency preparedness kit. Follow the advice of local emergency officials. since pets are not permitted in shelters and some hotels will not accept them.” having some essential supplies on hand will make you and your family more comfortable. a change of clothing for each household member. During times of emergency the school telephones may be overwhelmed with calls. Include “special needs” items for any member of your household (infant formula or items for people with disabilities or older people). if you are not able to pick up your child. Have two emergency locations. pager and cell). Be sure to include any pets in these plans.Make sure every household member has that contact’s. each in opposite directions. until an actual emergency. Your family should know that if telephones are not working. . and at your workplace. You may even want to make arrangements to stay with a family member or friend in case of an emergency. Many people flood the telephone lines when emergencies happen but e-mail can sometimes get through when calls don’t. and each other’s. Be sure that the school has updated information about how to reach parents and responsible caregivers to arrange for pickup. work. Leave these contact numbers at your children’s schools. bottled water and tools. a battery powered radio or television and extra batteries. Listen to your radio or television for news and instructions. It is also a good idea to include some cash and copies of important family documents (birth certificates. • • • Remain calm and be patient. If you need to evacuate your home or are asked to “shelter in place. life insurance beneficiary designations and a copy of your will-should also be kept in a safe location outside your home. Having predetermined meeting places away from your home will save time and minimize confusion should your home be affected or the area evacuated. which direction you will need to evacuate.

turn off the main gas valve. and get everyone outside quickly. Workplaces and schools may be closed. If the disaster occurs near your home while you are there. Check on your neighbors. Sniff for gas leaks. What Could Happen – Emergency Planning As we learned from the events of September 11. Health and mental health resources in the affected communities can be strained to their limits. Extensive media coverage. and you should heed the advice immediately. and there may be restrictions on domestic and international travel. the following things can 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. Call your family contact. check for damage using a flashlight. You and your family or household may have to evacuate an area. Do not light matches or candles or turn on electrical switches. do not use the telephone again unless it is a lifethreatening emergency.• If the disaster occurs near you. they have a good reason to make this request. Listen to your radio or television and follow the instructions of local emergency officials and keep these simple tips in mind. starting at the water heater. check for injuries. Take your disaster supplies kit. If you smell gas or suspect a leak. Take your pets with you. Evacuation in an emergency If local authorities ask you to leave your home. • • • • Shut off any damaged utilities. strong public fear and international implications and consequences can continue for a prolonged period. maybe even overwhelmed. Confine or secure your pets. Give first aid and get help for seriously injured people. So employers need up-to-date information about any medical needs you may have and on how to contact your designated beneficiaries. follow your plan to go to a relative’s or friend’s home. fire hazards and other household hazards. do not leave them behind. 2001. • • • • Wear long-sleeved shirts. long pants and sturdy shoes so you can be protected as much as possible. state and federal levels follows a terrorist attack due to the event’s criminal nature. avoiding roads blocked for your safety. or find a “pet-friendly” hotel. Check for fires. Because pets are not permitted in public shelters. . open windows. Lock your home. especially those who are elderly or disabled.

You may need gas for heating and cooking. and only a professional can restore gas service in your home once it’s been turned off. Close the fireplace damper. However. Shut off water and electricity before leaving. and make sure the radio is working. and may seep into basements even if the windows are closed. Keep listening to your radio or television until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate. Get your disaster supplies kit.• • • Use travel routes specified by local authorities. Have planned routes out of any possible danger areas. Local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in your community. don’t use shortcuts because certain areas may be impassable or dangerous. Adults may also need to give themselves a break from watching disturbing footage. North. especially if the news reports show images over and over again about the same incident. Leave natural gas service ON unless local officials advise you otherwise. In a disaster situation it could take weeks for a professional to respond. So you may want to make some arrangements to take turns listening to the news with other adult members of your household. and think the event is happening again and again. unedited footage of terrorism events and people’s reaction to those events can be very upsetting. Staying tuned to local radio and television. listening to local radio and television reports will provide you with the most accurate information from responsible governmental authorities on what’s happening and what actions you will need to take. We do not recommend that children watch television news reports about such events. In the case of a chemical threat. Go to an interior room without windows that’s above ground level. Plane for leaving in any direction. especially to children. Additional Steps You Can Take Raw. Turn off all fans. you need to tend to your own well-being first and then consider first aid for others immediately around you. Young children do not realize that it is repeated video footage. Stay away from downed power lines. heating and air conditioning systems. To enroll in a first aid and AED/CPR course. If you’re sure you have time …additional emergency preparedness actions • • • • • • • Call your family contact to tell them where you are going and when you expect to arrive. Close and lock all windows and exterior doors. . Your local authorities will provide you with the most accurate information specific to an event in your area. In an emergency situation. Another useful preparation includes learning some basic first aid. South. and following their instructions is your safest choice. if instructed to do so. seal all cracks around the door and any vents into the room. including possibly assisting injured people to evacuate a building if necessary. an above-ground location is preferable because some chemicals are heavier than air. Using duct tape. contact your local American Red Cross chapter. Listen to local authorities. East or West.

The Washington Post reported in March 2002 that the Bush administration’s consensus view was that Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda terrorist network probably had such often-stolen radioactive contaminants as strontium 90 and cesium 137. such as dynamite.” and the harmful effects of radiation from such an event. the regular explosive would simply disperse the radioactive material packed into the bomb. It does not include the fission products necessary to create a large blast like those seen in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.People who may have come into contact with a biological or chemical agent may need to go through a decontamination procedure and receive medical attention. Emergency preparedness – Each Persons Responsibility Don’t wait until disaster strikes to realize the benefits of a good emergency preparedness plan. Begin gathering the items you will need and going over your plan with all family members. A dirty bomb is designed to spread radioactive material and contaminate a small area. or radiological dispersion device. The idea behind a dirty bomb is to blast radioactive material into the area around the explosion. only call 9-1-1 about life-threatening emergencies. As emergency services will likely be overwhelmed. homeland security officials worried that al . possibly through the use of a “dirty bomb. which could be used to make a dirty bomb. The hard part is acquiring the radioactive material. In late December 2003. Listen to the advice of local officials on the radio or television to determine what steps you will need to take to protect yourself and your family. is a bomb that combines conventional explosives. What is a Dirty Bomb A dirty bomb. The main purpose of a dirty bomb is to frighten people and make buildings or land unusable for a long period of time. with radioactive materials in the form of powder or pellets. at regular intervals. No special assembly is required. people have expressed concern about the possibility of a terrorist attack involving radioactive materials. This fact sheet was prepared to help people understand what a dirty bomb is and how it may affect their health. British officials found documents in the Afghan city of Herat that led them to conclude that al Qaeda had successfully built a small dirty bomb. Dirty bomb versus atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki The atomic explosions that occurred in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were conventional nuclear weapons involving a fission reaction. not building the bomb. This could possibly cause buildings and people to be exposed to radioactive material. In January 2003. How much expertise does it take to make a dirty bomb? Not much more than it takes to make a conventional bomb. Explosive Devices and Weapons DIRTY BOMB Because of recent terrorist events.

and at food irradiation plants. Is a dirty bomb a nuclear weapon? No. The relative ease of constructing such weapons makes them a particularly worrisome threat. inspect welding seams. Low-level radioactive sources are found in hospitals. . experts say. Moreover. there is a greater chance that the radioactive materials used in a dirty bomb would come from low-level radioactive sources. Sources of the radioactive material in Dirty Bombs There has been a lot of speculation about where terrorists could get radioactive material to place in a dirty bomb. increased security at these facilities makes obtaining materials from them more difficult. The sources in these areas are used to diagnose and treat illnesses. the less damage caused. Nuclear weapons involve a complex nuclear-fission reaction and are thousands of times more devastating. the Post reported. Gauging how much radiation might be present is difficult when the source of the radiation is unknown. Not all dirty bombs are equally dangerous: the cruder the weapon. We don’t know if terrorists could handle and detonate high-grade radioactive material without fatally injuring themselves first. at the levels created by most probable sources. counterterrorism experts say. The Department of Energy sent scores of undercover nuclear scientists with radiation detection equipment to key locations in five major U. Depending on the sophistication of the bomb. Even so. on construction sites. not enough radiation would be present in a dirty bomb to cause severe illness from exposure to radiation. But panic over radioactivity and evacuation measures could snarl a city. expertise matters. and the speed with which the area of the attack was evacuated. the primary danger from a dirty bomb would be the blast itself. However. However. the number of deaths and injuries from a dirty bomb explosion might not be substantially greater than from a conventional bomb explosion.S. wind conditions. which could paralyze a local economy and reinforce public fears about being near a radioactive area.Qaeda would detonate a dirty bomb during New Year’s Eve celebrations or college football bowl games. but more because of its capacity to cause terror and disruption than its ability to inflict heavy casualties. The most harmful radioactive materials are found in nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons sites. according to The Washington Post. cities. Because of the dangerous and difficult aspects of obtaining high-level radioactive materials from a nuclear facility. Is a dirty bomb a weapon of mass destruction? Yes. the area struck would be off-limits for at least several months—possibly years—during cleanup efforts. sterilize equipment. Dangers of a dirty bomb If low-level radioactive sources were to be used. and irradiate food to kill harmful microbes.

subways. Do not take public or private transportation such as buses. * Even if people do not know whether radioactive materials were present. Taking potassium iodide (KI) Potassium iodide. Iraq abandoned any further use of the device. they will be able to tell people whether radiation was involved. or cars because if radioactive materials were involved. if people hear that a radioactive cloud is coming their way) or immediately after exposure to be effective. Also. What people should do following the explosion of a dirty bomb * Radiation cannot be seen. Removing clothing will remove most of the contamination caused by external exposure to radioactive materials. smelled. * Remove their clothes as soon as possible. only protects a person’s thyroid gland from exposure to radioactive iodine. Washing will reduce the amount of radioactive contamination on the body and will effectively reduce total exposure. * Go inside the nearest building. Since there is no way to know at the time of an incident whether radioactive iodine was used in the explosive device. they may contaminate cars or the public transportation system. KI will not protect a person from other radioactive materials or protect other parts of the body from exposure to radiation. If people are not too severely injured by the initial blast. Thus. place them in a plastic bag. also called KI. if people are present at the scene of an explosion from a suspected dirty bomb. Staying inside will reduce people’s exposure to any radioactive material from a dirty bomb that may be on dust at the scene. If a radioactive material was released. KI can be dangerous to some people. or tasted by humans. following these simple steps can help reduce their injury from other chemicals that might have been present in the blast. . It must be taken prior to exposure (for example. people will be told where to report for radiation monitoring and blood tests to determine whether they were exposed to the radiation as well as what steps to take to protect their health. they should: * Leave the immediate area on foot. Once emergency personnel can assess the scene and the damage. felt. Saving the contaminated clothing would allow testing for exposure without invasive sampling.Past use of dirty bombs According to a United Nations report. Do not panic. they will not know whether radioactive materials were involved at the time of the explosion. * Take a shower or wash themselves as best they can. Taking KI is not recommended unless there is a risk of exposure to radioactive iodine. Therefore. * Be on the lookout for information. Iraq tested a dirty bomb device in 1987 but found that the radiation levels were too low to cause significant damage. taking KI would probably not be beneficial. and seal it. If radioactive materials were involved Keep televisions or radios tuned to local news networks.

measured in psi (pounds per square inch). and alpha particles. there’s the wall of pressure that expands outward from the explosion. gamma rays. that blows away the walls from buildings. Another penetrating form of radiation is gamma rays. The wind speed following a 20 psi blast would be 500 mph! Direct Nuclear Radiation A nuclear detonation creates several forms of nuclear. the design of the device. These tiny “missiles” can easily penetrate solid objects. And that’s only at 5 psi. having ranges of several meters and several centimeters. Other forms are direct nuclear radiation and thermal radiation. (Download the QuickTime movie entitled house to see an example of a building subjected to this type of pressure. or ionizing. but still a destructive result. radiation. One form is the explosive blast. though. There are two components to a blast’s shock wave. NUCLEAR Effects of a Nuclear Explosion Damage caused by nuclear explosions can vary greatly. night or day. Both of these types of radiation can be deadly. respectively. beta particles. whether it’s winter or summer. Being at the site where a dirty bomb exploded does not guarantee that people were exposed to the radioactive material.) Additionally. the geography surrounding the target. which are energetic photons. either directly or indirectly. Doctors will be able to assess risks after the exposure level has been determined. . the type of nuclear fuel used. Alpha particles can cause harm only if they are ingested. depending on the weapon’s yield (measured in kilotons or megatons). it will not be clear whether they were exposed. Until doctors are able to check people’s skin with sensitive radiation detection devices. It is this pressure. And then there’s radioactive fallout — not exactly energy released by the explosion. A typical two-story house subjected to 5 psi would feel the force of 180 tons on the side facing the blast. Neutrons are heavy particles that are released from atoms’ nuclei. whether it’s exploded in the air or at earth’s surface. Just because people are near a radioactive source for a short time or get a small amount of radioactive material on them does not mean that they will get cancer. windy or calm. Beta and alpha particles are less dangerous. hazy or clear.Risk of cancer from a dirty bomb Some cancers can be caused by exposure to radiation. The nuclear fission (atom splitting) and nuclear fusion (atom combining) that occur to produce the explosion release. First. the blast creates a 160 mile-an-hour wind. Whatever the factors. Explosive Blast Much of the damage inflicted by a nuclear explosion is the result of its shock wave. neutrons. the explosion will release several distinct forms of energy.

Earth and debris — made radioactive by the nuclear explosion — rises up. where they could remain for tens of years. has about 80 times the blast power of that 1945 explosion. The rim of this crater is 1. . you’d have little hope of surviving the blast. but some travels high into the atmosphere. In addition to being intensely bright.Thermal Radiation You don’t have to be close to ground zero to view the bright flash created by the exploding bomb. At 1. Nothing recognizable remains within about 3. this radiation is intensely hot (hence the name “thermal”). The intense heat would also ignite a “mass fire” — i. the thermal radiation will cause third-degree burns — a much more serious injury that would require prompt medical attention. A 1 megaton hydrogen bomb. the remains of some buildings’ foundations. In fact. except. only some of the strongest buildings — those made of reinforced.7 miles 12 pounds per square inch At the center lies a crater 200 feet deep and 1000 feet in diameter.. And if you’re five miles away. or 20 miles away? And what about radioactive fallout? Learn about a nuclear weapon’s “zones of destruction” — choose between a relatively small detonation at earth’s surface. Radius of destructive circle: 1. poured concrete — are still standing.6 miles) from the center. perhaps.000 feet wide and is composed of highly radioactive soil and debris. hypothetically detonated on the earth’s surface. if a thermonuclear bomb exploded close to your home. the heat emanating from the fireball will cause a first-degree burn (equivalent to a bad sunburn) to any exposed skin facing the light. a fire that could cause large areas to simultaneously burst into flames. which will produce substantial fallout. If you’re six miles away. months. days. some of the particles rising up through the mushroom will enter the stratosphere. Much of this material falls directly back down close to ground zero within several minutes after the explosion. If you’re seven miles away from a one megaton explosion.500 tons of TNT. forming the mushroom cloud’s stem. Fallout You’ve seen the image: a mushroom cloud created by a nuclear explosion.e. Ninety-eight percent of the population in this area are dead. it will cause second-degree burns. Produced with a detonation at or near the earth’s surface. This material will be dispersed over the earth during the following hours.7 miles. 1 Megaton Surface Blast: Pressure Damage The fission bomb detonated over Hiroshima had an explosive blast equivalent to 12. and an especially destructive large detonation at high altitude. Obviously. But what if one exploded 5 miles away. The flash from a bomb has been viewed from hundreds of miles away. this type of explosion results in farranging radioactive fallout.200 feet (0.

Radius: 2.7 miles 5 psi Virtually everything is destroyed between the 12 and 5 psi rings. The walls of typical multi-story buildings, including apartment buildings, have been completely blown out. The bare, structural skeletons of more and more buildings rise above the debris as you approach the 5 psi ring. Single-family residences within this this area have been completely blown away — only their foundations remain. Fifty percent of the population between the 12 and 5 psi rings are dead. Forty percent are injured. Radius: 4.7 miles 2 psi Any single-family residences that have not been completely destroyed are heavily damaged. The windows of office buildings have been blown away, as have some of their walls. The contents of these buildings’ upper floors, including the people who were working there, are scattered on the street. A substantial amount of debris clutters the entire area. Five percent of the population between the 5 and 2 psi rings are dead. Forty-five percent are injured. Radius: 7.4 miles 1 psi Residences are moderately damaged. Commercial buildings have sustained minimal damage. Twenty-five percent of the population between the 2 and 1 psi rings have been injured, mainly by flying glass and debris. Many others have been injured from thermal radiation — the heat generated by the blast. The remaining seventy-five percent are unhurt. 1 Megaton Surface Blast: Fallout One of the effects of nuclear weapons detonated on or near the earth’s surface is the resulting radioactive fallout. Immediately after the detonation, a great deal of earth and debris, made radioactive by the blast, is carried high into the atmosphere, forming a mushroom cloud. The material drifts downwind and gradually falls back to earth, contaminating thousands of square miles. This page describes the fallout pattern over a seven-day period. Assumptions Wind speed: 15 mph Wind direction: due east Time frame: 7 days 3,000 Rem* Distance: 30 miles Much more than a lethal dose of radiation. Death can occur within hours of exposure. About 10 years will need to pass before levels of radioactivity in this area drop low enough to be considered safe, by U.S. peacetime standards.

900 Rem Distance: 90 miles A lethal dose of radiation. Death occurs from two to fourteen days. 300 Rem Distance: 160 miles Causes extensive internal damage, including harm to nerve cells and the cells that line the digestive tract, and results in a loss of white blood cells. Temporary hair loss is another result. 90 Rem Distance: 250 miles Causes a temporary decrease in white blood cells, although there are no immediate harmful effects. Two to three years will need to pass before radioactivity levels in this area drop low enough to be considered safe, by U.S. peacetime standards. *Rem: Stands for “roentgen equivalent man.” This is a measurement used to quantify the amount of radiation that will produce certain biological effects. 25 Megaton Air Blast: Pressure Damage Radius of destructive circle: 6.5 miles 12 pounds per square inch The remains of some buildings’ foundations are visible. Some of the strongest buildings — those made of reinforced, poured concrete — are still standing. Ninety-eight percent of the population within this area are dead. Radius: 10.7 miles 5 psi Virtually everything is destroyed between the 12 and 5 psi rings. The walls of typical multi-story buildings, including apartment buildings, are completely blown out. As you move from the center toward the 5 psi ring there are more structural skeletons of buildings standing. Single-family residences within this this area have been completely blown away — only their foundations remain. Fifty percent of the population between the 12 and 5 psi rings are dead. Forty percent are injured. Radius: 20 miles 2 psi Any single-family residences that are not completely destroyed are heavily damaged. The windows of office buildings have been blown away, as have some of their walls. The contents of these buildings’ upper floors, including the people who were working there, are scattered on the street. A substantial amount of debris clutters the entire area. Five percent of the population between the 5 and 2 psi rings are dead. Forty-five percent are injured.

Radius: 30.4 miles 1 psi Residences are moderately damaged. Commercial buildings have sustained minimal damage. Twenty-five percent of the population between the 2 and 1 psi rings are injured, mainly by flying glass and debris. Many others have been injured from thermal radiation — the heat generated by the blast. The remaining seventy-five percent are unhurt. NOTE: This information has been drawn mainly from “The Effects of Nuclear War” (Washington: Office of Technology Assessment, Congress of the United States, 1979) and the PBS Special “Race For The Super bomb” The zones of destruction described on this page are broad generalizations and do not take into account factors such as weather and geography of the target. WHAT TYPES OF TERRORIST EVENTS MIGHT INVOLVE RADIATION?

Possible terrorist events could involve introducing radioactive material into the food or water supply, using explosives (like dynamite) to scatter radioactive materials (called a “dirty bomb”), bombing or destroying a nuclear facility, or exploding a small nuclear device. Although introducing radioactive material into the food or water supply most likely would cause great concern or fear, it probably would not cause much contamination or increase the danger of adverse health effects. Although a dirty bomb could cause serious injuries from the explosion, it most likely would not have enough radioactive material in a form that would cause serious radiation sickness among large numbers of people. However, people who were exposed to radiation scattered by the bomb could have a greater risk of developing cancer later in life, depending on their dose. A meltdown or explosion at a nuclear facility could cause a large amount of radioactive material to be released. People at the facility would probably be contaminated with radioactive material and possibly be injured if there was an explosion. Those people who received a large dose might develop acute radiation syndrome. People in the surrounding area could be exposed or contaminated. Clearly, an exploded nuclear device could result in a lot of property damage. People would be killed or injured from the blast and might be contaminated by radioactive material. Many people could have symptoms of acute radiation syndrome. After a nuclear explosion, radioactive fallout would extend over a large region far from the point of impact, potentially increasing people’s risk of developing cancer over time.

How Can I Protect Myself During a Radiation Emergency? • After a release of radioactive materials, local authorities will monitor the levels of radiation and determine what protective actions to take.

• •

The most appropriate action will depend on the situation. Tune to the local emergency response network or news station for information and instructions during any emergency. If a radiation emergency involves the release of large amounts of radioactive materials, you may be advised to “shelter in place,” which means to stay in your home or office; or you may be advised to move to another location. If you are advised to shelter in place, you should do the following: o Close and lock all doors and windows. o Turn off fans, air conditioners, and forced-air heating units that bring in fresh air from the outside. Only use units to recirculate air that is already in the building. o Close fireplace dampers. o If possible, bring pets inside. o Move to an sealed room or basement. o Keep your radio tuned to the emergency response network or local news to find out what else you need to do. If you are advised to evacuate, follow the directions that your local officials provide. Leave the area as quickly and orderly as possible. In addition o Take your Go Pack. o Take pets only if you are using your own vehicle and going to a place you know will accept animals. Emergency vehicles and shelters usually will not accept animals.

What is Radiation?
• • •

Radiation is a form of energy that is present all around us. Different types of radiation exist, some of which have more energy than others. Amounts of radiation released into the environment are measured in units called curies. However, the dose of radiation that a person receives is measured in units called rem.

For more information about radiation, check the following Web sites: www.epa.gov/radiation, www.orau.gov/reacts/define.htm How Can Exposure Occur?

People are exposed to small amounts of radiation every day, both from naturally occurring sources (such as elements in the soil or cosmic rays from the sun), and man-made sources. Man-made sources include some electronic equipment (such as microwave ovens and television sets), medical sources (such as x-rays, certain diagnostic tests, and treatments), and from nuclear weapons testing. The amount of radiation from natural or man-made sources to which people are exposed is usually small; a radiation emergency (such as a nuclear power plant accident or a terrorist event) could expose people to small or large doses of radiation, depending on the situation.

• • •

Scientists estimate that the average person in the United States receives a dose of about one-third of a rem per year. About 80% of human exposure comes from natural sources and the remaining 20% comes from man-made radiation sources – mainly medical x-rays. Internal exposure refers to radioactive material that is taken into the body through breathing, eating, or drinking. External exposure refers to an exposure to a radioactive source outside of our bodies. Contamination refers to particles of radioactive material that are deposited anywhere that they are not supposed to be, such as on an object or on a person’s skin.

Health Effects of Radiation Exposure
• •

Radiation affects the body in different ways, but the adverse health consequences of exposure may not be seen for many years. Adverse health effects range from mild effects, such as skin reddening, to serious effect such as cancer and death. These adverse health effects are determined by the amount of radiation absorbed by the body (the dose), the type of radiation, the route of exposure, and the length of time a person is exposed. Acute radiation syndrome (ARS), or radiation sickness, is usually caused when a person receives a high dose of radiation to much of the body in a matter of minutes. Survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs and firefighters responding to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant event in 1986 experienced ARS. The immediate symptoms of ARS are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea; later, bone marrow depletion may lead to weight loss, loss of appetite, feeling like you have the flu, infection, and bleeding. The survival rate depends on the radiation dose. For those who do survive, full recovery takes from a few weeks to 2 years. Children exposed to radiation may be more at risk than adults. Radiation exposure to the unborn child is of special concern because the human embryo or fetus is extremely sensitive to radiation. Radiation exposure, like exposure to the sun, is cumulative.

Protecting Against Radiation Exposure The three basic ways to reduce radiation exposure are through: TIME

Decrease the amount of time you spend near the source of radiation.

DISTANCE

Increase your distance from a radiation source.

SHIELDING

Increase the shielding between you and the radiation source. Shielding is anything that creates a barrier between people and the radiation source.

” Another portable weapon is a “backpack” bomb. Some sort of firing unit and a device that would need to be decoded to cause detonation may be included in the “suitcase. depending on the efficiency of the explosion. It has a 3-to-5 kiloton yield. SUITCASE NUKES A suitcase nuke or suitcase bomb is a very compact and portable nuclear weapon and could have the dimensions of 60 x 40 x 20 centimeters or 24 x 16 x 8 inches. Being inside a building or a vehicle can provide shielding from some kinds of radiation. The Soviet nuclear backpack system was made in the 1960s for use against NATO targets in time of war and consists of three “coffee can-sized” aluminum canisters in a bag.1 cm across. which. It’s kept powered during storage by a battery line connected to the canisters. The detonator is about 6 inches long. The Pu-239 weighs 10. These types of weapons can also be as big as two footlockers. The warhead of a suitcase nuke or suitcase bomb consists of a tube with two pieces of uranium. Effects External radiation occurs when either part of or all of the body is exposed from an external source. such as when a person is standing near the site of where a radiological .5 kg and is 10. would cause a blast. when rammed together. It doesn’t take much more than a single critical mass to cause significant explosions ranging from 10-20 tons. The smallest possible bomb-like object would be a single critical mass of plutonium (or U-233) at maximum density under normal conditions.Depending on the type of radiation. the shielding can range from something as thin as a plate of window glass or as thick as several feet of concrete. All three must be connected to make a single unit in order to explode.

therefore they represent a major external threat. Alpha radiation travels a very short distance through the air and can’t penetrate the skin. about 95 percent of external radioactive material can be removed by taking off the victim’s clothing and shoes and washing with water. fatigue. but can be harmful if inhaled. A mix of physical symptoms must be used to judge the seriousness of exposure. Radiation in the first hour after an explosion is about 90 percent. Over time. thyroid or kidney. Treatment of a victim within the first six weeks to two months after exposure is vital and is determined by what types of radioactive isotopes to which the victim was exposed. which can be absorbed by the body or can pass completely through it. Further decontamination may require the use of bleaches or other mild abrasives. extensive medical treatment may be needed for more than two months after exposure. In the case of treatable victims. Those farther away from the explosion might suffer radiation sickness in the days and weeks afterward. swallowed or absorbed through open wounds. but perhaps only slightly. gut or wounds. Treatment If detection and decontamination occurs soon after exposure. but recover. headache. diarrhea. Some symptoms may include vomiting. reoccurring bleeding and hair loss. Beta radiation can travel meters in air and can moderately penetrate human skin. tissues and organs such as bone. weakness. Incorporation of radioactive material occurs when body cells.device such as a suitcase bomb or suitcase nuke is set off and he or she is exposed to radiation. This happens when body parts such as the skin become contaminated and/or if the harmful material gets inside the body via the lungs. liver. liquids or gases are released into the air and contaminate people externally. Dense material is needed as a shield. Some survivors of the blast might die of radiation poisoning in the weeks afterward. Impact of radiation poisoning also changes if the body has experienced burns or physical trauma. risks of cancer in the affected area would rise. internally or both. thermal burn-like skin effects. are contaminated. Gamma radiation can travel many meters in the air and many centimeters once in human tissue. but clothing and some protection can help. Symptoms People in the immediate vicinity of a suitcase nuke or suitcase bomb detonation would likely die from the force of the conventional explosion itself. . Contamination occurs when radioactive materials in the form of solids. Radiation only drops to trace levels after 300 hours. with it going down to about 1 percent of the original level after two days. secondary infections.

Mobilizing agents such as ammonium chloride. At School Follow existing evacuation guidelines. expectorants and inhalants are given to a patient to force the tissues to release the harmful isotopes. EMS. In Public Leave the area immediately. diuretics. This document focuses on common sense principles that will be useful in a bombing event. bombs are used most frequently. these agents bind with some metals more strongly than others to form a stable complex that. At Work Follow existing evacuation guidelines. What should I do if I think someone is going to set off a bomb? At Home Leave the area immediately. Call 9-1-1. packages. among other things. or vehicles). when soluble. Federal Bureau of Investigation. to decrease absorption. or from neighborhood leaders). According to the U. It includes stomach pumping or giving the victim laxatives or aluminum antacids. If radioactive material is ingested. treatment includes giving the patient various blocking and diluting agents. or military personnel. fire. Follow directions from people in authority (police. EMS. When ingested. Follow directions from people in authority (police. or from workplace supervisors). If radioactive material has gotten into a victim’s internal organs and tissues. What should I do during a terrorist bombing? If you are in a bombing event: . WHAT TO DO IN A BOMBING Although terrorists use a variety of methods to inflict harm and create fear. S. or from community leaders). Other treatments involve chelating agents. EMS. Call 9-1-1. Tell the operator what you saw or know (suspicious persons. and its territories between 1980 and 2001. such as potassium iodide. fire. or military personnel. or military personnel.S. or vehicles). is more easily excreted through the kidneys. Follow directions from people in authority (police. Open wounds are usually irrigated to cleanse them of any radioactive traces. Amputation of limbs may occur if a wound is highly contaminated and functional recovery isn’t likely. fire. or military personnel. EMS. treatment is given to reduce absorption and enhance excretion and elimination. or from school administrators).Medical personnel will treat victims for hemorrhage and shock. fire. packages. Tell the operator what you saw or know (suspicious persons. Follow directions from people in authority (police. bombings accounted for nearly 70 percent of all terrorist attacks in the U.

Do not try to manage the situation alone. EMS. Most (about 95%) anthrax infections occur when the bacterium enters a cut or abrasion on the skin.• • • • • • • Leave the area immediately. but only if police. Skin infection begins as a raised bump that resembles a spider bite. or leather from infected animals. and regional lymphadenopathy. headache. Deaths are rare if patients are given appropriate antimicrobial therapy. but patients also may have fever. or from school or workplace supervisors). Unattended cars and trucks may contain explosives. seek help. The incubation period ranges from 1-12 days. The number of spores that cause human infection is unknown. These symptoms may progress to respiratory failure and shock with meningitis frequently developing. hides. Stay away from damaged buildings to avoid falling glass and bricks. or military personnel. muscle aches and malaise. usually 1-3 cm in diameter. It is associated with . The incubation period of inhalational anthrax among humans is unclear. Follow directions from people in authority (police. Avoid unattended cars and trucks. The lesion is usually painless. Inhalational anthrax is the most lethal form of anthrax. with a characteristic black necrotic (dying) area in the center. What are the signs and symptoms of anthrax? Symptoms of disease vary depending on how the disease was contracted. Move at least 10 blocks or 200 yards away from damaged buildings. Avoid crowds. or EMS has not arrived. Crowds of people may be targeted for a second attack. mild fever. Cutaneous anthrax is the most common naturally occurring type of infection (>95%) and usually occurs after skin contact with contaminated meat. progresses to a vesicle in 1-2 days followed by a necrotic ulcer. Gastrointestinal anthrax usually follows the consumption of raw or undercooked contaminated meat and has an incubation period of 1-7 days. Anthrax spores must be aerosolized in order to cause inhalational anthrax. Help others who are hurt or need assistance to leave the area if you are able. The skin infection begins as a small papule. Chemical and Biological Weapons ANTHRAX Anthrax infection is a disease that can be acquired following the intentional release of anthrax spores as a biological weapon. but symptoms usually occur within 7 days. fire. malaise. About 20% of untreated cases of cutaneous anthrax will result in death. If you see someone who is seriously injured. possibly ranging up to 60 days. It resembles a viral respiratory illness and initial symptoms include sore throat. fire. but it is reported to range from 1 to 7 days. but (within 1-2 days) it develops into a vesicle and then a painless ulcer. Lymph glands in the adjacent area may swell. wool. Call 9-1-1 once you are in a safe area.

a runny nose is a rare feature of anthrax. This means that a person who has a runny nose along with other common influenza-like symptoms is by far more likely to have the common cold than to have anthrax. or diarrhea A sore. In addition..severe abdominal distress followed by fever and signs of septicemia. which include fever. loss of appetite. especially on your face. people older than 65 years old or younger people with chronic disease such as diabetes or heart disease). shortness of breath. muscle aches Sore throat. Influenza (flu) and inhalation anthrax can have similar symptoms. and bloody diarrhea. most illnesses with flu-like symptoms are not either the flu or anthrax. arms or hands. On the other hand. The flu vaccine is the best protection you can get to prevent the flu and its severe complications. The flu shot can prevent 70%-90% of flu infections. especially among those who are at the highest risk (e. loss of appetite. and headaches. headache. Many illnesses (including anthrax) begin with flu-like symptoms. fatigue. However. The disease can take an oropharyngeal or abdominal form. chest discomfort. nausea. usually a non-productive cough. body aches. Is there a way to distinguish between early inhalational anthrax and flu? Early inhalational anthrax symptoms can be similar to those of much more common infections. The fever may be accompanied by chills or night sweats. Flu-like symptoms Cough. Does CDC recommend that I get a flu shot to help diagnose anthrax? You should get a flu shot only to prevent the flu. What specific symptoms should I watch for? People should watch for the following symptoms: • • • • • Fever (temperature greater than 100 degrees F). most people with inhalational anthrax have high white blood cell counts and no increase in the number of lymphocytes.g. that starts as a raised bump and develops into a painless ulcer with a black area in the center. and regional lymphadenopathy. vomiting blood. abdominal distress. sore throat. tiredness. fever. followed by abdominal pain. vomiting and fever. dysphagia. enlarged lymph nodes. people with infections such as flu usually have low white blood cell counts and an increase in the number of lymphocytes. followed by difficulty swallowing. Lower bowel inflammation usually causes nausea. vomiting. . CDC does not recommend you get the flu shot so doctors can tell whether you have the flu or anthrax. Involvement of the pharynx is usually characterized by lesions at the base of the tongue. In fact. but it will not prevent illnesses with flu-like symptoms caused by anything other than influenza.

Spores themselves are too small to be seen by the naked eye.usps. Is there a quick test that doctors can do to tell whether I have anthrax or an illness like the flu? Some influenza detection tests give results fairly quickly. However. CT scans can confirm these abnormalities. Chest X-rays showed that all patients with inhalational anthrax have some abnormality.htm. but have been mixed with powder to transport them. (See http://www. the illness cannot be transmitted from person to person. However. Can the presence of Bacillus anthracis spores be detected by a characteristic appearance.g. although for some patients. or taste? Bacillus anthracis spores do not have a characteristic appearance (e.S. as many as 30% of samples that test positive for influenza by viral culture may give a negative rapid test result. such as fever and muscle aches. these tests are not perfect and are not appropriate for every patient. The U.. Patients with cutaneous anthrax have reported case fatality rates of 20% without antibiotic treatment and less than 1% with it. For gastrointestinal anthrax. in most cases anthrax can be distinguished from the flu because the flu has additional symptoms. Postal Service advises that individuals be suspicious of letters or packages with any powdery substance on them. Is anthrax contagious? No. and early treatment of all forms is important for recovery. approximately 75%. Estimates of the impact of the delay in post exposure prophylaxis or treatment on survival are not known. viral culture provides results in 3-10 days.) What would be the approximate size of enough Bacillus anthracis spores to cause infection? They could not be seen by the naked eye but could be seen under a microscope. even with all possible supportive care including appropriate antibiotics. However. the case-fatality rate is estimated to be 25%-60% and the effect of early antibiotic treatment on that case-fatality rate is not defined.gov/news/2001/press/pr01_1010tips. What are the case fatality rates for the various forms of anthrax? Early treatment of cutaneous anthrax is usually curative. regardless of color. odor. Although case-fatality estimates for inhalational anthrax are based on incomplete information. In previous reports of anthrax . the rate is extremely high. How can I know my cold or flu this season is not anthrax? Many human illnesses begin with what are commonly referred to as “flu-like” symptoms. the abnormality was subtle. smell. color). some rapid test results may indicate influenza when a person is not infected with influenza. Rapid influenza tests can provide results within 24 hours. And. Anthrax is not contagious.Chest X-rays are also critical diagnostic tools. or taste.

cases. or gastrointestinal). Does ciprofloxacin have an expiration date? Yes. What is cipro (ciprofloxacin)? Ciprofloxacin. inhalational. How is anthrax diagnosed? Anthrax is diagnosed by isolating B. .gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5041a1. synthetic antimicrobial agent active against several microorganisms.cdc. The use of ciprofloxacin is warranted only under the strict supervision of a physician. contact your pharmacist directly. either at the same time or at different times. anthracis may be found in the MMWR at http:// www. and rash.htm. providers should confirm the diagnosis by obtaining the appropriate laboratory specimens based on the clinical form of anthrax that is suspected (i.e. Cutaneous – vesicular fluid and blood Inhalational – blood. In patients with symptoms compatible with anthrax. blurred vision. have expiration dates. anthracis from the blood. Antibiotics. the expiration date should be listed on the bottle. headaches. just like all medicines. early symptoms usually did not include a runny nose. sun sensitivity. can I still get anthrax? Yes. skin lesions. What are the side effects of cipro? Adverse health effects include vomiting. Hypertension. and other central nervous system effects occur in <1% of patients and may be accentuated by caffeine or medications containing theophylline. If you received your ciprofloxacin through a pharmacist. diarrhea. cerebrospinal fluid (if meningeal signs are present) or chest X-ray Gastrointestinal – blood Preventative Therapy What is the therapy for preventing inhalational anthrax? Interim recommendations for post exposure prophylaxis for prevention of inhalational anthrax after intentional exposure to B. or respiratory secretions or by measuring specific antibodies in the blood of persons with suspected cases. If I have the flu. dizziness. If you can’t find it or have questions about the expiration date. is a broad-spectrum. a person could theoretically get both the flu and anthrax.. which is typical of the flu and common cold. cutaneous. or cipro as it is commonly known.

only people who are exposed to anthrax should take antibiotics. People who share the air space within a facility where others have acquired inhalational anthrax. and the clinical setting. As a measure to preserve the effectiveness of ciprofloxacin against anthrax and other infections. . Unvaccinated laboratory workers who have handled powder that has tested positive for B. not viruses or other agents that could also be used in a bioterrorist event. As always. Will antibiotics protect me from a bioterrorist event? Should I stockpile them? CDC does not recommend using antibiotics unless a specific disease has been identified. National and state public health officials have large supplies of needed drugs and vaccines if a bioterrorism event should occur. it can be detrimental to both the individual and to the community. such as bacteria. anthracis. Antibiotics only kill bacteria. Second. People who have been along the transit pathway of an envelope (or other vehicle) containing B. viruses. People who are unsure if they are at risk should discuss any concerns with their healthcare provider or local/state public health department. These supplies can be sent anywhere in the United States within 12 hours. There are several different agents that could be used for bioterrorism. history of reactions. For more information about possible adverse reactions from taking antimicrobial prophylaxis see Update: Investigation of Bioterrorism-Related Anthrax and Adverse Events from Antimicrobial Prophylaxis. 3. and cost. the Federal government can ship appropriate antibiotics from its stockpile to wherever they are needed. Antibiotics are not harmless drugs. Not a single antibiotic (or vaccine) works for all of these agents. anthracis and who may not have used appropriate bio-safety precautions. the selection of the antimicrobial agent for an individual patient should be based on side-effect profiles. anthracis that may have been aerosolized. These people include the following: 1. First. resistance. and indeed.What are the guidelines for changing from ciprofloxacin to another antibiotic? Considerations for choosing an antimicrobial agent include effectiveness. Should people buy and store antibiotics? There is no need to buy or store antibiotics. People who have been exposed to an air space known to have been contaminated with aerosolized B. and health authorities must make that determination. under emergency plans. use of doxycycline for preventive therapy may be preferable. They can cause serious side effects and drug interactions. individuals may not stockpile or store the correct antibiotics. 2. Third. 4. Who should receive antibiotics for 60 days? People at risk for inhalational anthrax should receive 60 days of antibiotics. and toxins. side effects.

More serious side effects include . therapy may be changed to amoxicillin or penicillin. or will change the type of antibiotic. continue taking it for the full number of days. what side effects could I get from taking this antibiotic? Side effects which sometimes occur include nausea. Are there special instructions for taking ciprofloxacin or doxycycline? As with all antibiotics. Talk with your doctor if you have any of these problems while you are taking the antibiotic. or may be switched to an alternative antibiotic. Prophylactic antibiotics are not indicated for the prevention of cutaneous anthrax. giving public health officials important treatment information. Certain foods and medications should not be taken with ciprofloxacin. this should be discussed at the time the antibiotic is prescribed.When is a 60-day prescription of prophylactic antibiotics not needed? People who are determined not to be at risk for inhalational anthrax do not need to take the 60-day course of prophylactic antibiotics. stomach pain. for hospital personnel caring for patients with anthrax. including penicillin and ciprofloxacin. ANTHRAX TREATMENT What if I develop side effects from the antibiotic? If you develop side effects from the antibiotic. After I have started taking ciprofloxacin to protect me from developing anthrax. so that side effects will not occur from the combinations. call your healthcare provider immediately. If you need an extension of the antibiotic at the end of your prescribed number of days. or for persons who routinely open or handle mail if there has not been a credible threat. take the medication according to the schedule you were instructed. local emergency healthcare workers or your healthcare provider will inform and tell you how to get more medicine. and even if you begin to feel better. anthracis. Depending on the type of side effects. If adverse reactions are suspected. They may also tell you to discontinue the antibiotic. Ciprofloxacin also can cause sun sensitivity which increases the chances of sunburn. What are the risks of using tetracyclines and fluoroquinolones in children. are alternatives available? Risks of using tetracyclines and fluoroquinolones in children must be weighed carefully against the risk for developing a life-threatening disease due to B. mild diarrhea. depending on results of laboratory tests. headache and dizziness. Both agents can have adverse health reactions in children. your physician may contact your State Department of Health for consultation on possible alternate antibiotics. If necessary. you may be able to continue taking the medicine. Has CDC tested the anthrax isolates for sensitivity to different antibiotics? Yes. Antibiotic sensitivity testing performed at CDC has determined that the strain of anthrax was sensitive to a wide range of antibiotics.

Why is CDC recommending doxycycline instead of ciprofloxacin for the treatment and prevention of anthrax? Both doxycycline and ciprofloxacin are effective in treating Bacillus anthracis that we are dealing with in these investigations. vomiting. other bacteria they carry in their bodies may develop resistance to fluoroquinolones. including pneumonia.central nervous system side effects such as confusion. closing of the throat. This list is NOT a complete list of side effects reported with ciprofloxacin. Your healthcare provider can discuss with you a more complete list of side effects. sore mouth or throat. and urinary tract infections. or rupture of a tendon is possible and also severe tissue inflammation of the colon could occur. nausea. depression. The number of people who have been exposed to B. Certain foods and medications should not be taken with doxycycline. Your healthcare provider can discuss with you a more complete list of side effects. Call your doctor or seek medical attention right away if you are having any of these side effects. dark urine. Doxycycline is less frequently used for empiric treatment than ciprofloxacin. so that side effects will not occur from the combinations. Pain. liver damage (symptoms are yellowing of the skin or eyes. inflammation. hallucinations. Serious side effects of doxycycline that are possible but uncommon include: life-threatening allergic reaction (symptoms are trouble breathing. closing of the throat. upset stomach. tongue. . loss of appetite. This kind of treatment is known as empiric therapy. and increased risk of seizures. a relatively new class of antibiotics used to treat infections caused by organisms for which doctors do not have information about antimicrobial susceptibility. abdominal pain). and this should be discussed with your healthcare provider at the time the antibiotic is prescribed. This list is NOT a complete list of side effects reported with doxycycline. hives or severe diarrhea. or face. gastrointestinal infections. After I have started taking doxycycline to protect me from developing anthrax. we are now recommending doxycycline in order to prevent other bacteria from developing resistance to ciprofloxacin. Doxycycline also causes sun sensitivity which increases the chances of sunburn. swelling of the lips. tongue. irritation of the esophagus. Although CDC first recommended the use of either drug for post exposure prophylaxis for the prevention of inhalational anthrax. If all those people take ciprofloxacin. nausea. tremors. hives). sensitivity to sunlight. or face. You should talk with your doctor if you have any of these problems while taking doxycycline. High blood pressure and blurred vision are also possible. Ciprofloxacin and other fluoroquinolones are used for empiric treatment for a variety of serious and common infections in the United States. anthracis and need antibiotics has increased dramatically since CDC first issued guidelines for treatment. blood problems (symptoms are unusual bleeding or bruising). Call your doctor or seek medical advice right away if you are having any of these side effects. vaginal yeast infection or itching of the mouth lasting more than 2 days. therefore. Ciprofloxacin is part of the fluoroquinolone family of drugs. Allergic reactions could cause difficulty breathing. what side effects could I get from taking this antibiotic? Less serious side effects include diarrhea. swelling of the lips. potentially limiting the usefulness of these drugs as empiric therapy.

if first-line drugs were not available. those exposed may be instructed to return to a centralized location for additional care or to seek additional care from their primary care providers. the number of days for which antibiotics are prescribed can vary according to the specific situation and person. Additional tests are then conducted of the area where exposure occurred and to determine the extent of exposure. when preliminary tests show that people have been exposed to Bacillus anthracis. there may be biologically mutant strains that are engineered to be resistant to various antibiotics. anthracis is present and which antibiotic would be the most effective in treating the resulting anthrax. Are there different strains of B. there are different strains of Bacillus anthracis. it is recommended that people found to be at risk of inhalation anthrax be prescribed 60 days of antibiotics. . Lastly. Why are people who have been exposed to B. those exposed may be provided with a starter packet of antibiotics. These general procedures may change at any time as new information is gathered. Based on the results of these additional tests. additional antibiotics may be prescribed based on the particular situation and person. Can other fluoroquinolones be used instead of ciprofloxacin for post exposure prophylaxis (PEP)/treatment? Other fluoroquinolones. are not specifically recommended as alternatives to ciprofloxacin because of a lack of sufficient data on their efficacy. these other fluoroquinolones may be effective. the number of people advised to continue prophylaxis may be reduced. In addition. anthracis may be naturally resistant to certain antibiotics and not others. What is the FDA telling physicians and other health professionals about prescriptions for ciprofloxacin? Although FDA does not regulate the practice of medicine. the agency is strongly recommending that physicians not prescribe ciprofloxacin for individual patients to have on hand for possible use against inhaled anthrax.we have fewer concerns regarding this drug and the emergence of new resistant bacteria. As the investigation progresses and a clearer picture of exposure develops. However. anthracis being given antibiotics for different amounts of time? The initial number of people placed on prophylaxis may reflect conservative estimates with wide safety margins based on limited preliminary information. Some strains of B. anthracis? Do they all respond to antibiotics? Yes. such as ofloxacin and levofloxacin. Indiscriminate and widespread use of ciprofloxacin could hasten the development of drug-resistant organisms and lessen the effects of these agents against many infections. As of the last week of October 2001. A laboratory analysis can help to define which strain of B.

Food may help relieve the diarrhea. If your headache does not go away. It takes anthrax spores an average of 7 days to grow into the harmful form of the bacteria. If taking one of the recommended antibiotics makes me feel terrible.Why do I need 60 days of antibiotics? Anthrax spores grow like plant seeds. For this reason. Is there anything I can do to help this? If you don’t have a history of headaches. Ciprofloxacin and doxycycline should not be taken within 2 hours of taking antacids. you should consult your doctor. long-lasting diarrhea. or amoxicillin I am taking gives me diarrhea. Ciprofloxacin and doxycycline should not be taken with dairy or calcium-fortified products (such as ice cream or calcium-fortified orange juice). What happens if I take ciprofloxacin. then your headache may be related to the medicine. The ciprofloxacin I am taking gives me headaches. If you plant seeds and give them sun and water. doxycycline. doxycycline. and then restart the antibiotics? You should complete the 60-day course of antibiotics that you were given. The ciprofloxacin. Pain relievers such as acetaminophen may help your headache. The ciprofloxacin. doxycycline. It is best to take antibiotics as prescribed and not to skip any doses. or amoxicillin for a few days. If the diarrhea does not go away. they can grow into the harmful form of the bacteria that can cause anthrax disease. If you give anthrax spores the right environment. such as the human body. you should ask your doctor about switching antibiotics. . Is there anything I can do to help this? Taking your antibiotic with food may help reduce this sick feeling. causing diarrhea. Changing the time of day that you take the ciprofloxacin or eating after you take the medicine may help. can I switch to another of these antibiotics? If you have tried taking the medicine with food or changing the time of your dose but still feel terrible. they will grow into plants. stop. but it can take longer. Is there anything I can do to help this? Antibiotics may disrupt bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. you must continue taking preventive antibiotics for the full 60 days. If you develop severe. you may have a serious condition and should consult your doctor. or amoxicillin I am taking makes me feel sick to my stomach. your doctor may recommend another antibiotic.

If your body contains anthrax bacteria and you do not take the full dose. The medicine works best when taken every 12 hours. the bacteria may start to grow again and become harder to kill. You should see your doctor immediately. Is there anything I can do to help this? Rashes that appear suddenly or do not go away after a few days may be signs of an allergic reaction. My prescription says to take one pill every 12 hours. is it still okay to take the pill? Yes. you should tell your doctor so that different medicines can be prescribed. call your doctor. or hives is a medical emergency. rash that does not go away. doxycycline. Serious side effects of doxycycline include jaundice (yellow eyes or skin).I am having terrible yeast infections while taking ciprofloxacin. or amoxicillin each day. Is there anything I can take for this? Occasionally. If you drink more than two drinks a day. The ciprofloxacin. which will decrease the effectiveness of the medicine. Any reaction that causes a rapid swelling of the lips and face. If you have any of these effects. mental confusion. or amoxicillin I am taking makes me feel itchy all over. rash that does not go away. It is okay to take the next pill even if 15 hours have elapsed. However. or amoxicillin? Social drinking of alcohol (fewer than 2 drinks a day) should not cause any side effects unless you already have a liver problem. shortness of breath. What side effects are serious enough that I should go to a doctor? Any side effect that forces you not to take your medicine is serious enough that you should consult or see your doctor. You may treat the infection with over-the-counter medicines such as clotrimazole. I feel much better if I take only one pill of ciprofloxacin. you should not make a habit of this. you should consult your doctor. Is that okay? No. However. drinking too much alcohol can cause the medicine to leave your body faster. The drug must be taken twice a day to kill the bacteria. or amoxicillin. call your doctor. doxycycline. You should call 911. If the symptoms do not go away. or excessive diarrhea. Serious side effects of ciprofloxacin include seizures. If 15 hours have passed since my last dose. These types of reactions are extremely rare. doxycycline. or excessive diarrhea. If you have any of these effects. doxycycline. women develop yeast infections while taking amoxicillin. Can I drink alcohol if I am taking ciprofloxacin. .

Doxycycline is available in both tablet and capsule form. and fluoroquinolones (such as ciprofloxacin). Therefore. . Other treatment includes supportive care in hospital. which cause the flu. the antibiotic is there to kill them. or take one large dose of the medicine instead of taking it for 60 days? Spores can stay in your body for some time before they start growing and causing you to become ill. or amoxicillin gave me an allergic reaction and I stopped taking it. Should all patients who have flu-like symptoms be treated with antibiotics? No. anthracis usually responds effectively to several antibiotics including penicillin. Why can’t I take a shot. When the spores are not growing. antibiotic therapy should be initiated as soon as possible after exposure. physicians prescribe antibiotics to treat the disease. To be effective. antibiotics are not effective. Your doctor will prescribe a different antibiotic that will kill the bacteria without causing an allergic reaction. B. Only after the spores start to grow can the antibiotics work. What should I do? If the allergic reaction was severe or rapid.The ciprofloxacin. Both will give you the same amount of medicine in your bloodstream to kill the bacteria. antibiotics are not recommended because the person may experience serious side effects. wear a patch. Also. you should notify your doctor before taking another antibiotic. it is theoretically possible to gain post-infection immunity. taking antibiotics can increase the chance that the medicine will not be as effective against other bacterial infections. Antibiotics do not kill viruses. How do doctors treat inhalational anthrax to reduce the risk of death in patients? When inhalational anthrax is suspected. Is one better than the other? Ciprofloxacin 500 mg and doxycycline 100 mg both have the same killing power in your bloodstream and are equally effective against anthrax bacteria. However. doxycycline. CDC does not recommend treating all patients who have flu-like illness with antibiotics. If the patient is not at risk for developing anthrax. Ciprofloxacin and doxycycline look different and come in different doses. you need a constant level of antibiotic in your body for 60 days to make sure that when the spores start to grow. Remember: you should complete the entire 60 days of treatment even if you change antibiotics. Does a patient have immunity after recovering from anthrax infection? We do not have enough data at this time to make this determination. doxycycline.

radiological and nuclear attack A growing concern among Homeland Security professionals. is that terrorists will someday unleash CBRN materials. there is currently no generic form of ciprofloxacin in the United States. doxycycline. anthracis strains from the recent outbreak have indicated that all the strains are susceptible to ciprofloxacin. Is there a generic form of ciprofloxacin? No. narrower-spectrum drugs. “CBRN” is a term that covers four distinct groups of hazards Chemical. Right now. Overuse of ciprofloxacin could lead to the development of resistance. . highly effective antibiotic that has been part of the “international traveler’s” kit at CDC for at least a year. However. a natural toxin occurring in plants).g. and other antibiotics. Illnesses caused by the deliberate release of dangerous bacteria. Inhaled anthrax spores become lodged in the body and may activate after initial exposure. Besides anthrax. It is necessary to take the medicine for at least 60 days to ensure the best protection against inhalational anthrax. ricin. biological. I took the medicine for a couple weeks. ciprofloxacin is frequently overused for many diseases that can be treated with less powerful. Antibiotics have little or no effect when the spores are inactive. Poisoning or injury caused by chemical substances. including ex-military chemical warfare agents or legitimate but harmful household or industrial chemicals. Biological. Recent laboratory tests using all of the B. most bacteria are susceptible to ciprofloxacin. CBRN CBRN – chemical. or biological toxins (e. what else is ciprofloxacin prescribed for? Has there been resistance to ciprofloxacin when used in other instances (historically)? Ciprofloxacin is a broad-spectrum. which is why we want to be cautious about its use. the antibiotics must be in your system when the spores activate. investigators did not know which drugs would kill the strains of Bacillus anthracis responsible for the outbreak. To be effective in preventing inhalational anthrax. Wouldn’t that weaken any anthrax that’s in my body? You should take the full 60 days of antibiotics even if you feel better. viruses or fungi. It can be used against most bacterial infections. Why was ciprofloxacin ever publicized as the best drug for anthrax? How can we know which antibiotic is best? At the beginning of the recent anthrax outbreak.I was told that I had been exposed to Bacillus anthracis and prescribed antibiotics. in an attack against an unsuspecting public. They used ciprofloxacin because very few bacteria are resistant to it.

or a crystal form such as sodium cyanide (NaCN) or potassium cyanide (KCN). was used as a genocidal agent by the Germans in World War II. initial nuclear radiation. liquids or strange smells within the building. Cyanide is also known by the military designations AN (for hydrogen cyanide) and CK (for cyanogen chloride). Where cyanide is found and how it is used • • • • Cyanide is naturally present in some foods and in certain plants such as cassava. Moreover. . Where terrorists have tried to carry out CBRN attacks. such as hydrogen cyanide (HCN) or cyanogen chloride (CNCl). and plastics. The likelihood of a CBRN attack remains low at this time. and secondary fires caused by the destruction.Radiological (radioactive). under the name Zyklon B. and not everyone can detect this odor. First indicators may be the sudden appearance of powders. CYANIDE What cyanide is: • • • • Cyanide is a rapidly acting. Cyanide gas is used to exterminate pests and vermin in ships and buildings. blast. It is present in the chemicals used to develop photographs. In manufacturing. Combustion products are substances given off when things burn. intense heat (thermal radiation). However. Cyanide is contained in cigarette smoke and the combustion products of synthetic materials such as plastics. with or without an immediate effect on people. fires started by the heat pulse. metal cleaning. but it does not always give off an odor. Death and injury caused from caused from the effects of an explosion that includes blinding light. the exact nature of an incident may not be immediately obvious. you may not receive prior warning of a CBRN incident. The impact of any terrorist CBRN attack would depend heavily on the success of the chosen method of dissemination and the weather conditions at the time of the attack. As with other terrorist attacks. If accidentally ingested (swallowed). Al Qaida and related groups have expressed a serious interest in using CBRN. largely due to the difficulty of obtaining the materials and the complexity of using them effectively. cyanide is used to make paper. Illness caused by exposure to harmful radioactive materials contaminating the environment. textiles. Cyanide salts are used in metallurgy for electroplating. chemicals found in acetonitrile-based products that are used to remove artificial nails can produce cyanide. but should be considered in your preparedness planning. potentially deadly chemical that can exist in various forms. they have generally used relatively simple materials. Cyanide can be a colorless gas. and removing gold from its ore. Hydrogen cyanide. Cyanide gas sometimes is described as having a “bitter almond” smell. Nuclear. CBRN weapons have been little used so far.

or air as a result of both natural processes and industrial activities. cyanide is present mainly as gaseous hydrogen cyanide. In air. soil. Smoking cigarettes is probably one of the major sources of cyanide exposure for people who do not work in cyanide-related industries. Cyanide is more harmful to the heart and brain than other organs because the heart and brain use a lot of oxygen. drinking water. Cyanide gas is less dense than air. Cyanide gas is most dangerous in enclosed places where the gas will be trapped. When this happens. People may be exposed to cyanide by breathing air. eating food. Cyanide prevents the cells of the body from getting oxygen.• Reports have indicated that during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. the route of exposure. Breathing cyanide gas causes the most harm. but ingesting cyanide can be toxic as well. or touching soil that contains cyanide. the cells die. or eating foods that contain it may have some or all of the following symptoms within minutes: o Rapid breathing o Restlessness o Dizziness o Weakness o Headache o Nausea and vomiting o Rapid heart rate Exposure to a large amount of cyanide by any route may cause these other health effects as well: o Convulsions o Low blood pressure o Slow heart rate o Loss of consciousness o Lung injury . How people can be exposed to cyanide • • • Cyanide enters water. Cyanide gas evaporates and disperses quickly in open spaces. Immediate signs and symptoms of cyanide exposure • • People exposed to a small amount of cyanide by breathing it. How cyanide works • • • • • • • Poisoning caused by cyanide depends on the amount of cyanide a person is exposed to. and the length of time that a person is exposed. so it will rise. absorbing it through their skin. hydrogen cyanide gas may have been used along with other chemical agents against the inhabitants of the Kurdish city of Halabja in northern Iraq. making it less harmful outdoors.

get out of the building. stay as low to the ground as possible. How cyanide poisoning is treated Cyanide poisoning is treated with antidotes and supportive medical care. do not induce vomiting or give fluids to drink. seal the clothing in a plastic bag. Dial 911 and explain what has happened. Wait for emergency personnel to arrive. If possible. get fresh air by leaving the area where the cyanide was released. . Moving to an area with fresh air is a good way to reduce the possibility of death from exposure to cyanide gas. If leaving the area that was exposed to cyanide is not an option. The most important thing is for victims to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. most commonly symptoms resembling Parkinson’s disease. o If the cyanide release was indoors. How people can get more information about cyanide People can contact one of the following: • • • • Regional poison control center (1-800-222-1222) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Response Hotline (CDC) o English (888) 246-2675 o Español (888) 246-2857 o TTY (866) 874-2646 Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) (1-888-422-8737) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Remove any clothing that has liquid cyanide on it. and then seal that bag inside a second plastic bag.o Respiratory failure leading to death What the long-term health effects may be Survivors of serious cyanide poisoning may develop delayed neurological effects. o If the cyanide release was outside. Rinse the eyes with plain water for 10 to 15 minutes if they are burning or vision is blurred. move away from the area where the cyanide was released. How people can protect themselves and what they should do if they are exposed to cyanide • • • • • • • • First. Wash any liquid cyanide from the skin thoroughly with soap and water. Seek medical attention right away. If cyanide is known to be ingested (swallowed). Stay calm.

Sulfur mustard vapor can be carried long distances by wind. It can be a vapor (the gaseous form of a liquid). How people are exposed to sulfur mustard • • • • • If sulfur mustard is released into the air as a vapor. or breathing. it killed fewer than 5% of the people who were exposed and got medical care. people can be exposed by drinking the contaminated water or getting it on their skin. Sulfur mustard can be clear to yellow or brown when it is in liquid or solid form. These kinds of agents are called vesicants or blistering agents. Where sulfur mustard is found and how it is used • • Sulfur mustard is not found naturally in the environment. and the length of time that people are exposed. People can be exposed by coming in contact with liquid sulfur mustard. Sulfur mustard is a powerful irritant and blistering agent that damages the skin. HD. Sulfur mustard can last from 1 to 2 days in the environment under average weather conditions and from weeks to months under very cold conditions. the route of exposure. When sulfur mustard was used during World War I. so repeated exposure may have a cumulative effect (that is. or a solid. . because they cause blistering of the skin and mucous membranes on contact. people can be exposed through skin contact. Sulfur mustard sometimes smells like garlic. an oily-textured liquid. Sulfur mustard is also known as “mustard gas or mustard agent. eyes. Until recently. it has no medical use.SULFUR MUSTARD What sulfur mustard is: • • • • Sulfur mustard is a type of chemical warfare agent. and respiratory (breathing) tract. it was available for use in the treatment of a skin condition called psoriasis. How sulfur mustard works • • • • Adverse health effects caused by sulfur mustard depend on the amount people are exposed to. It damages DNA. so it will settle in low-lying areas. If sulfur mustard is released into water. Sulfur mustard breaks down slowly in the body. Currently. Immediate signs and symptoms of sulfur mustard exposure • Exposure to sulfur mustard is usually not fatal.” or by the military designations H. onions. eye contact. a vital component of cells in the body. Sulfur mustard was introduced in World War I as a chemical warfare agent. or mustard and sometimes has no odor. and HT. Sulfur mustard vapor is heavier than air. it can build up in the body).

Dial 911 and explain what has happened. swelling. diarrhea. sneezing. o Eyes: irritation. because sulfur mustard is heavier than air and will settle in low-lying areas. fever. but do protect them with dark glasses or goggles. sinus pain. nausea. do NOT induce vomiting. Do NOT cover eyes with bandages. Getting the sulfur mustard off as soon as possible after exposure is the only effective way to prevent or decrease tissue damage to the body. etc. the best thing to do is avoid it. Typically. hoarseness. rapidly remove the sulfur mustard from the body. o Respiratory tract: runny nose. Depending on the severity of the exposure. bloody nose. If possible. skin. Sulfur mustard can have the following effects on specific parts of the body: o Skin: redness and itching of the skin may occur 2 to 48 hours after exposure and change eventually to yellow blistering of the skin. or blindness (lasting up to 10 days). What the long-term health effects may be • • • • Exposure to sulfur mustard liquid is more likely to produce second. o Digestive tract: abdominal pain. and vomiting. pain. severe pain. Give the person milk to drink.and thirddegree burns and later scarring than is exposure to sulfur mustard vapor.) thoroughly with plain. shortness of breath. Extensive skin burning can be fatal. Try to find higher ground. Immediately leave the area where the sulfur mustard was released. seal the clothing in a plastic bag. because sulfur mustard often has no smell or has a smell that might not cause alarm. and cough within 12 to 24 hours of a mild exposure and within 2 to 4 hours of a severe exposure. Eyes need to be flushed with water for 5 to 10 minutes. and tearing may occur within 3 to 12 hours of a mild to moderate exposure. symptoms may not occur for 2 to 24 hours. If avoiding sulfur mustard exposure is not possible. Quickly remove any clothing that has liquid sulfur mustard on it. Extensive breathing in of the vapors can cause chronic respiratory disease. . A severe exposure may cause symptoms within 1 to 2 hours and may include the symptoms of a mild or moderate exposure plus light sensitivity. Some people are more sensitive to sulfur mustard than are other people. and may have symptoms sooner. and then seal that bag inside a second plastic bag.• • • People may not know right away that they have been exposed. Immediately wash any exposed part of the body (eyes. clean water. Exposure to sulfur mustard may increase a person’s risk for lung and respiratory cancer. signs and symptoms do not occur immediately. How people can protect themselves and what they should do if they are exposed to sulfur mustard • • • • • • Because no antidote exists for sulfur mustard exposure. Extensive eye exposure can cause permanent blindness. repeated respiratory infections. If someone has ingested sulfur mustard. or death. Stay calm.

pestis enter through a break in a person’s skin. chills. Y. It is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Becoming infected in this way usually requires direct and close contact with the ill person or animal.• Wait for emergency personnel to arrive. This type of plague can spread from person to person through the air. This occurs when an infected flea bites a person or when materials contaminated with Y. It can be a complication of pneumonic or bubonic plague or it can occur by itself. Patients develop swollen. tender lymph glands (called buboes) and fever. pestis suspended in respiratory droplets from a person (or animal) with pneumonic plague. buboes do not . however. Exposure to sulfur mustard is treated by giving the victim supportive medical care to minimize the effects of the exposure. Where people can get more information about sulfur mustard For more information about sulfur mustard. it is caused in the same ways as bubonic plague. Even so. pestis infects the lungs. pestis is easily destroyed by sunlight and drying. Pneumonic plague may also occur if a person with bubonic or septicemic plague is untreated and the bacteria spread to the lungs. Pneumonic plague is also spread by breathing in Y. the bacterium will survive for up to one hour. people can contact the following: • • • Regional poison control center (1-800-222-1222) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Response Hotline (CDC) o English (888) 246-2675 o Español (888) 246-2857 o TTY (866) 874-2646 Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) (1-888-422-8737) PNEUMONIC PLAGUE Plague is an infectious disease that affects animals and humans. Septicemic plague occurs when plague bacteria multiply in the blood. although this could vary depending on conditions. Depending on circumstances. Bubonic plague does not spread from person to person. When it occurs alone. How sulfur mustard exposure is treated The most important factor is removing sulfur mustard from the body. and weakness. Bubonic plague is the most common form of plague. which could happen in a bioterrorist attack. headache. Pneumonic plague is one of several forms of plague. Transmission can take place if someone breathes in aerosolized bacteria. including the United States. exposure is usually not fatal. when released into air. This bacterium is found in rodents and their fleas and occurs in many areas of the world. these forms may occur separately or in combination: Pneumonic plague occurs when Y. Though no antidote exists for sulfur mustard.

close contact with infected patients. weakness. buboes do not develop. This occurs when an infected flea bites a person or when materials contaminated with Y. It is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. and . the bacterium will survive for up to one hour. Bubonic plague does not spread from person to person. antibiotics must be given within 24 hours of first symptoms. and chloramphenicol are all effective against pneumonic plague. abdominal pain. and weakness. Bubonic plague is the most common form of plague. It can be a complication of pneumonic or bubonic plague or it can occur by itself. cough. the first signs of illness are fever. When it occurs alone. Patients have fever. pestis suspended in respiratory droplets from a person (or animal) with pneumonic plague. Symptoms and Treatment With pneumonic plague. Becoming infected in this way usually requires direct and close contact with the ill person or animal. and rapidly developing pneumonia with shortness of breath. Early treatment of pneumonic plague is essential. it is caused in the same ways as bubonic plague. patients may die. and rapidly developing pneumonia with shortness of breath. chills. Septicemic plague does not spread from person to person. pestis is easily destroyed by sunlight and drying. This bacterium is found in rodents and their fleas and occurs in many areas of the world. chills. headache. Transmission can take place if someone breathes in aerosolized bacteria. however. including the United States. Without early treatment. Pneumonic plague is one of several forms of plague. This type of plague can spread from person to person through the air. Symptoms and Treatment With pneumonic plague. Plague is an infectious disease that affects animals and humans. Wearing a close-fitting surgical mask also protects against infection. and sometimes bloody or watery sputum. pestis infects the lungs. Antibiotic treatment for 7 days will protect people who have had direct. although this could vary depending on conditions. Streptomycin. Septicemic plague does not spread from person to person. which could happen in a bioterrorist attack. Even so. Depending on circumstances. chest pain. when released into air. the first signs of illness are fever.develop. cough. To reduce the chance of death. chills. prostration. shock. chest pain. prostration. these forms may occur separately or in combination: Pneumonic plague occurs when Y. Y. pestis enter through a break in a person’s skin. and bleeding into skin and other organs. the tetracyclines. headache. tender lymph glands (called buboes) and fever. The pneumonia progresses for 2 to 4 days and may cause respiratory failure and shock. Patients have fever. gentamicin. weakness. Pneumonic plague is also spread by breathing in Y. shock. headache. abdominal pain. Septicemic plague occurs when plague bacteria multiply in the blood. and bleeding into skin and other organs. Pneumonic plague may also occur if a person with bubonic or Septicemic plague is untreated and the bacteria spread to the lungs. Patients develop swollen.

RICIN What Is Ricin? • • • Ricin is a poison that can be made from the waste left over from processing castor beans. A much greater amount would be needed to kill people if the ricin were inhaled (breathed in) or swallowed. such as bone marrow transplants and cancer treatment (to kill cancer cells). and chloramphenicol are all effective against pneumonic plague. Depending on the route of exposure (such as injection). Ricin has some potential medical uses. Wearing a close-fitting surgical mask also protects against infection. People can breathe in ricin mist or powder and be poisoned. Where Is Ricin Found. Ricin can also get into water or food and then be swallowed. A 500-microgram dose of ricin would be about the size of the head of a pin. Antibiotic treatment for 7 days will protect people who have had direct. Streptomycin. Amateurs can make ricin from castor beans. or a pellet or it can be dissolved in water or weak acid. • How Can People Be Exposed to Ricin? • It would take a deliberate act to make ricin and use it to poison people. close contact with infected patients. It is a stable substance. To reduce the chance of death.sometimes bloody or watery sputum. a mist. Pellets of ricin. The pneumonia progresses for 2 to 4 days and may cause respiratory failure and shock. Ricin is part of the waste “mash” produced when castor oil is made. Without early treatment. or ricin dissolved in a liquid. gentamicin. • • • • . Accidental exposure to ricin is highly unlikely. A plague vaccine is not currently available for use in the United States. It can be in the form of a powder. it is not affected much by extreme conditions such as very hot or very cold temperatures. Early treatment of pneumonic plague is essential. the tetracyclines. For example. can be injected into people’s bodies. antibiotics must be given within 24 hours of first symptoms. and How Is It Used? • Castor beans are processed throughout the world to make castor oil. patients may die. as little as 500 micrograms of ricin could be enough to kill an adult.

and kidneys might stop working. The person would die from multiple organ failure. spleen. excess fluid would build up in the lungs. Georgi Markov. swallowed. or inhalation. Death from ricin poisoning could take place within 36 to 48 hours of exposure. tightness in the chest. and the person could die. and spleen would stop working. In 1978. • • How Is Ricin Poisoning Treated? • No antidote exists for ricin. Specific effects of ricin poisoning depend on whether ricin was inhaled. It cannot be spread from person to person through casual contact. If the person lives longer than 5 days without complications. Eventually. The types of . the liver. kidneys. breathing would become even more difficult. the likely symptoms would be coughing. and aching muscles. The umbrella had been rigged to inject a poison ricin pellet under Markov’s skin. cells die. and the skin might turn blue. Injection: Injection of a lethal amount of ricin at first would cause the muscles and lymph nodes near the injection site to die. Some reports have indicated that ricin may have been used in the Iran-Iraq war during the 1980s and that quantities of ricin were found in Al Qaeda caves in Afghanistan. Without the proteins. or injected. the body’s airways (such as lungs) would become severely inflamed (swollen and hot).• Ricin poisoning is not contagious. and the person would have massive bleeding from the stomach and intestines. he or she will probably not die. • What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Ricin Exposure? • Inhalation: Within a few hours of inhaling significant amounts of ricin. Eventually. Excess fluid in the lungs would be diagnosed by x-ray or by listening to the chest with a stethoscope. died after he was attacked by a man with an umbrella. Ricin poisoning is treated by giving the victim supportive medical care to minimize the effects of the poisoning. he or she would have internal bleeding of the stomach and intestines that would lead to vomiting and bloody diarrhea. ingestion. • • How Does Ricin Work? • Ricin works by getting inside the cells of a person’s body and preventing the cells from making the proteins they need. the person’s liver. • Ingestion: If someone swallows a significant amount of ricin. whether by injection. Within the next few hours. nausea. and eventually the whole body can shut down and die. a Bulgarian writer and journalist who was living in London. difficulty breathing.

CDC has no reports of intentional ricin poisoning. Sarin was used in two terrorist attacks in Japan in 1994 and 1995. . people may be exposed by touching or drinking water that contains sarin. and tasteless liquid that has no odor in its pure form. SARIN What Sarin is: • • • • Sarin is a man-made chemical warfare agent classified as a nerve agent. Sarin is also known as GB. They are similar to certain kinds of insecticides called organophosphate insecticides in terms of how they work and what kind of harmful effects they cause. Sarin originally was developed in 1938 in Germany as an insecticide. These symptoms could be followed by severe breathing problems and possibly death. by inhalation. people may be exposed through skin contact or eye contact. cough. however.supportive medical care would depend on several factors. If people think they might have been exposed to ricin. however. No widely available. How people can be exposed to sarin? • • If sarin is released into the air. they should contact the regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. • What Can People Do If They Think They May Have Been Exposed to Ricin? Unintentional ricin poisoning is highly unlikely. ingestion. Care could include such measures as helping the victim breathe and giving him or her intravenous fluids and medications to treat swelling. Sarin is a clear. Nerve agents are the most toxic and rapidly acting of the known chemical warfare agents. Where sarin is found and how it is used? • • • Sarin is not found naturally in the environment. colorless. reliable test exists to confirm that a person has been exposed to ricin. If sarin is released into water. How Do We Know for Sure Whether People Have Been Exposed to Ricin? • If we suspect that people have inhaled ricin. and excess fluid in their lungs. such as the route by which the victim was poisoned (that is. sarin can evaporate into a vapor (gas) and spread into the environment. or injection). a possible clue would be that a large number of people who had been close to each other suddenly developed fever. However. Sarin and other nerve agents may have been used in chemical warfare during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. nerve agents are much more potent than insecticides. They may also be exposed by breathing air that contains sarin.

People exposed to a low or moderate dose of sarin by breathing contaminated air. and (3) the how long the exposure lasted. drinking contaminated water.” the glands and muscles are constantly being stimulated. Immediate signs and symptoms of sarin exposure • • People may not know that they were exposed because sarin has no odor. Because it evaporates so quickly. Sarin vapor is heavier than air. People can be exposed to the vapor even if they do not come in contact with the liquid form of sarin. Because sarin mixes easily with water. pinpoint pupils o Eye pain o Blurred vision o Drooling and excessive sweating o Cough o Chest tightness o Rapid breathing o Diarrhea . How sarin works? • • • • • • • The extent of poisoning that sarin causes depends on three factors: (1) the amount of sarin to which they were exposed. eating contaminated food. They may tire and no longer be able to sustain breathing function. (2) how they were exposed. which means that it can easily and quickly evaporate from a liquid into a vapor and spread into the environment. Other people can be exposed to sarin if they breathe this sarin gas. threat. but short-lived. sarin presents an immediate. Because sarin breaks down slowly in the body. water can easily be contaminated. Sarin is the most volatile of the nerve agents.• • • If sarin comes in contact with food. Symptoms will appear within a few seconds after exposure to the vapor form of sarin and within a few minutes up to 18 hours after exposure to the liquid form. people who are repeatedly exposed to sarin may suffer more harmful health effects. or touching contaminated surfaces may experience some or all of the following symptoms within seconds to hours of exposure: o Runny nose o Watery eyes o Small. All the nerve agents cause their toxic effects by preventing the proper operation of the chemical that acts as the body’s “off switch” for glands and muscles. A person’s clothing can release sarin for about 30 minutes after it has come in contact with sarin vapor. so it would be more likely to settle in low-lying areas. Without an “off switch. people may be exposed by eating the contaminated food.

such as changes in brain activity.• • Increased urination Confusion o Drowsiness o Weakness o Headache o Nausea. regarding the function and long-term health status of a person who has been mildly or moderately exposed to sarin. Go to the highest ground possible. If helping other people remove their clothing. but the antidotes available must be used quickly to be effective. Quickly moving to an area where fresh air is available is highly effective in reducing the possibility of death from exposure to sarin vapors. it is unclear what such changes may mean. Then seal the first plastic bag in a second plastic bag. try to avoid touching any contaminated areas. if anything. Remove any clothing that has liquid sarin on it. o If the sarin release was indoors. o If the sarin release was outdoors. rapidly decontaminate and get medical care as quickly as possible. . and if possible. and remove the clothing as quickly as possible. get out of the building. Leave the area where the sarin was released and get to fresh air. Removing and sealing the clothing in this way will protect you and others from any chemicals that might be on your clothes. If exposure cannot be avoided. vomiting. However. because sarin is heavier than air and will sink to low-lying areas. seal the clothing in a plastic bag. the best thing to do is avoid exposure. Some studies in animals and people suggest that severe nerve agent poisoning can cause long-term central nervous system effects. Therefore. Exposure to large doses of sarin by any route may result in the following harmful health effects: o Loss of consciousness o Convulsions o Paralysis o Respiratory failure possibly leading to death o o What the long-term health effects are Mild or moderately exposed people usually recover completely. move away from the area where the sarin was released. and/or abdominal pain o Slow or fast heart rate o Low or high blood pressure Even a small drop of sarin on the skin can cause sweating and muscle twitching where sarin touched the skin. How people can protect themselves and what they should do if they are exposed to sarin? • • • • Recovery from sarin exposure is possible with treatment.

Seek medical attention immediately. Anyone who falls within these categories. In the past. Also. In recent tests.• • • • • Rinse the eyes with plain water for 10 to 15 minutes if they are burning or if vision is blurry. However. or postvaccinal encephalitis. progressive vaccinia (or vaccinia necrosum). between 14 and 52 people per 1 million vaccinated experienced potentially lifethreatening reactions. or lives with someone who falls into one of these categories. Women who are breastfeeding should not get the vaccine. Stay calm. such as those who have received a transplant. If sarin has been swallowed. How sarin poisoning is treated? Sarin poisoning is treated with antidotes. Children younger than 12 months of age should not get the vaccine. As quickly as possible. are HIV positive. including eczema vaccinatum. (especially eczema or atopic dermatitis) and people with weakened immune systems. people have had very bad reactions to the vaccine. These reactions typically do not require medical attention.000 people for every 1 million people vaccinated for the first time experienced reactions that. SMALLPOX VACCINE The smallpox vaccine is the best protection you can get if you are exposed to the smallpox virus. skin conditions. the vaccine does have some risks. while not life-threatening. Wait for emergency personnel to arrive. usually mild reactions that include a sore arm. Rarely. Based on past experience. school. wash any liquid sarin from the skin with large amounts of soap and water. In the past. Pregnant women should not get the vaccine because of the risk it poses to the fetus. or are receiving treatment for cancer. The most important thing is for victims to be rapidly decontaminated and to be given medical treatment as soon as possible. Dial 911 and explain what has happened. were serious. or even once had. Washing with soap and water will protect people from any chemicals on their bodies. if necessary. Most people experience normal. do not induce vomiting or give fluids to drink. fever. or recreational activity or had trouble sleeping after receiving the vaccine. the Advisory Committee on . People most likely to have side effects are people who have. These reactions include a vigorous (toxic or allergic) reaction at the site of the vaccination and spread of the vaccinia virus (the live virus in the smallpox vaccine) to other parts of the body and to other people. and body aches. it is estimated that between 1 and 2 people out of every 1 million people vaccinated will die as a result of life-threatening reactions to the vaccine. Careful screening of potential vaccine recipients is essential to ensure that those at increased risk do not receive the vaccine. one in three people felt bad enough to miss work. about 1. should NOT get the smallpox vaccine unless they are exposed to the disease. and with supportive medical care.

you should first consult a physician or health care provider. (The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices [ACIP] advises against non-emergency use of smallpox vaccine in anyone is under 18 years of age. or have had. there is no need to take the risks associated with smallpox vaccination unless you have been directly exposed to smallpox—and even then. people who have. Additional doses of VIG are being produced. 2003 to consider. such as those who have received a transplant. the question of . Who should NOT get the vaccine? People who should not get the vaccine include anyone who is allergic to the vaccine or any of its components. are HIV positive. are receiving treatment for cancer. Is there any way to treat bad reactions to the vaccine? Two treatments may help people who have certain serious reactions to the smallpox vaccine. increasing the potential for contact with vaccinated people? Pregnant women should NOT be vaccinated in the absence of a smallpox outbreak because of risk of fetal infection. unless there is a smallpox outbreak and you have been directly exposed to the smallpox virus. or are taking medications (like steroids) that suppress the immune system.) These people should not receive the vaccine unless they have been exposed to smallpox.immunization Practices (ACIP) advises against non-emergency use of smallpox vaccine in children younger than 18 years of age. women who are breastfeeding. These are Vaccinia Immune Globulin (VIG) and cidofovir. Pregnant women are discouraged from getting the vaccine. Is a child under the age of 1 year in the household a contraindication to vaccination? No. Vaccination can cause deaths in people with weakened immune systems. you are immuno compromised)? No. pregnant women. among several issues. the presence of a child under the age of 1 year in the household is not a contraindication to vaccination. Is there a danger to them (or to an unborn child) if broader vaccination occurs. Inadvertent transmission of vaccinia virus to a pregnant woman could also put the fetus at risk.700 treatment doses of VIG (enough for predicted reactions with more than 27 million people) and 3. By the end of December 2002 there will be more than 2. skin conditions (especially eczema and atopic dermatitis). Should you get the smallpox vaccine if you have a weakened immune system (e.g. and measures are underway to increase supplies of cidofovir as well. anyone under 12 months of age. and people with weakened immune systems.500 doses of cidofovir (enough for predicted reactions with 15 million people). Vaccinated persons must be very cautious to prevent transmission of the vaccine virus to pregnant women or other contacts. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met on January 14. VIG and cidofovir are both administered under investigational new drug (IND) protocol.. Thus. you should not be vaccinated.

whether a child under the age of 1 year in the household should be added to the conditions or situations that are considered a contraindication to smallpox vaccination. on January 14. The presence of an adolescent or child (including an infant) in the household. However. These precautions include covering the vaccination site. Frequent and thorough hand washing will minimize the chance of contact spread of the vaccinia virus. the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) decided that anyone with eye diseases or other conditions (e.g. If these precautions are followed. or even blindness. As an additional precaution to minimize the risk of this type of transmission in selected groups of people. the ACIP recognizes that some programs may defer vaccination of household contacts of infants less than 1 year of age because of data suggesting a higher risk of adverse events among primary vaccines in this age group. Are there any eye conditions that would preclude vaccination? The concern surrounding eyes is that frequent touching of the eyes by someone who has gotten the smallpox vaccine may increase the chances that that person will experience spread of the vaccinia virus to the eyes (inadvertent inoculation of the eye) by touching the vaccine site or something contaminated with live virus and then touching their eyes before they wash their hands. compared with that among older children. recent LASIK surgery) that require the use of corticosteroid drops in the eye should wait until they no longer require such treatment before getting vaccinated. . This side effect is a serious one because it can lead to damaged vision. 2003. is not a contraindication to vaccination of other members of the household. They should follow site care instructions that are essential to minimizing the risk of contact transmission of vaccinia. but they must be especially careful to follow instructions for care of the smallpox vaccination site. Approved language from this meeting on this subject was: "The ACIP does not recommend vaccination of children and adolescents less than 18 years in the current pre-vaccination program. or touch their eyes frequently throughout the day can get the smallpox vaccine. and careful hand washing anytime after touching the vaccination site or anything that might be contaminated with virus from the vaccination site. Individuals who do not believe that they can adhere to such instructions should err on the side of caution and not be vaccinated at this time. People who wear contact lenses." Vaccinated parents of young children need to be careful not to inadvertently spread the virus to their children. and smallpox vaccine is contraindicated for infants less than 1 year of age. A vote was taken and it was confirmed that the presence of an infant in the household is not a contraindication to vaccination. the risk for children is very low. wearing a sleeved shirt. Data suggests that the risk of serious complications from transmission from an adult to a child is extremely small. however.

How people can be exposed to soman? • • • • • Following release of soman into the air. Nerve agents are the most toxic and rapidly acting of the known chemical warfare agents. Symptoms will appear within a few seconds after exposure to the vapor form of soman. which can lead to exposure of other people. or inhalation (breathing in the soman mist).SOMAN What soman is: • • • • Soman is a human-made chemical warfare agent classified as a nerve agent. eye contact. people can be exposed by eating the contaminated food. Where soman is found and how it is used? • • Soman is not found naturally in the environment. how the person was exposed.” the glands and muscles are constantly being stimulated. tasteless liquid with a slight camphor odor (for example. They are similar to insecticides called organophosphate insecticides in terms of how they work and what kinds of harmful effects they cause. meaning that repeated exposures to soman and/or other nerve agents can have a cumulative effect (build up in the body). Without an “off switch. A person’s clothing can release soman for about 30 minutes after contact with soman vapor. Following release of soman into water. However. How soman works: • • • The extent of poisoning caused by soman depends on the amount of soman a person was exposed to.” Soman is a clear. It is possible that soman or other nerve agents were used in chemical warfare during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. and the length of time of the exposure. Soman is also known as “GD. . people can be exposed by drinking contaminated water or getting contaminated water on their skin. They may tire and no longer be able to sustain breathing function. people can be exposed through skin contact. and within a few minutes to up to 18 hours after exposure to the liquid form. Soman breaks down slowly in the body. Following contamination of food with soman. Vicks Vapo-Rub®) or rotting fruit odor. nerve agents are much more potent than insecticides. Soman was originally developed as an insecticide in Germany in 1944. All the nerve agents cause their toxic effects by preventing the proper operation of the chemical that acts as the body’s “off switch” for glands and muscles. colorless.

the more likely it will evaporate from a liquid into a vapor and disperse into the environment. People can be exposed to the vapor even if they do not come in contact with the liquid form. it will remain on exposed surfaces for a longer period of time compared with VX. Because of its high volatility. so it could be used to poison water. Soman mixes easily with water. Immediate signs and symptoms of soman exposure • • Although soman has a camphor or fruity odor. vomiting. so it would be more likely to settle in low-lying areas. and/or abdominal pain o Slow or fast heart rate o Abnormally low or high blood pressure Even a tiny drop of nerve agent on the skin can cause sweating and muscle twitching here the agent touched the skin. soman is more volatile than VX but less volatile than sarin.• • • • • Soman vapor is heavier than air. pinpoint pupils o Eye pain o Blurred vision o Drooling and excessive sweating o Cough o Chest tightness o Rapid breathing o Diarrhea o Increased urination o Confusion o Drowsiness o Weakness o Headache o Nausea. o o • . The higher a chemical’s volatility. soman is an immediate but short-lived threat and does not last a long time in the environment. the odor may not be noticeable enough to give people sufficient warning against a toxic exposure. Compared with other nerve agents. ingestion (swallowing). or skin absorption may experience some or all of the following symptoms within seconds to hours of exposure: Runny nose Watery eyes o Small. Because soman is more volatile than the nerve agent VX (the most potent nerve agent). People exposed to a low or moderate dose of soman by inhalation.

wash any liquid soman from the skin with large amounts of soap and water. such as changes in brain activity. Rinse the eyes with plain water for 10 to 15 minutes if they are burning or vision is blurred. rapidly decontaminate and get medical care as quickly as possible. Some studies in animals and people suggest that severe nerve agent poisoning can cause longterm central nervous system effects.• Exposure to a large dose of soman by any route may result in these additional health effects: o o o o Loss of consciousness Convulsions Paralysis Respiratory failure possibly leading to death What the long-term health effects are • Mild or moderately exposed people usually recover completely. Washing with soap and water will protect people from any chemicals on their bodies. If helping other people remove their clothing. seal the clothing in a plastic bag. Then seal the first plastic bag in a second plastic bag. Remove any clothing that has liquid soman on it. How people can protect themselves and what they should do if they are exposed to soman? • • • • • • • • • • Recovery from soman exposure is possible with treatment. If soman has been ingested (swallowed). because soman is heavier than air and will sink to low-lying areas. and remove the clothing as quickly as possible. regarding the function and long-term health status of a person who has been mildly or moderately exposed to soman. Quickly moving to an area where fresh air is available is highly effective in reducing the possibility of death from exposure to soman vapor. the best thing to do is avoid exposure. but the antidotes available must be used quickly to be effective. Leave the area where the soman was released and get to fresh air. Seek medical attention right away. As quickly as possible. Wait for emergency personnel to arrive. do not induce vomiting or give fluids to drink. Removing and sealing the clothing in this way will protect you and others from any chemicals that might be on your clothes. if anything. try to avoid touching any contaminated areas. and if possible. get out of the building. However it is unclear what such changes may mean. Dial 911 and explain what has happened. If the soman release was outdoors. move away from the area where the soman was released. . Stay calm. If exposure cannot be avoided. If the soman release was indoors. Therefore. Go to the highest ground possible.

Symptoms will appear within a few seconds after exposure to the vapor form of tabun. All the nerve agents cause their toxic effects by preventing the proper operation of the chemical that acts as the body’s “off switch” for glands and muscles. It is possible that tabun or other nerve agents were used in chemical warfare during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. Following release of tabun into water. How tabun works • • • The extent of poisoning caused by tabun depends on the amount of tabun a person was exposed to.” Tabun is a clear. meaning that repeated exposures to tabun and/or other nerve agents can have a cumulative effect (build up in the body). people can be exposed by eating the contaminated food. Without . Tabun was originally developed as an insecticide in Germany in 1936. Tabun breaks down slowly in the body. Nerve agents are the most toxic and rapidly acting of the known chemical warfare agents. TABUN What tabun is: • • • • Tabun is a human-made chemical warfare agent classified as a nerve agent. people can be exposed by drinking contaminated water or getting contaminated water on their skin. tasteless liquid with a faint fruity odor. and the length of time of the exposure. colorless. Where tabun is found and how it is used • • Tabun is not found naturally in the environment. They are similar to insecticides called organophosphate insecticides in terms of how they work and what kinds of harmful effects they cause. A person’s clothing can release tabun for about 30 minutes after contact with tabun vapor. How people can be exposed to tabun • • • • • Following release of tabun into the air.How soman poisoning is treated Soman poisoning is treated with antidotes and supportive medical care. or inhalation (breathing in the tabun mist). The most important thing is for victims to be rapidly decontaminated and get medical treatment as soon as possible. people can be exposed through skin contact. Following contamination of food with tabun. and within a few minutes to up to 18 hours after exposure to the liquid form. eye contact. Tabun is also known as “GA. nerve agents are much more potent than insecticides. However. which can lead to exposure of other people. how the person was exposed.

pinpoint pupils Eye pain Blurred vision Drooling and excessive sweating Cough Chest tightness Rapid breathing Diarrhea Increased urination Confusion Drowsiness Weakness Headache Nausea. Because tabun is less volatile than sarin. People can be exposed to the vapor even if they do not come in contact with the liquid form. ingestion (swallowing). Because tabun is more volatile than VX. Compared with other nerve agents. The higher a chemical’s volatility. Because of its high volatility. it will remain on exposed surfaces for a longer period of time compared with sarin. so it could be used to poison water. People exposed to a low or moderate dose of tabun by inhalation. and/or abdominal pain Slow or fast heart rate Abnormally low or high blood pressure Even a tiny drop of nerve agent on the skin can cause sweating and muscle twitching where the agent touched the skin. the odor may not be noticeable enough to give people sufficient warning against a toxic exposure. Immediate signs and symptoms of tabun exposure • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Although tabun has a faint fruity odor. Tabun mixes easily with water. the more likely it will evaporate from a liquid into a vapor and disperse into the environment. tabun is more volatile than VX but less volatile than sarin. it will remain on exposed surfaces for a shorter period of time compared with VX. vomiting. Tabun vapor is heavier than air.• • • • • • an “off switch. so it would be more likely to settle in low-lying areas. tabun is an immediate but short-lived threat and does not last a long time in the environment. or skin absorption may experience some or all of the following symptoms within seconds to hours of exposure: Runny nose Watery eyes Small. They may tire and no longer be able to sustain breathing function.” the glands and muscles are constantly being stimulated. Exposure to a large dose of tabun by any route may result in these additional health effects: Loss of consciousness Convulsions Paralysis Respiratory failure possibly leading to death .

rabbits. Therefore. Washing with soap and water will protect people from any chemicals on their bodies. Remove any clothing that has liquid tabun on it. but the antidotes available must be used quickly to be effective. Wait for emergency personnel to arrive. Then seal the first plastic bag in a second plastic bag. TULAREMIA Tularemia is an infectious disease caused by a hardy bacterium. such as changes in brain activity. How people can protect themselves and what they should do if they are exposed to tabun • • • • • • • • Recovery from tabun exposure is possible with treatment. Some studies in animals and people suggest that severe nerve agent poisoning can cause long-term central nervous system effects. o If the tabun release was outdoors. do not induce vomiting or give fluids to drink. Go to the highest ground possible. it is unclear what such changes may mean. seal the clothing in a plastic bag. rapidly decontaminate and get medical care as quickly as possible. Stay calm. o If the tabun release was indoors. Francisella tularensis. found in animals (especially rodents. and hares). Quickly moving to an area where fresh air is available is highly effective in reducing the possibility of death from exposure to tabun vapor. Rinse the eyes with plain water for 10 to 15 minutes if they are burning or vision is blurred. Leave the area where the tabun was released and get to fresh air. if anything. and if possible. If tabun has been ingested (swallowed). . Removing and sealing the clothing in this way will protect you and others from any chemicals that might be on your clothes. However. try to avoid touching any contaminated areas. move away from the area where the tabun was released. get out of the building. because tabun is heavier than air and will sink to low-lying areas. Seek medical attention right away. If helping other people remove their clothing.What the long-term health effects are Mild or moderately exposed people usually recover completely. As quickly as possible. regarding the function and long-term health status of a person who has been mildly or moderately exposed to tabun. The most important thing is for victims to be rapidly decontaminated and get medical treatment as soon as possible. the best thing to do is avoid exposure. wash any liquid tabun from the skin with large amounts of soap and water. and remove the clothing as quickly as possible. Dial 911 and explain what has happened. How tabun poisoning is treated Tabun poisoning is treated with antidotes and supportive medical care. If exposure cannot be avoided.

progressive weakness. A vaccine for tularemia is under review by the Food and Drug Administration and is not currently available in the United States. eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Symptoms of tularemia could include sudden fever. How Soon Do Infected People Get Sick? Symptoms usually appear 3 to 5 days after exposure to the bacteria. Be sure to let the doctor know if you are pregnant or have a weakened immune system. and pneumonia.People can get tularemia many different ways. which must be taken according to the directions supplied with your prescription to ensure the best possible result. Persons with pneumonia can develop chest pain and bloody spit and can have trouble breathing or can sometimes stop breathing. or treat clothing with repellent containing permethrin. tularensis. The disease can be fatal if it is not treated with the appropriate antibiotics. Wash your hands often. swollen and painful lymph glands. What Can I Do To Prevent Becoming Infected with Tularemia? Tularemia occurs naturally in many parts of the United States. chills. especially after handling animal carcasses. swollen and painful eyes. These symptoms can include ulcers on the skin or mouth. handling infected animal carcasses. Let your doctor know if you have any allergy to antibiotics. or breathing in F. to prevent insect bites. A vaccine for tularemia is under review by the Food and Drug Administration and is not currently available in the United States. dry cough. joint pain. Use insect repellent containing DEET on your skin. Symptoms usually appear 3 to 5 days after exposure to the bacteria. Tularemia is not known to be spread from person to person. People who have been exposed to F. using soap and warm water. Other symptoms of tularemia depend on how a person was exposed to the tularemia bacteria. but can take as long as 14 days. What Should I Do if I Think I Have Tularemia? Consult your doctor at the first sign of illness. but can take as long as 14 days. such as through the bite of an infected insect or other arthropod (usually a tick or deerfly). and a sore throat. muscle aches. Be sure to cook your food thoroughly and that your water is from a safe source. . tularensis should be treated as soon as possible. headaches. How Is Tularemia Treated? Your doctor will most likely prescribe antibiotics. so people who have tularemia do not need to be isolated.

Tularemia is usually a rural disease and has been reported in all U. difficulty breathing. Q. If Francisella tularensis were used as a bio-weapon. Q. although manufacturing an effective aerosol weapon would require considerable sophistication. If F. states except Hawaii. chills. the bacteria would likely be made airborne for exposure by inhalation. Tularemia. If the bacteria are inhaled. Why are we concerned about tularemia being used as a bio-weapon? A. or hares.S. by handling infected sick or dead animals. Possible symptoms include skin ulcers. Does tularemia occur naturally in the United States? A. and are caused by the bites of ticks and biting flies or from handling infected rodents. rabbits. muscle aches. More Questions & Answers Q. Nearly all cases occur in rural areas. Q. symptoms can include abrupt onset of fever. Francisella tularensis is highly infectious. Tularemia is a widespread disease in animals. joint pain. Most cases occur in the southcentral and western states. including life-threatening pneumonia and systemic infection. The signs and symptoms people develop depend on how they are exposed to tularemia. and respiratory failure. What are the signs and symptoms of tularemia? A. ticks and deerflies). the bacteria would likely be made airborne so they could be inhaled. People who inhale the bacteria can experience severe respiratory illness. Tularemia is typically found in animals. and progressive weakness. mouth sores. headache.” is a disease caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. if they are not treated. Q. People with pneumonia can develop chest pain. About 200 human cases of tularemia are reported each year in the United States. The bacteria that cause tularemia occur widely in nature and could be isolated and grown in quantity in a laboratory. rabbits. Can Tularemia Be Used As a Weapon? Francisella tularensis is very infectious. and consult a veterinarian if they develop unusual symptoms. if they are not treated. tularensis were used as a weapon. bloody sputum. Yes. or by inhaling airborne bacteria. swollen and painful lymph glands. How do people become infected with tularemia? A. inflamed eyes. including life-threatening pneumonia and systemic infection.Note any change in the behavior of your pets (especially rodents. People who inhale an infectious aerosol would generally experience severe respiratory illness. by eating or drinking contaminated food or water. people become infected through the bite of infected insects (most commonly. and hares) or livestock. . A small number (10-50 or so organisms) can cause disease. also known as “rabbit fever. What is tularemia? A. Cases also resulted from inhaling airborne bacteria and from laboratory accidents. Typically. rabbits. diarrhea or pneumonia. especially rodents. A small number of bacteria (10-50 organisms) can cause disease. sore throat. and hares. Tularemia can be fatal if the person is not treated with appropriate antibiotics. dry cough.

Presumptive (preliminary) identification may take less than 2 hours. Laboratory test results for tularemia may be presumptive or confirmatory. If you suspect you were exposed to tularemia bacteria. How long can Francisella tularensis exist in the environment? A. Q. All of the medication you are given must be taken. Francisella tularensis can remain alive for weeks in water and soil. Can someone become infected with the tularemia bacteria from another person? A. The incubation period (the time from being exposed to becoming ill) for tularemia is typically 3 to 5 days. but can range from 1 to 14 days. Streptomycin or gentamicin are also effective against tularemia. Can tularemia be effectively treated with antibiotics? A. Early antibiotic treatment is recommended whenever it is likely a person was exposed to tularemia or has been diagnosed as being infected with tularemia. such as blood or sputum. A vaccine for tularemia was used in the past to protect laboratory workers. Q. Health officials will test the bacteria in the early stages of the response to determine which antibiotics will be most effective. Yes. but confirmatory testing will take more time. How quickly would someone become sick if he or she were exposed to tularemia bacteria? A. Local and state health departments should be notified immediately so an investigation and infection control activities can begin. . What should someone do if he or she suspects exposure to tularemia bacteria? A. often 24 to 48 hours or longer depending on the methods that need to be used. Treatment with antibiotics for a period of 10-14 days or more after exposure may be recommended. When a person has symptoms that appear related to tularemia. it is important to take them according to the instructions you receive. the healthcare worker collects specimens. Is there a vaccine available for tularemia? A. Depending on the circumstances. Q. see a doctor quickly. and are given by injection into a muscle or vein. How is tularemia diagnosed? A. People have not been known to transmit the infection to others. so infected persons do not need to be isolated. Q. Q. a person may be given treatment based on symptoms before the laboratory results are returned.Q. The tetracycline class (such as doxycycline) or fluoroquinolone class (such as ciprofloxacin) of antibiotics are taken orally. Q. Several types of antibiotics have been effective in treating tularemia infections. but it is not currently available. for testing in a diagnostic or reference laboratory. If you are given antibiotics.

the Japanese army fed botulinum toxin to prisoners of war in Manchuria. with lethal results. Although the Ebola virus gained notoriety in various films such as Outbreak and books. bunyavirus such as Rift Valley Fever and flaviviruses such as yellow fever and dengue. but therapy can prevent shock and help organs function. arenaviruses such as Lassa. During World War II. isolation and decontamination are usually enough to stop transmission. VHFs include four families of viruses: filiviruses such as the Ebola and Marburg viruses. seizures and coma. A yellow fever vaccine is available. Symptoms generally include high fever. the bleeding is itself rarely life-threatening. Transmission can happen via touching fecal matter. under the skin and from the eyes. including Ebola. VHFs aren’t expected to be prime bio-weapon candidates since people die so quickly from them and often don’t get a chance to infect others. routine infection control procedures. How Is It Spread? VHFs naturally occur in humans only after contact with an infected insect. . muscle aches and exhaustion. Fatality rates range from 90 percent for Ebola to 1 percent for Lassa. nose. the overall vascular system is damaged. receiving an insect bite or handling contaminated meat. Marburg and Lassa. These symptoms are often accompanied by hemorrhage (bleeding). Some. The first symptoms may be felt from two days to three weeks after exposure. however. Other treatments are under development. No treatments or vaccines exist for Ebola or Marburg. It’s possible VHFs can be manufactured for aerosol dissemination but the bacterium generally don’t fare well in this form.VIRAL HEMORRHAGIC FEVER What is VHF? VHFs refer to a group of illnesses that are caused by several distinct families of viruses. life-threatening illnesses. dizziness. They can all cause serious. In general. While some types of hemorrhagic fever viruses can cause relatively mild illnesses. many of these viruses cause severe. are contagious. and the body’s ability to regulate itself is impaired. the term "viral hemorrhagic fever" is used to describe a severe multi-system syndrome. How Is It Treated? Treatment is available for some VHFs. Antiviral drug ribavirin can treat some VHFs fairly well if given early on. In the event of an outbreak. All types in severe cases can cause hemorrhagic syndromes that cause severe internal and external bleeding in places such as internal organs. Treatments vary depending on which virus a victim has. mouth and ears. What Are the Symptoms of Exposure? Characteristically. where multiple organ systems in the body are affected. Advanced symptoms include shock. nervous system malfunction. life-threatening disease. rodent or larger mammal. but not all.

and blankets.Who Has It/Where Can It Be Found? The most worrisome VHFs. a few big tarpaulins. candles. etc. avoid "collectible coins" and just go with straight metal. such as Marburg and Ebola. or euros. large amount of matches (dip them in melted candle wax to waterproof) store in a few separate containers. A good axe. so avoid the fancy ones. . flour. and a few lighters. SUPPLIES FOR A RECESSION Get out of debt ASAP. rice and beans. duct tape. etc. cutting. or converted to gold. A sturdy tent or two. terrorist groups or states might be able to steal or otherwise obtain weaponized strains of plague. or build a windmill. a few flints. A fishing pole. the "straddle" will be gone in just a few days. With the dollar plunging as fast as it is. half eagles. tularemia and VHFs. Have one bank for personal checking account and a different bank for savings. Research on Ebola and several others was done by the Soviet Union before its biowarfare program was dismantled. yet another for each business account you run. and keep the rest either at home. It is easier to get your money back out of investment coins than numismatic ones. Think about how you are going to cook. Bow and arrows. Have a supply of bottled water. Kazakhstan. shampoo. VHFs are studied in some labs. spade. water purification tablets. Experts warn that because microbe collections in Russia. are hard to acquire from the wild because their natural host is unknown and outbreaks are rare. including hats. insect repellent. sugar. krugerands. Right now the best thing to do is diversify. Invest in solar power. mainly high-security ones. Stick with maple leaves. Try to build a Vertical Wind Turbine Stock up on nonperishable foods. Buy gold coins and silver coins. Soap. gloves. canned foods. Collector's value will decline with the economy. Obviously. Comfortable warm clothing. toothpaste. Georgia and Uzbekistan are not adequately secured. How will you feed yourself without having to trade for food? Keep your job as long as possible. boots. If you are going to buy gold or silver coins. dry milk. That way a crash doesn't wipe you out. silver. Stock up on personal items. Buy seeds. A pair of strong knives for hunting. this is a great time to only keep in the bank what you need to pay such as the current bills.

watches that don't run on batteries. A couple of guns and a good supply of ammo.Basic medical supplies like aspirin. Two-way radios. alcohol. short wave radios. . A bicycle. and an LED flashlight. first aid kit. A map and compass.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful