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Domestic Terrorism Preparedness PDF Print E-mail

Images of Airliners used as missiles in terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, as well as bombing attacks on the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, the Olympic Centennial Park in Atlanta and the abortion clinic in Birmingham are hard to forget. These terrorist events caused thousands of deaths and injuries, and billions of dollars in property losses. They have also inflicted a huge emotional toll within the impacted communities as well as throughout the world.


The FBI defines terrorism as the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”. A significant terrorism threat we face today is that of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and these consist of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) weapons. Although bombing has been the most popular method used in terrorist incidents in the United States, terrorism can occur in several forms. In recent years, terrorists throughout the world have used arson, hostile takeovers and shootings to attain their political and social goals. In the future, terrorists might use chemical or biological agents. Because the impact of exposure to some organisms, toxins and other biological agents may not cause an immediate illness or reaction, it may take some time for government officials to determine that such an attack has occurred.


In the event of an attack, government officials will instruct residents on what actions are being taken and what actions the public should take. It’s important that you remain calm, and cooperate fully with local officials. Do not try to be a hero. Failure to follow instructions from local officials could cost you and others their lives. In the event of a chemical or biological attack, instructions will be provided by local public health and safety officials on personal protection, decontamination and health warnings via the Emergency Alert System (EAS) broadcast over radio and television, as well as, print media.