Preparing for a Terrorist Attack

As sad as it is to relate, it is true that in many countries, terrorism is a fact of life these days. Our own country experienced a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 and since then several others have taken place around the world.Many people are concerned about terrorism in the United States and about the specter of continued attacks by terrorists. There is of course the possibilit that a terrorist attack could take place. That increases the stress of people who could potentially be victims of terror attacks.

Terror attacks can take many forms. Attacks with planes and buses, with bombs and with other implements can take place. While you cannot always prevent the attacks, you can prepare for them and take steps to be ready if any such incident does occur. Taking steps to prepare for a terrorism attack can help to give you a measure of control in that situation.

Preparing for Acts of Terrorism

Finding out what happened or what can happen is the first step in being ready for the attack. One you know the events that are possible, you will know how best to prepare for them. In most cases, having a go bag packed and ready in case you need to leave your home is a single step that you can take to ensure that you've got some measure of control. Prepping your basement or cellar too in case you need to occupy it should also be accomplished. Speak with your family and develop a disaster plan that all of you know and take part in.

Your Go bag or your packed bag should always include:

  • Spare money
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Medications
  • Spare change of clothing
  • Bottled water
  • Dry food or snacks for nourishment
  • Blanket or cover of some type.

Identification for every member of the family who has some available must be carried. Terror attacks will cause that law enforcement will be in the area and they will likely be questioning many in an effort to find out what happened and to rule out people who are in the area. Make sure that you have some means to identify yourself and your family members.

What to Do in the Event of a Terrorist Attack

Listen to radio and television if available to find out what took place. Based on the happenings, your reaction may be different and various responses may be required. Here are some general ideas as to what may be necessary.

  • Stay calm and be as patient as you can while you find out the details.
  • Check for damage to your home and family.
  • Use a flashlight to seek out any injured family or friends.
  • Shut off utilities if the attack warrants it or if there are open flames nearby.
  • Do not light matches, candles or other flammable materials until you've checked for leaking gas or unconfined strange odors. If you suspect a leak of any kind get outdoors quickly.
  • Do not go outdoors, stay inside unless safety considerations force you to leave the immediate area. If you must do so, view outdoors through a window. Seek out animals or people who are outdoors and check for their condition. If you see animals or pets which are not moving or there are people outdoors who are not moving stay inside and place wet or damp towels below the doors and windows to block out any substance which may be outside.
  • If there are moving people outdoors who seem to be in good condition, and the event took place near you, check your neighbors and find a way to seek out those who are injured. Give what first aid that you can and get extra help for the people who are more seriously injured.
  • Secure or confine your pets to a safe area.
  • Check on your neighbors if you are able to do so
  • Call your family and friends immediately to let them know that you are safe but do not use the phone unless absolutely necessary once you have made contact with them.

What Happens After a Terrorist Attack

Bear in mind that a terror attack can take many forms. Most will be things like bombings or gas attacks but they may include hostile people in the immediate area and you will need to prepare for that. The lack of knowledge can cause panic and widespread fear. Staying calm and getting your family to safety will be one of the most important tasks that you will take care of. If you can't be calm, put control of your group in the hands of someone who can. It is quite likely that you will see a lot of police, emergency and law enforcement in the immediate area. There may be a significant number of casualties dduring a terror attack. Be prepared for what you may see as you evacuate if necessary.

Health and mental health considerations are going to be necessary even in your own family group. Getting to safety first is in order but making sure that you allow children to discuss what happened and to respond to them honestly is going to be required, even sometimes immediately after the event.

Your family may not be able to return to your home for a time if the event happened close to you. Cleanup from some terror attacks may take weeks or months. Seek out and find good reliable housing for your family as quickly as possible in order to get to a safe area.

Terror attacks will be one of the most difficult to manage and to respond to because you're never certain until the attack takes place what it may entail and what response may be necessary. Use your senses to determine what is and is not taking place and respond appropriately to each event in its own right.

Take steps to keep you and your family safe from harm. Staying calm will go a long way toward achieving that in any situation.