It's natural to be afraid of terrorists and their acts. It's also our fear upon which terrorists feed. Terrorists use our fear as a weapon to achieve their political and social goals.
The nature of terrorism causes fear because it's difficult to predict when or where a terrorist may strike. Some of the things we do know though, are a few of the factors terrorists may use when choosing a target.
- Terrorists often choose targets that offer little danger to themselves - areas with relatively easy public access.
- Terrorists look for visible targets - airports, large cities, major events, resorts, and other high-profile landmarks - where they can avoid detection before and after an attack.
- Terrorists commonly use bombs as a weapon of choice.
- Terrorists aim to achieve large numbers of victims, high media attention, or mass panic and public anxiety.
- Terrorists select targets best suited for the type of material being used. For example, some biological agents are not effective in sunlight, while most chemical agents work best indoors with limited airflow.
- Understanding the nature of terrorist acts, and how terrorists operate helps us better prevent and prepare for such an event.
The Colorado Department of Emergency Management (CDEM) is committed to planning for, training, and exercising emergency first responders and support agencies at the state and local level to reduce the risks of terrorism, but preparedness is everyone's job.
What You Can Do...
We, as Coloradoans, can take control of our fate by taking some of the same actions we take to prepare for any type of disaster or emergency.
- Develop a disaster plan for your family.
- Identify a rally point if your family gets separated.
- Identify an out-of-state contact for each member of your family to notify of their situation and status after an emergency.
- Prepare a box or backpack with basic supplies for a 72-hour period: water, nonperishable foods, flashlight, battery-operated radio, extra batteries, blankets, and a first-aid kit.
- Know the emergency procedures at your child's school.
- Know where fire exits and extinguishers are and practice emergency evacuation procedures.
- Get to know your neighbors and what their needs are.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Take precautions when traveling.
- Be aware of conspicuous or unusual behavior.
- Don't accept packages from strangers.
- Don't leave luggage unattended.
- Learn where emergency exits are located.
- Think ahead about how to evacuate a building, subway, or congested public area in a hurry.
- Learn where staircases are located.
- Report suspicious activities.
Staying Calm in an Emergency Can Save Your Life...
It sounds easy to say and hard to do, but if you have planned ahead for emergencies, it may be easier than you think.
- Don't panic.
- Follow your emergency plan. Check for and treat injuries. You can find First Aid tips in the white pages of your telephone book.
- Check for damage, fires, gas leaks, and other hazards using a flashlight. Don't light matches or candles. Don't turn on electrical switches-sparks could cause an explosion.
- Check on your neighbors.
- Call your family contact.
- Stay informed by listening to a battery-operated radio, and follow instructions issued by authorities.
- Don't call 911 unless you have a life and death emergency.
Evacuating...At work, use the stairs and stay to your right to leave a path for emergency personnel.
- At home, put on sturdy shoes to protect your feet from debris.
- If you're instructed to "shelter-in-place," stay indoors, close windows and doors, and turn off ventilation systems like air conditioning and your furnace. Do not leave your sheltered location until authorities instruct you to do so.