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It's not Always Terrorism

It is important to remember that most disasters take the same amount of planning and often use the same methods. Planning for a terrorist attack may have a few different steps but as a rule it is always important to have a plan and emergency supplies.

There is no way to predict when or if this will happen and the uncertainty can be stressful. It is important to understand that many chemical and nuclear accidents are not terrorist incidents. Incidents can occur while being stored or transported through the towns, cities and states where you live.

Chemical accidents are closer than you think

Chemical emergencies can occur unintentionally because of an accident or intentionally when used in a terrorist attack. Not only is there a threat of terroristic incidents but there is a threat closer to home. Many types of chemicals are stored or transported on our roads every day and move through our towns and cities without much notice.

Radiological dispersions

Radiation occurs naturally and is present all around us. It is a form of energy and is measured by units called curies. The dose of radiation that someone receives is measured in rem. Exposure can occur from the sources that range from microwave ovens, electronic equipment, diagnostic tests or nuclear weapons testing.


  • Skin reddening
  • Cancer
  • Death

Terrorist events could occur through dirty bombs. A dirty bomb is a device used to spread radioactive material into food or water using explosives that scatter radioactive material.

Should you take Potassium Iodide?

Potassium Iodide is only effective if a release of radioactive iodine is released. A nuclear power plant would be one incident or a nuclear bomb explosion. A dirty bomb usually doesn’t contain radioactive iodine.


  • Communities that are near nuclear reactors have a plan in place. Check with your local emergency planning group to find out what the plan is.
  • Check with nursing home, child’s school and employer to find out what their plans are.
  • Develop an emergency plan and make sure everyone knows what to do. Involve the kids with planning.

Survival Kits

  • Bottled Water
  • Long Term Food Supply
  • Portable Radio with Batteries or Solar, Dynamo
  • First Aid Kit
  • Prescription Medicines
  • Paper Towels, Garbage Bags and Toilet Paper

Protection/ Sheltering in place

  • Close and lock all windows and doors
  • Turn off fans, forced-air heating units and air conditioners
  • Close fireplace dampers
  • Move to inner room or basement
  • Keep radio on your emergency response network or listen to your local news


Follow the instructions given by your local authorities. Take pets only if you know where they will be accepted. Most shelters and emergency vehicles will not accept pets. It is important to be prepared for your pets too, by stocking up on emergency care pet products.