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Recent Notices from 
The U.S. Department of HomeLand Security
Page Last Updated: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 01:01 AM


“Terrorism forces us to make a choice.
We can be afraid. Or we can be ready.” 

  • Secretary Tom Ridge,
    U. S. Department of Homeland Security



Text of a document mailed by the Department of Homeland Security:

Preparing Makes Sense. Get Ready Now.

1. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, or longer.

While there are many things that might make you more comfortable, think first about fresh water, food and clean air.

Consider putting together two kits. In one, put everything needed to stay where you are and make it on your own. 

The other should be light weight, smaller version you can take with you if you have to get away.



You'll need a gallon of water per person per day. Include in the kits canned and dried foods that are easy to store and prepare. If you live in a cold weather climate, include warm clothes and a sleeping bag for each member of the family. 

Start now by gathering basic emergency supplies and setting them aside - 
A flashlight, a battery - powered radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, toilet articles and other special things your family may need. 

Many potential terrorist attacks could send tiny microscopic "junk"
Into the air. Many of these materials can only hurt you if they get into your body, so think about creating a barrier between yourself and any contamination. It's smart to have something for each member of the family that covers their mouth and nose.

Plan to use two or three layers of a cotton t-shirt, handkerchief or towel.
Or, consider filter masks, readily available in hardware stores which are rated 
Based on how small a particle they filter. It is very important that the mask or other material fit your face snugly so that most of the air you breathe comes thru the mask, not around it. Do whatever you can to make the best fit possible for children.

Also, include duct tape and heavy weight garbage bags or plastic sheeting that can be used to seal windows and doors if you need to create a barrier between yourself and any potential contamination outside.

2. Plan in advance what you would do in an emergency. 

Be prepared to assess the situation. Use common sense and whatever you have on hand to take care of yourselves and loved ones. 

Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the attack, the first important decision is whether you stay put or get away. 

You should understand and plan for both possibilities.



Develop a family communications plan: Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another and review what
You will do in different situations. Consider a plan where each family member calls, or e-mails, the same friend or relative in the event of an emergency. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so
An out-of-state contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members. You may have trouble getting through, or the phone system may be down altogether, but be patient. 

Create a plan to "Shelter-in-place": There are circumstances when staying put
And creating a barrier between yourself and potentially contaminated air outside, a process known as "shelter-in-place," can be a matter of survival.
Choose an interior room or one with as few windows as possible. Consider
Pre cutting plastic sheeting to seal windows, doors and air vents. Each piece should be several inches larger than the space you want to cover so that you can duct tape it against the wall. Label each piece with the location pf where it fits.

If you see large amounts of debris in the air, or if local authorities say the air is badly contaminated, you may want to "shelter-in-place." Quickly bring your family and pets inside, lock doors, and close windows, air vents, and fireplace
Dampers. Immediately turn off air conditioning, forced air heating systems, exhaust fans and clothes dryers. Take your emergency supplies and go into the room you have designated. Seal all windows, doors and vents. Watch TV,
Listen to radio or check the Internet for instructions.

Create a plan to get away: Plan in advance how you will assemble your family and anticipate where you will go. Choose several destinations in different directions so you have options in an emergency. If you have a car, keep a half tank of gas in it all times. Become familiar with alternate routes as well as other means of transportation out of your area. If you do not have a car, plan how you will leave if you have to. Take your emergency supply kit and lock the door behind you. If you believe the air may be contaminated, drive with 
Your windows and vents closed and keep the air conditioning and heater 
turned off. Listen to the radio for instructions. 

Plans at School and Work: Think about the places where your family spends time: school, work and other places your family frequents. Talk to your children's schools and your employer about emergency plans. Find out how they will communicate with families during an emergency. If you are an employer, be sure you have an emergency preparedness plan. Review and practice it with your employees. A community working together during an emergency also makes sense. Talk to your neighbors about how you can work together. 

3. Be Informed 

Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling a supply kit and developing a family communications plan, are the same for both a natural or man-made emergency. However there are important 
Differences among potential terrorist threats, such as biological, chemical, explosive, nuclear and radiological, that will impact the decisions you make and the actions you take. 

Call: 1-800-be-ready (1-800-237-3239) for a free brochure, or go to: to learn about potential terrorist threats.

4. Remain Calm 

Be prepared to adapt this information to your personal circumstances and make every effort to follow instructions received from authorities on the scene above all, stay calm, be patient and think before you act. With these simple preparations, you can be ready for the unexpected. If you have a working smoke detector, you understand that preparing makes sense. 


  • Department of HomeLand Security website
    Reprinted from a DHS brochure received in the mail
    PDF Version of the original document coming soon!




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