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What To Do In A Bombing

What To Do In A Bombing

Although terrorists use a variety of methods to inflict harm and create fear, bombs are used most frequently. According to the U. S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, bombings accounted for nearly 70 percent of all terrorist attacks in the U.S. and its territories between 1980 and 2001. This document focuses on common sense principles that will be useful in a bombing event.

What should I do if I think someone is going to set off a bomb?

At Home At Work At School In Public
Leave the area immediately. Follow existing evacuation guidelines. Follow existing evacuation guidelines. Leave the area immediately.
Call 9-1-1. Tell the operator what you saw or know (suspicious persons, packages, or vehicles).
Call 9-1-1. Tell the operator what you saw or know (suspicious persons, packages, or vehicles).
Follow directions from people in authority (police, fire, EMS, or military personnel, or from neighborhood leaders). Follow directions from people in authority (police, fire, EMS, or military personnel, or from workplace supervisors). Follow directions from people in authority (police, fire, EMS, or military personnel, or from school administrators). Follow directions from people in authority (police, fire, EMS, or military personnel, or from community leaders).

What should I do during a terrorist bombing?

If you are in a bombing event:

  • Leave the area immediately.
  • Avoid crowds. Crowds of people may be targeted for a second attack.
  • Avoid unattended cars and trucks. Unattended cars and trucks may contain explosives.
  • Stay away from damaged buildings to avoid falling glass and bricks. Move at least 10 blocks or 200 yards away from damaged buildings.
  • Follow directions from people in authority (police, fire, EMS, or military personnel, or from school or workplace supervisors).
  • Call 9-1-1 once you are in a safe area, but only if police, fire, or EMS has not arrived.
  • Help others who are hurt or need assistance to leave the area if you are able. If you see someone who is seriously injured, seek help. Do not try to manage the situation alone.


What should I do after the bombing?

When the explosion is over:

  • Follow your family, job, or school emergency disaster plan for leaving and staying away from the scene of the event. Remember, returning to the scene will increase the risk of danger for rescue workers and you.
  • Avoid crowds. Crowds of people may be targeted for a second attack.
  • Avoid unattended cars and trucks. Unattended cars and trucks may contain explosives.
  • Stay away from damaged buildings to avoid falling glass and bricks. Move at least 10 blocks or 200 yards away from damaged buildings.
  • Follow directions from people in authority (police, fire, EMS, or military personnel, or from school or workplace supervisors).
  • Call 9-1-1 once you are in a safe area, but only if police, fire, or EMS has not arrived to help injured people.
  • Help others who are hurt or need assistance to leave the area if you are able. If you see someone who is seriously injured, seek help. Do not try to manage the situation alone.
  • Listen to your radio or television for news and instructions.

What if rescue workers are not available to transport me or other injured persons?

9-1-1 services (police, fire, EMS and ambulance) might be delayed indefinitely following a terrorist event, therefore:

  • Always have a back-up plan for transportation.
  • Follow advice from your local public safety offices (local health department, local emergency management offices, fire and police departments and reliable news sources).

When should I go to the hospital or clinic?

Seek medical attention if you have any of the following problems:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent cough
  • Trouble walking or using an arm or leg
  • Stomach, back or chest pains
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision or burning eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Rash or burning skin
  • Hearing problems
  • Injuries that increase in pain, redness or swelling
  • Injuries that do not improve after 24 to 48 hours

Help others who are hurt or need assistance to leave the area, if you are able.If you see someone who is seriously injured, seek help. Do not try to manage the situation alone.

Where should I go for care?

Go to a hospital or clinic away from the event if you can. Most victims will go to the nearest hospital. Hospitals away from the event will be less busy.

What can I expect at the hospital?

Long waits. To avoid long waits, choose a hospital farther away from the event. While this might increase your travel time, you might receive care sooner.
Triage. Following a terrorist attack or other disasters, injuries are generally treated on a “worst first” basis, called “triage.” Triage is not “first come, first served”. If your injuries are not immediately life threatening, others might be treated before you. The goal of triage is to save as many lives as possible.
Limited information. In a large-scale emergency such as a terrorist attack, police, fire, EMS, and even hospitals and clinics cannot track every individual by name. Keep in mind that it may be difficult for hospitals to provide information about loved ones following a terrorist attack. Be patient as you seek information.

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