Tuesday, December 21, 2010

12 Days Prepared: Explosive Device Awareness

In our recent 12 Days Prepared Game, held in early December, we asked you to consider a scenario where multiple bombs went off in multiple locations.

What should you remember if a bomb does go off nearby?
  • If one bomb goes off, there could always be another device nearby.  Be mindful of your surroundings. 
  • In this scenario, we indicated that one of the bombs went off at a nearby school.  Many of you identified contacting your family members to ensure that they are okay which is excellent.   
  • Some responses commented on the panic that would ensue in a situation like this.  Attempt to remain calm and do not rush to the nearby school.  Remember that many schools have lockdown plans and procedures to handle this type of situation.  It is imperative that you understand, in advance, your school's response plan so that you know what you can expect in this type of situation.
What are the Bomb Stand-Off Distances?
Ever wonder what the appropriate distance is from a suspicious package? Of course, we'll tell you to be as far away as possible. But the graphic below and this link will share with you some key distances as they relate to suspicious packages and bomb threats thanks to our friends at the Pittsburg Coalition for Security:

Bomb Stand Off Card

What if you find a suspicious object?

Under no circumstances should anyone move, jar or touch a suspicious object or anything attached to it. The removal or disarming of a bomb must be left to the professionals in explosive ordnance disposal. When a suspicious object is discovered, the following procedures are recommended:
  • Report the location and an accurate description of the object to the authorities by calling 9-1-1.
  • Identify the danger area, and block it off with a clear zone of at least 300 feet, including floors below and above the object.
  • Check to see that all doors and windows are open to minimize primary damage from blast and secondary damage from fragmentation.
  • Evacuate the building.
What do you do if you receive a telephone bomb threat?
  • If you receive a bomb threat, get as much information from the caller as possible.
  • Take good notes when talking to the person on the telephone. Keep the caller on the line, and write down everything that is said.
  • Be aware of background noise, special voice characteristics, music, machinery or other sounds.
  • If you are at work, have a co-worker call 9-1-1 and building security immediately. Plan how you are going to alert your co-worker.
  • If you receive a bomb threat, do not touch any suspicious packages.
  • Clear the area around the suspicious package, and notify police immediately.
  • While evacuating a building, avoid standing in front of windows or other potentially hazardous areas.
  • Do not block sidewalks or other areas used by emergency officials.
  • If you find a bomb, don’t touch it or attempt to move it. Call for help and evacuate the area immediately.

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