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1220 W College St, Murfreesboro, TN 37129 • Phone: (615) 898-7764 • Fax:( 615) 898-7840

Preparing for Terrorism

Being Aware is Being Prepared...
It's natural to be afraid of terrorists and their potential threats. It's also our fear upon which the 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 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 weapons 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. Terrorism is not only an international threat, but a domestic or local threat as well. Rutherford County Emergency Management is committed to planning, training, and exercising emergency first responders and support agencies to reduce risks of terrorism, and better prepare ourselves for response if such an event should occur. However, it is important to remember that preparedness is everyone's job!

Homeland Security Advisory System Recommendations
The National Office of Homeland Security uses a threat advisory to provide a national framework to effectively deal with threats of terrorist attack. The warning system has 5 levels which when triggered, initiate specific actions by federal, local and state agencies. An explanation of levels is below.

Risk of Attack Action for Individuals,
Families and Neighborhoods
Action for Businesses Action for Schools
SEVERE
  • Complete actions at lower level
  • Listen to radio and TV for information and instructions
  • Be alert to suspicious activity and report it
  • Be prepared to evacuate
  • Adhere to travel restrictions
  • Contact employer to determine status of work day
  • Discuss family fears of terrorist attacks
  • Provide volunteer services as requested
  • Complete actions at lower level
  • Listen to radio and TV for information and instructions
  • Work with local community leaders and organizations, emergency management, government agencies and utilities to meet immediate needs for community
  • Determine need to close business in accordance with the written Emergency Response Plan
  • Be ready to work with a dispersed or smaller work force
  • Be prepared to evacuate
  • Ensure mental health counselors are available
  • Complete actions at lower level
  • Listen to radio and TV for information and instructions
  • Be alert to suspicious activity and report it
  • Be prepared to evacuate
  • Close school if recommended to do so by authorities
  • 100% ID check for and provide escort for those entering with students
  • Ensure mental health counselors are available
HIGH
  • Complete actions at lower level
  • Be alert to suspicious activity and report it
  • Review your disaster plan
  • Exercise caution when traveling
  • If announced, donate blood
  • Determine needs from volunteer agency
  • Complete actions at lower level
  • Be alert to suspicious activity and report it
  • Review the written Emergency Response Plan
  • Determine the need to restrict access to the business or to provide security
  • Contact vendors and suppliers to confirm their emergency response plan procedures
  • Complete actions at lower level
  • Be alert to suspicious activity and report it
  • Review the school's written Emergency Response Plan
  • Prepare to answer inquiries from parents and press
  • Discuss children's fears concerning terrorist attacks
ELEVATED
  • Complete actions at lower level
  • Be alert to suspicious activity and report it
  • Stock your disaster kit
  • Develop alternate routes to and from work or school
  • Continue volunteer services
  • Complete actions at lower level
  • Be alert to suspicious activity
  • Contact private security firm for security risk assessment and to determine availability of support
  • Contact volunteer agencies you support to determine how you should provide support
  • Complete actions at lower level
  • Be alert to suspicious activity and report it
  • Ensure that all emergency supplies are stocked and ready
GUARDED
  • Complete actions at lower level
  • Be alert to suspicious activity and report it
  • Store disaster supplies and replace outdated items
  • Develop and Emergency communications plan with family and friends
  • Provide volunteer services
  • Complete actions at lower level
  • Be alert to suspicious activity and report it
  • Establish a dialogue with community leaders and organizations, emergency management, government agencies and utilities about disaster preparedness
  • Ensure emergency communications plan is updated and needed equipment is purchased
  • Complete actions at lower level
  • Be alert to suspicious activity and report it
  • Conduct safety training and emergency drills following the school's written Emergency Response Plan
  • Ensure that the emergency communications plan is up to date
LOW
  • Develop a disaster plan
  • Create a disaster kit
  • Make a plan for your pets if you need to evacuate
  • Explore volunteer opportunities and volunteer agencies
  • Develop a written Emergency Response Plan to address all hazards and natural disasters
  • Develop an emergency communications plan to notify employees of activities
  • Develop a plan to relocate facilities if needed
  • Develop a written Emergency Response Plan to address all hazards and natural disasters to secure safety of students and faculty
  • Create an emergency communications plan containing family contact numbers for students

 

 

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