A recent study conducted for the U.S Department of Homeland Security by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) has suggested some fundamental changes to the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA).
Primarily, WEA messages need to be longer suggests the study. Currently WEA messages only offer 90 characters and do not allow a URL to be included. START recommends consideration of adding URLs to WEA messages to direct recipients to websites for additional information.
WEA messages could potentially be more effective if the information is given in a different order. Currently, WEA messages must provide information in the following order: hazard, location, time, guidance and source. START suggests an alternative order: source, guidance, hazard, location and time, to improve likelihood of action taken in response to the message.
Don’t believe what you see in the movies. According to a 2011 report commissioned by FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security, surviving fallout from a nuclear blast means taking shelter – NOT running away.
The Federation of American Scientists are primarily responsible for bringing public awareness to the valuable report entitled “National Capital Region: Key Response Planning Factors for the Aftermath of Nuclear Terrorism.”
The key question posed by the report is “What would happen if a 10 kiloton nuclear explosive were detonated in downtown Washington, DC?”
Highlights of recommendations made by the report include:
- DUCK and COVER: After an unexplained dazzling flash of light, do not approach windows, and stay behind cover for at least a minute to prevent injuries from flying and falling debris, such as broken glass.
- GO IN, TUNE IN: The best initial action immediately following a nuclear explosion is to take shelter in the nearest and most protective building or structure and listen for instructions from authorities.
- DON’T DRIVE: If in a car, try to find shelter immediately until given official information. A car does not offer protection.
- STAY INDOORS: People should expect to remain sheltered for at least 12 to 24 hours. During that time, the intensity of fallout radiation will decrease greatly, allowing for less hazardous egress from dangerous fallout areas.
- GET CLEAN: Radioactive fallout particles can spread quickly and remain on the body and clothes until removed. Those in potentially fallout-contaminated areas should take off the outer layer of clothing (including shoes) and wipe or wash exposed skin and hair upon leaving a contaminated area.
Read the full report:
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is offering free resources for Active Shooter Preparedness, including training workshops, webinars, video and other materials. Recent tragic events have unfortunately shown the need for education on issues such as active shooter awareness, incident response and workplace violence.
The DHS is offering these free courses, materials and workshops to better prepare the public to deal with an active shooter situation and to raise awareness of behaviors that represent pre-incident indicators and characteristics of active shooters.
- Active Shooter: What Can You Do Course
- Active Shooter Webinar
- Active Shooter Workshop Series
- Active Shooter: How to Respond Resource Materials (including include a desk reference guide, a reference poster, and a pocket-size reference card)
- U.S. Secret Service Active Shooter Related Research
- Active Shooter Resources for Law Enforcement and Trainers
A video entitled “Options for Consideration” demonstrates possible actions to take if confronted with an active shooter scenario. The instructive video reviews the choices of evacuating, hiding, or, as an option of last resort, challenging the shooter. The video also shows how to assist authorities once law enforcement enters the scene.
For more information please visit: http://www.dhs.gov/active-shooter-preparedness