A terrorist attack on the United States remains a significant and pressing threat. Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) remain the terrorist weapon of choice due to their relative ease of construction, availability, and destructive capacity.
An improvised explosive device attack is the use of a “homemade” bomb and/or destructive device to destroy, incapacitate, harass or distract. IEDs can come in many forms, ranging from a small pipe bomb to a sophisticated device capable of causing massive damage and loss of life. IEDs may be surrounded by or packed with additional materials or “enhancements” such as nails, glass, or metal fragments designed to increase the amount of shrapnel propelled by the explosion. Enhancements may also include other elements such as hazardous materials.
Nevertheless, there are things you can do to prepare for the unexpected. Explore the information below to learn about the preparedness measures you can take and how to be proactive if you see something suspicious.
Before Bombs or Explosives
The number one way to protect yourself and others from an IED attack is to be aware of your surroundings and to report anything that is out of the ordinary.
“If you see something, say something!” It can be difficult to determine when to report something suspicious. People most familiar with a given environment are in the best position to determine whether or not something seems suspicious.
Follow the guidelines below:
Preparation is key. Everyone can take the following steps to prepare for an IED attack:
During Bombs and Explosives
If you are at the immediate site of an IED attack, your top priority is to get out of the area. This increases your safety in case a secondary device is present in the area and minimizes your exposure to dust, smoke, and any hazardous substances that may have been released as a result of the blast. This also allows emergency responders to find and assist the most critically injured victims.
View the DHS IED Attack Fact Sheet to learn more about the steps you can take in different situations during an IED attack.
After Bombs and Explosives
Some health effects caused by IEDs, including eye injuries and abdominal injuries, may not be apparent initially, but can cause symptoms and even fatalities hours to months after the event. Seek medical attention if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
Additionally, psychological effects in survivors, first responders, and others may be present and are not unusual in the aftermath of a high-casualty event. Assistance from mental health professionals may be necessary.
More Bombs and Explosive Information
References, Resources and More Information:
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