Unfortunately, Americans continue to live under the threat of terrorism. Houston represents a major economic and social center for the nation, and as such, has the potential to be a major target for terrorist groups bent on bringing down the American economy and way of life.
Terrorists have been known to use various types of weapons ranging from chemical and biological hazards to explosive devices; therefore, residents should be prepared to deal with different types of threats and hazards following a terrorism incident. Part of that type of preparedness is to have an emergency kit in your office, vehicle and home, having a family communications plan, and staying informed during and after the incident.
What to do if a Terrorist Attack Occurs
(adapted from information from the American Red Cross)
- Remain calm and be patient.
- Follow the advice of local emergency officials.
- Listen to your radio or television for news and instructions.
- If the event occurs near you, check for injuries. Give first aid and get help for seriously injured people.
- If the event occurs near your home while you are there, check for damage using a flashlight. Do not light matches or candles or turn on electrical switches. Check for fires, fire hazards and other household hazards. Sniff for gas leaks, starting at the water heater. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open windows, and get everyone outside quickly.
- Shut off any other damaged utilities.
- Confine or secure your pets.
- Call your family contact—do not use the telephone again unless it is a life-threatening emergency.
- Only call 911 if it is a life-threatening emergency
- Check on your neighbors, especially those who are elderly or disabled.
Help Prevent Terrorism in Houston
Houstonians can play a role in helping to prevent terrorism. By staying vigilant, and reporting suspicious activities to authorities, they can help protect themselves and their communities.
The City of Houston has partnered with regional emergency management and public safety agencies in an effort to provide residents with information on terrorism and a way for them to report suspicious activity to authorities. Visit IWatchHouston.org for information on what you can do to help law enforcement keep our communities safe. You can also call 1-855-iWatch4 to report suspicious activity. If you feel it is an emergency, call 9-1-1.