Hawaii false alarm makes people wonder what they’d do if there was a nuclear attack

January 14, 2018

The text message fiasco in Hawaii warning residents about an incoming ballistic missile was a false alarm caused by human error.

Unfortunately the FCC probe suggests Hawaii did not have “reasonable safeguards or process controls in place,” so officials at all government levels will work together to do what’s necessary to fix them.

Also we imagine emergency management officials nationwide are reviewing their operations, communications and Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) plans, and more since this was a regrettable but teachable moment.

While reading posts and comments on social media we noticed that many people are wondering what they should do, where they should go, and what types of shelters are best in case of a missile attack.

The CDC says during radiation emergencies people should “Get Inside, Stay Inside and Stay Tuned”. Basically those within the blast zone of Ground Zero (depending on the size of the nuke) won’t make it … BUT … if you are a few miles outside the zone your chances of surviving it are high as long as you…

  • limit your exposure to radiation and fallout,
  • take shelter with proper shielding, and
  • wait for the most dangerous radioactive materials to decay.

In other words, you can survive a nuclear attack … but you must make an effort to learn what to do!

Two key things are planning to stay sheltered for at least 48 hours or more with proper shielding and having detection devices to monitor levels of radiation. By learning about potential threats, we are all better prepared to know how to react if something happens.

Learn more in our blog post called “How to protect yourself from nuclear fallout (tips about radiation, building an expedient shelter, etc)” and please share the data with others.

Would you know what to do if you or your office received a Bomb threat or suspicious package?

April 17, 2013

The other day we posted What would YOU do if a bomb or explosive device goes off..? (Safety tips on dealing with an explosion) and wanted to provide some information about both bomb threats and suspicious packages from our IT’S A DISASTER! book.

What if you or your office or facility receives a “bomb threat”?

Bomb threats are usually received by a telephone call or in the mail.

In the event you or someone in your office receives a bomb threat, do the following…

  • If you ever receive a bomb threat over the phone, get as much information from the caller as possible (e.g. what kind of bomb, what does it look like, where is it, when will it go off, etc.)
  • Try to keep caller on the phone as long as you can and write down everything that is said! (Since you’ll most likely be nervous or scared, good notes will be extremely helpful to officials later.)
  • Notify the police and building management.
  • Calmly evacuate the building, keep the sidewalks clear and stay away from windows.

What if you or someone in your office receives a “suspicious package”?

According to the United States Postal Service, the likelihood of you ever receiving a bomb in the mail is remote. But there have been a small number of explosive devices and biological agents that have surfaced in the mail over the years.

Some possible motives for an individual or group sending a “suspicious package” include revenge, extortion, love triangles, terrorism, and business (or potentially political) disputes.

The following are some unique signs or characteristics from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service that may help identify a “suspect” piece of mail…

  • Package may have restricted markings like “Personal” or “Private” to one who doesn’t receive personal mail at office or to someone no longer working there.
  • Package is sealed with excessive amounts of tape or has way too much postage on it.
  • Postmark city different than Return Address city.
  • Misspelled words, written badly or done with letters cut from newspaper or magazine and pasted on.
  • Package has wires or aluminum foil sticking out, oil stains, smells weird or sounds funny (sloshing noise).
  • Package may feel strange or look uneven or lopsided.

If you are unsure about a letter or package and are not able to verify the Sender or contents with the person it is addressed to then…

  • DO NOT open it, shake it, bump it or sniff it!
  • Cover it with a shirt, trash can or whatever is handy.
  • Evacuate the area quickly and calmly.
  • Wash your hands with lots of soap and water.
  • Call building security, 911 and your postal inspector.
  • List all the people who were near the package or letter in case they are needed for further questioning.

USPS poster about suspicious mail or packages

Click here to download above poster from USPS in PDF. Stay safe, j & B

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