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Table of Contents

Note: This is a beta version of the course. We will move to the final version (including graphics and discussion questions) if we see there is sufficient interest.

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Lesson 2-9 Incident Reaction


Should a bomb explode outside the building, do not rush to the window to see what happened. Immediately seek cover in a protected area due to the possibility of a secondary, probably larger explosion (referred to as a double bombing). Terrorists may use an initial bomb to breach outer security, then a second bomb on the target, and may follow-up the bombing with an armed attack. In a variation, terrorists can place an initial bomb, followed by a second bomb shortly thereafter to kill or injure security forces and emergency services responding to the initial bomb.

In the city, if you are on the street when a terrorist bomb explosion occurs, quickly get inside the nearest building and remain there. Shattered glass and other debris from high-rise buildings can fall for blocks around the point of explosion. As soon as practical, following a bombing:

  • Notify the proper authorities.
  • Evacuate the wounded based on the situation. Do not impede the efforts of emergency services. Witnesses to the bombing will naturally approach the explosion area to aid in searching for casualties. Authorities will also be trying to coordinate the search and will want to limit the number of searchers due to the threat of additional explosions and secondary effects such as falling masonry or fires.
  • Move to a clear area, away from objects such as automobiles, buildings, and garbage containers.

Armed Attack or Assassination

If in an office or hotel, quickly lock the door, turn out the lights, grab the telephone, and get down on the floor. Call building security immediately. Telephone connections outside the building or hotel might be difficult to obtain. If no security office is available, call the local authorities. Tell the authorities exactly what you heard and provide them with the address, building, floor, room number, and telephone number. Stay in a protected area, and if possible, take the phone with you. If you believe you are involved in a terrorist takeover, hide your wallet and identification.

Arsons and Firebombings

Exercise normal fire safety precautions. However, do not gather in open areas such as parking lots or areas where others are congregating. Terrorists could stage an arson attack or false fire alarm to get a crowd out of a building and then conduct a bombing or armed attack.

Hijackings, Skyjackings, and Kidnappings

Reactions to these and similar attacks are described in Part 3.


David L. Heiserman, Editor

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All Rights Reserved

Revised: June 06, 2015