While no further attack has yet taken place, little has changed since that date. If news reports and government statements are to be believed several major terrorist plots have uncovered and arrests made before further attacks could take place. Recently news of the discovery of a plot to attack train and commuter tunnels into New York City has made national headlines.
It is important for all Americans, therefore, to become familiar with the emergency preparedness plans for the region in which they live and work. While the chances of terrorist activity remains slim in most areas of the country, experts continue to indicate that the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions remain a likely target for future strikes.
The City of Philadelphia has established a Web site to educate users "as to how Philadelphia will respond to the threat of terrorism, chemical, biological warfare, fires and other natural disasters. This site will be an ever-growing resource of information for the residents and visitors of the City of Philadelphia."
The site has detailed information on:
- The city's evacuation plan
- Hazardous chemical emergency instructions
- Information on high rise safety
- A collection of links to additional related articles
It is expected that the governments of the surrounding Pennsylvania counties will also release similar plans within the next few weeks.
The State of New Jersey Office of Emergency Management also maintains a Web site with detailed emergency preparedness information for families, individuals, households and pets.
Preparing a family disaster plan, even under the threat of terrorism, does not require that you purchase gas masks or environmental suits or secure prescription antibiotics from your doctor. A basic family disaster plan can be established in a brief meeting of your family. The following items should be discussed.
- Identify the types of disasters that could effect you and your family.
- Agree upon places to meet in the event that your home is damaged - one located near your home, the other in another town. All family members should have the addresses and phone numbers for these locations.
- Identify an out-of-state family friend who is willing to serve as a contact person for you and your family. Make sure all family members are aware of that person's name and phone number.
- Have each family member share the emergency plans for their workplace, school or daycare facility of young children.
- Make sure that all family members are aware of the telephone numbers for local emergency services - ambulance, fire and police. Make sure that all family members are aware of all means of exit from your home in the event of an emergency.
- smoke detectors on each level of your home and a working fire extinguisher first aid kit
- flashlights, battery-powered radio and spare batteries for each
- a three-day supply of food that will not spoil and water (one gallon per person per day)