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Content developed in collaboration with National Organization on Disability's Emergency Preparedness Initiative


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Although terrorists use a variety of methods to inflict harm and create fear, bombs are used most frequently.

How to Prepare for an Explosion

If There is an Explosion

  • Brace yourself against your desk or a sturdy table
  • Exit the building as soon as possible; do not use elevators (see Make A Plan for more information about evacuating)
  • Avoid crowds
  • Avoid unattended cars and trucks
  • Stay away from damaged buildings

If There is a Fire Associated with the Explosion

  • Exit the building as soon as possible; do not use elevators
  • Stay low if there is smoke
  • Use a wet cloth, if possible, to cover your nose and mouth
  • Use the back of your hand to feel the upper, lower, and middle parts of closed doors
  • If the door is not hot, brace yourself against it and open slowly
  • If the door is hot, do not open it
  • If you catch fire, do not run; Stop-drop-and-roll or use a fire blanket to put out the fire
  • If possible, go to a previously designated meeting place
  • Never go back into a burning building

If You Are Trapped in Debris

  • Avoid unnecessary movement so that you don't kick up dust
  • Cover your nose and mouth with anything you have on hand
  • Tap on a pipe or wall so that rescuers can hear where you are
  • Shout only as a last resort; shouting can cause a person to inhale dangerous amounts of dust

More Information