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Interim Planning Guide for State and Local Governments for Managing Terrorist Incidents

FEMA developed a planning guide for state and local governments on how to manage the emergency consequences of terrorist incidents because of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, anthrax attacks, and the previous bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building as well as the mass shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado. This document based on the experience of many people including first responders, presents a framework for emergency operational plans involving the resources of state, local, and federal terrorism management activities. The guide helps readers understand the problems related to weapons of mass destruction and other acts of terrorism. It emphasizes that terrorists are flexible and use the element of surprise to achieve their goals and that planners must consider this as part of how to respond to a sudden action. Planners must use a regional approach to planning; coordinate local state and federal plans of response; develop a strong uniform communications network with all involved and back-up systems if the network collapses; provide for contingencies for personal protection, alternate emergency facilities, and loss of command-and-control facilities and personnel; provide emergency public information to the media as rapidly as possible; and develop a large support service including volunteers and a variety of other specialized groups. The plans must include potential targets, initial warning systems, techniques of initial detection, and how to investigate and contain hazards. It must also discuss any protective actions that can be taken, mass care, use of health and medical resources, management of supplies, techniques of recovery, urban search and rescue, etc. (See endnote 86.)

Federal Communications Commission's Emergency Communications Guide

The Federal Communications Commission has prepared a guide for the country’s communication systems during times of emergencies. Some of the very worst problems during the course of disasters, especially in the terrorist act involving the World Trade Center in New York and Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and elsewhere, have been connected directly to an inability to communicate between various agencies and others. This totally breaks down the command-and-control needed in these serious events. The guide discusses the various components of the emergency communications components, including 911 calls by cell phone and landline; the Emergency Alert System; radio, TV, and computer updates of weather and other types of alerts; accessibility of emergency information for visual- and hearing-disabled people; network and power outages; and emergency preparedness. (See endnote 90.)

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