In response to recent events, the Department of Homeland Security wants individuals to be aware of the increased level of personal risk from terrorist threats. There are several protective measures that citizens can adopt to reduce potential threats and potentially hazardous situations.
- Be unpredictable. Vary daily routines.
- Pay attention to surroundings and report suspicious activity to local law enforcement.
- Secure personal and identity-related documents and information.
- Do not post your schedule on publicly accessible sites such as Facebook or Twitter.
Residential Security While Traveling:
- Know who you are letting into your house. Ensure contractors have been requested and check their identification.
- Restrict possession of house keys; change locks if keys are lost/stolen.
- Use solid core doors with deadbolts and peepholes.
- Lock all entrances at night, including the garage.
- Keep the house locked, even if you are at home.
- Do not open mail from unknown sources.
- Destroy all envelopes or other items that display your name or other personal information.
- Do not place your family name on your mailbox.
- Install security/fire alarm system and associated security service.
- Ensure fire alarms and extinguishers are operational.
- Participate in a neighborhood watch program.
- Use motion- and light-activated exterior lighting.
- Stop deliveries of newspapers and mail or forward to a neighbor's home.
- Do not indicate absence or itinerary on voicemail, email, website or with a written note on a door.
- Do not hide keys outside the house.
- Advise a trusted friend or family member of destination and arrival/departure times.
- Keep car in good repair; at least half a tank of gas; tires inflated properly with good tread.
- Use a locking gas cap.
- Do not have personalized plates or decals with affiliations on vehicles.
- Park in well-lit areas; park in reputable garages/lots with on-premise attendants; try not to leave the car on the street overnight.
- Check for suspicious persons prior to and when approaching vehicle and exiting vehicle.
- Examine exterior and interior of vehicle prior to using; if you find something suspicious, do NOT touch it - contact local law enforcement.
- Always lock your car as soon as you get in and after you exit; have your keys in your hand prior to approaching vehicle.
- Commute with other passengers when possible.
- Avoid late night travel, isolated roads, or dark alleys when possible.
- Vary routes; pay attention to suspicious activity when in close proximity to your home or office.
- Know how to react if being followed. Do not stop; go to the nearest police station. Get a description of the vehicle and its occupants. Report the incident to police.
- Vary commercial transportation routes and use busy bus/subway stops; avoid poorly lit or isolated stops.
In the Event of an Incident/Attack:
- Restrict access to authorized personnel only; assign ID badges with photographs.
- Have personnel greet all visitors.
- Install a security/fire alarm system and associated security service; install CCTV to record operation area and exterior entrances.
- Ensure adequate lighting for operations area, exterior, and CCTV.
- Contact local law enforcement if a delivered package is suspicious.
- Ensure accountability for lock and key control.
- Restrict drivers and deliveries to a specific area.
- Develop an emergency plan for response to a known or a suspected hazard.
- Evacuate at the first sign of trouble; leave personal belongings behind; call 911 when safe.
- If evacuation is not an option, hide; lock/barricade door; silence cell phone; call 911.
- When calling 911:
- Be aware of your surroundings; make sure you are out of harm's way before calling.
- Be calm and articulate; talk slowly.
- State your name, location, and the nature of the emergency; provide the who, what, where, when, why, and how of your situation.
- Advise if you are injured; provide details.
- If a shooter is in your vicinity:
- Quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life.
- As a last resort, attempt to take the active shooter down.